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Federal Copyright law gives authors, artists, etc. the exclusive right to make and sell copies of their work as well as the right to publicly display their works. Usually these exclusive rights come with a time limit, expiring 70 years after the artist's death. Copyright is automatic once it has been fixed, meaning that once it has been embodied in a tangible form or medium.
The Copyright Act of 1976 grants exclusive rights to copyright owners, which include:
Copyrighting your work permits you to sue someone who uses or infringes on your work. If someone violates the rights of a copyright owner, the copyright owner is entitled to file a federal lawsuit that can include the issuing or orders (restraining orders or injunctions) to prevent further copyright violations, awarding of money damaged if and when appropriate, and awarding attorney fees.
Common Legal Defenses For Copyright Infringement:
Trademarks are used to identify goods and services and to distinguish them from the competition. Trademark law is the legal rules by which businesses protect their distinguishing names, logos, etc. that identify their products and services. In order to acquire trademark rights, you cannot simply create a logo or slogan but must use the trademark in commerce.
Patents allow those who create inventions to prevent others from making commercial use of those inventions without explicit permission from the creator.
The Types of Inventions That Can Be Patented
Copyrights protect expressive arts, including novels, fine arts, graphic arts, music, photography, software, video, cinema, and choreography. Copyrights are basically what keep one artist from stealing another artist's creative work.
Patents are associated with processes that are useful in the real world, and while it is possible to get a patent on technologies that are used in the arts, copyrights are really what prevent artists from stealing other artist's work.
However, copyright law and patent law overlap in the realm of the ornamental design of products. For example, a guitar is both functional (patent law) and has a pleasing visual appearance (copyright law).
While patents allow those who create inventions to prevent others from making commercial use of that invention without permission, trademarks are not concerned with how technology is used. Trademarks protect the names of products, services, logos, and other devices (color, sound, smell) that are used to distinguish them from the competition. There usually is no overlap between patent laws and trademark laws, however it is possible to obtain a design patent on an ornamental aspect of a device. For example, the distinct shape of a surfboard could potentially be patented for its design and trademarked to protect its appearance.
A credit report, also known as a credit history, includes information on an individual's or company's financial borrowing and repaying history. This includes any late payments and bankruptcy filings. Credit report / credit history information is held at a credit bureau and is used by lenders (ex: credit card companies) to determine an individual's credit worthiness. Credit worthiness is an individual's track record of debt repayments and takes into consideration one's willingness to repay a debt and the timeliness of past payments. There are three nationwide credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each of these credit bureaus collects financial data from employers, creditors, public records, and landlords.
Your Credit Report Includes the Following Information:
Negative, or derogatory, information usually stays on your credit report for 7 years, including foreclosure and student loan information. Bankruptcies can appear on your credit report for 10 years and unpaid tax liens can remain on your credit report for up to 15 years. Inquiries from potential creditors stay on your credit report for 2 years, and too many inquiries can be viewed as negative. Even derogatory information more than 7 years old can appear in a report for a job that pays $75,000 or more annually if you apply for a loan or life insurance.
It's important to note that credit reports do not include information including race, color, religion, gender, assets, or occupation. Personal information regarding medical conditions is also not included on credit reports, however unpaid medical bills or medical payments can be disclosed.
35% Payment History (this includes bankruptcy)
30% Outstanding Debt
15% Length of Credit History
10% New Credit
10% Types of Credit in Use
Credit scores, or FICO scores, range from 300 - 850.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is a federal law that was designed to protect the integrity and privacy of individual credit information. The FCRA imposes rules on how credit reporting agencies can report individual information. Our experienced lawyers can help advise you on what do do if a CRA or a creditor violates your rights under the FCRA.
Discrimination Legal Aid
Disputes with Neighbors
Loan Modification and Foreclosure Legal Aid
Medical Malpractice Cases
Power of Attorney
Sexual Harassment Law
Social Security Disability
If you are struggling with a lot of debt you might be able to work with creditors and / or debt collectors to make your situation more manageable. This process is known as debt settlement, or debt negotiation. You can negotiate lower payments or potentially reduce the overall amount that you owe if you pay a lump sum up front.