Featured Articles

Timothy B. McCormack, attorney, shares some of the “trade secrets” of copyright law and disputes: An example of the fair-use defense applied in a non-software context is Harper & Row Publishers, Inc. v. Motion Nation Enterprises.(77) In Harper & Row, the Supreme Court held that using 300 words excerpted from an unpublished manuscript written by President Gerald R. Ford as his autobiography was not a fair use. The Supreme Court found that all four fair use factors weighed against a finding of fair use. The court found that the purpose and character of the infringing use was commercial in nature. The “scooped” material from the President’s autobiography, for example, was intended to sell magazines and conversely was not for a nonprofit or educational purpose.(78) The court also found that the nature of copyrighted manuscript (i.e., that it was unpublished) weighed against finding fair use. Specifically, the court reasoned that the infringing use interfered with the author’s interest in confidentiality and creative control of his own, yet unpublished, work.

Timothy B. McCormack, lawyer, writes: Works of authorship by the United States Government are not subject to copyright.(66) A “work of the United States Government” is defined as “a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of their official duties.”

Timothy B. McCormack, lawyer for Getty Images writes about copyright infringement: Someone who knows or should have known that he or she is assisting, inducing, or materially contributing to another person’s infringement of any of the exclusive copyright rights may be liable as a contributory infringer.”(38) The Software Publishers Association(39) suggests that the following activities might constitute contributory copyright infringement:

(1) posting serial numbers of a program for others who copy and use the program;
(2) posting cracker utilities for disabling copy protection code;
(3) linking to FTP sites where software may be unlawfully obtained;
(4) informing others of FTP sites where software may be unlawfully obtained;
(5) aiding others in locating or using unauthorized software;
(6) supporting sites from which the above information may be obtained; and
(7) allowing sites where the above information may be downloaded to exist on a server.

Excerpt: “Are you aware that, as the Broker/Owner, Broker of Record, Franchise Owner, Managing Broker, head honcho, call your title what you will – by definition, YOU are responsible? YOU will be held accountable for everything on your agents’ web sites? Do you even know what’s on your agents’ web sites? . . . And, […]

On Thursday December 14th, Timothy McCormack will be speaking on Cloud Computing for Legal Professionals at the WSBA-CLE Harnessing the Power of the Internet for Your Practice seminar. The seminar will be at the WSBA-CLE Conference Center at Century Square 1501 4th Ave., Suite 308 in Seattle. The half-day seminar includes other programs. We have […]

Inevitable Trade Secret Misappropriation

March 31, 2010

A. Inevitable Disclosure Is Not The Law In Washington The only Washington case to mention inevitable disclosure is an unpublished Washington Court of Appeals case, Solutec Corp. v. Agnew, 88 Wash. App. 1067, 1997 WL 794496 (Wash. App. 1997) (noting the lack of Washington law on inevitable disclosure) (unpublished){1}. Solutec has no precedential value; therefore, […]

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Copyright Infringement – I Didn’t Know!

January 6, 2010

Mere unauthorized use of a picture downloaded from the Internet (even from a “free site”) is enough to create liability for a business using the copyrighted work without permission. This is true, regardless of how the infringement came about. Typical copyrighted works that get businesses into trouble include images and text “acquired” from the Internet. […]

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Trademarks For Everybody

November 11, 2009

Every attorney with a business client has a client with a potential trademark issue. This article is intended to help unravel some of the myths and complexities of trademark law and practice. Both attorneys and business leaders should find this article helpful. DEFINING THE SLANG A “trademark” or “service mark” can be made up of […]

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Firms Should Protect, Defend and Globalize

November 6, 2009

Introduction Intellectual property is the United States’ second largest export (second only to agriculture). We have come a long way since the manufacturing glory days of Henry Ford. In the twenty-first century we still make tangible products but it is the intangible trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets that help make the bottom line count. […]

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