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Do you have basis for a legal malpractice claim?

When you hire a lawyer in New York City, you expect your case to be handled with a reasonable amount of care and to be billed fairly. Unfortunately, there are attorneys out there are reckless, negligent, use questionable billing techniques or commit outright fraud.

As with many legal cases, each legal malpractice claim is unique and could consist of one or more circumstances. In general, there are four common areas where malpractice can occur. This includes billing practices, conflicts of interest, failure to communicate and statute of limitations.

Did pop star Katy Perry break copyright law?

The works that artists create are generally very important to them. If someone comes along and steals a piece of that work, it is not just personally upsetting to the artist, but also has the potential to be financially devastating. Copyright law exists to protect New York artists from having their art used without their permission, but violations still occur. A court is currently trying to determine if pop star Katy Perry violated copyright law by using another artist's music in one of her songs.

Gospel rapper Flame, whose real name is Marcus Gray, alleges that Perry used the same underlying beat that he created and used in his song "Joyful Noise." He claims that her hit song "Dark Horse" bears a strong resemblance to his original work. It is expected that Perry will testify in the upcoming trial. Her representatives requested that the case be dismissed on the grounds that she didn't know the rapper and hadn't even heard "Joyful Noise." The judge is letting the claim continue due to the high number of views it had online and its nomination for a Grammy award.

Intellectual Property Litigation: Artist's royalties in question

The works of art created by artists of all mediums are often precious to them. When the artist chooses to sell his or her work, fair compensation is considered a given. Unfortunately, artists are not always paid properly, with many not receiving royalties to which they are entitled and necessitating intellectual property litigation. One long-running case concerns a beloved Pop art sculptor, Robert Indiana, who created the famed "Love" sculpture here in New York and passed away last year. The fight over the rights to his pieces is still going on.

The Morgan Art Foundation represented Indiana for over three decades. Representatives have taken two people to court, alleging that they tried to isolate the artist and sold unauthorized and forged works of his while taking the profits from those sales. One of the defendants was Indiana's assistant and caretaker. The other is the founder of American Image Art. They have said that the Morgan Art Foundations assertions are untrue.

Copyright law important for content on individuals' websites

These days, it is common for individuals to create websites for their businesses or even for their blogs. Individuals often use blogging as a way to earn an income, and because their websites are vital to their financial well-being and their businesses overall, they certainly do not want others taking content from those sites. As a result, understanding copyright law may be important to New York residents.

If individuals' websites include their original works, such as photos, articles, designs and other creative content, those works are protected by copyright. If a person publishes the photo, blog or other work on the website, it receives those protections as soon as it is published on the site. Though these protections do automatically fall into place, it is still important to register a copyright.

There are 4 big mistakes your attorney can make

There are several things that an attorney could do that would be seen as legal malpractice. These include commingling assets, having a conflict of interest, neglecting their duties and failing in their role as a fiduciary. In any case where a client suffers losses as a result of these actions, they may want to pursue a legal malpractice case.

It's important to learn more about these actions, so that you can recognize them if they take place during your case. Here's a bit more about each one and how they harm victims.

Disney, other movie studios awarded in copyright violations case

Protecting what is lawfully one's own property is important, especially to companies. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for companies to face issues with outside parties that result in intellectual property being threatened. If another person or entity commits copyright violations, the negatively affected companies may need to move forward with litigation.

New York readers may be interested in the outcome of such a case that involved Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers. According to recent reports, VidAngel, a company that edits movies to remove material that may not be suited for everyone, was accused of copying movies and streaming them to customers without the consent of the movie studio companies. The claims also indicated that VidAngel was streaming certain movies before services like Netflix.

Legal malpractice issues: Is the attorney's work inadequate?

When New York residents encounter a legal problem, they turn to an attorney for help. They expect him or her to diligently work on the case and provide the best possible representation. If individuals question whether they are receiving the service they expect, they may begin to wonder if the attorney has committed legal malpractice.

The first step would be to discuss those concerns with the attorney. If he or she fails to provide a plausible and reasonable explanation why work has stalled on the case, an individual may request a copy of the case file. A review of it could provide information regarding the attorney's progress or the lack thereof. If the client has fired the attorney, obtaining a copy of the file could prove challenging. If a new attorney has been hired, he or she will likely be able to obtain the file on the client's behalf.

Understand why a copyright is important

To know if you need a copyright or if your products are already protected, you need to know what exactly a copyright is. In a basic sense, a copyright gives the creator of an original work the exclusive right to sell it, reproduce it and publish it. United States copyright law protects individuals who have created works such as photographs, videos of live performances, movies, software and more.

It's important to note that any ideas, techniques or other expressions have to be in material form to be protected. That means that you must write down a story, draw an image that you're thinking of or otherwise place the product in tangible form for it to be protected through copyright law.

Legal malpractice claim stems from rejected appeal

Facing a legal issue can happen to almost anyone. As a result, most people choose to enlist professional help when handling legal claims to ensure that their cases are properly addressed. Unfortunately, some parties may find that their counsel did not perform their duties appropriately, and they may choose to file legal malpractice claims.

New York readers may be interested in this type of clam that was filed out of state. According to reports, the claim stems from a lawsuit that resulted in four beer stores being closed down. The stores were fought against by activists who believed that the sales contributed to alcohol-related issues on a nearby reservation and contributed to openly drunken individuals on the streets. In 2017, the state's Liquor Control Commission chose to revoke the liquor licenses for those stores.

Does intellectual property apply to dance moves?

Copyright law is intended to protect artists of varying mediums and their work. The thought is that other people shouldn't be able to steal and profit from an original work that someone else has already created. The internet and meme culture are changing the game on this idea. Some celebrities in New York and around the country are concerned that others are profiting off of their intellectual property, specifically original dance moves that they have popularized. Unfortunately, these cases may be difficult to prove.

Several celebrities and other public figures are suing Epic Games, the company that makes the popular game known as "Fortnight." The game allegedly animates characters with certain dance moves that were arguably made popular by these entertainers. The entertainers argue that the dance moves are part of their intellectual property and should be subject to traditional copyright laws.

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