Copyright & Trademark

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Posted on September 15, 2016

Nonprofits create many things, from curriculum to videos to websites to music. After expending their limited resources to create things (or to pay others to create them), nonprofits should certainly consider how to protect their rights in those things. Copyright protects works of authorship from unauthorized copying and distribution. An original work of authorship becomes protected by copyright as soon as it is recorded in some physical medium, such as on paper, canvas or computer hard drive. Nonprofits should consider taking the additional step of registering their most important works with the US Copyright Office in order to preserve their rights in the event that someone copies or distributes their works without permission.

Posted on August 20, 2015

Photographs promote a nonprofit’s operations unlike anything else. They can be used on websites, in brochures and newsletters, and on social media to demonstrate what an organization is doing in its community. Confusion, however, abounds on when an organization can use photographs legally and under what circumstances.

During this 30-minute webinar, our speaker helps nonprofits understand:

• Basic considerations in using a photograph of people;
• An organization’s rights in using a photograph; and
• How to avoid legal problems when using photographs.

Presenter: John Bush, Bryan Cave

Please click here to view the webcast.

Posted on August 19, 2015

Nonprofits spend many hours working on fundraising brochures, training materials, photographs, and sometimes even software. Each work product is protectable under copyright law and, for some valuable property, is an asset that the nonprofit can license either to further its cause or as a potential revenue stream.

During this 30 minute webcast, our speaker helps nonprofits understand:
• Basic principles of copyright law
• Considerations in licensing a nonprofit’s materials for use by others
• Enforcing a copyright
• Registering a copyright

Presenter: John Bush, Bryan Cave

Please click here to view the webcast.

Posted on July 16, 2015

Whether your organization has just been born or has been serving the community for decades, you may not realize that your organization’s trademarks and branding are valuable symbols for trust and quality to those you serve. The reputation of your organization is inseparable from its brand. As a result, it is important that these intellectual property assets are selected with care. It is also critical to protect your trademarks from infringement or dilution by others, which can be common in the nonprofit space.

This webcast will appeal to those both new and experienced in the area of nonprofit brand management. With the opportunity for interactive Q&A, we will generally discuss:

• How to select strong, non-descriptive trademarks.
• How to police your brand and handle infringement disputes.
• Tips on maintaining an effective social media presence.
• Making “creative review” part of your marketing culture.

Presenter: Anuj Desai, Arnall Golden Gregory

Please click here to view the webcast.

Please note that 33 minutes into the webcast we experienced some technical difficulties.

Posted on June 11, 2015

Volunteers and employees of nonprofits often pull images and other content from the Internet in preparing newsletters, social media posts and other materials. This can easily expose the organization to liability for copyright infringement. This article provides a basic understanding of copyright law as well as a list do’s and don’ts for using materials from the Internet so that you can help your organization avoid copyright infringement actions.

Posted on July 17, 2014

This is part six of an eight part webinar series that provides general legal information about operating a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation. Your nonprofit may have valuable “intellectual property” rights in your organization’s name, logo, program materials and other assets. This webinar will give an overview of intellectual property considerations, and how to best protect these assets.

Presenters: Rick McMurtry, Esq. and Carly Regan, Turner Broadcasting System

Click here to view webinar.

Posted on October 16, 2013

Imagine that you have volunteers who prepare the latest, greatest materials for your organization’s new program. Photos were taken, brochures are hot off the press, and training manuals are ready for distribution. You may ask yourself – how can I use these great materials for other future programs? Within this question lies a common, but dangerous misconception – an assumption that your organization owns the materials, and that they can be used in any manner that the organization desires.

Join us for an informative webinar discussing a broad overview of how to navigate Copyright Laws to protect the important work of your organization, specifically focused upon copyright ownership and the use of releases and assignments to protect the broad array of materials created by those within and outside of your organization.

During this webinar, we will discuss:

• Who owns materials created for your organization under U.S. Copyright Laws.
• What are the benefits of Copyright ownership for your organization.
• How can your organization use releases and assignments to ensure protection of copyrightable materials.
• What are the best practices for the use of copyright-protected materials owned by others.

Presenters: Devin Gordon and Kevin Glidewell, Turner

Click here to access the webcast.

Posted on April 19, 2013

Like for-profit businesses, some nonprofits may own confidential and/or proprietary information that warrants protection from use or disclosure by partners, vendors, former employees, and the general public.

During this webinar, we will discuss practical guidelines for using non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in the nonprofit context, including:

• when to use NDAs;
• common mistakes to avoid in using NDAs;
• practical measures to protect confidential or proprietary information in addition to NDAs; &
• recent developments in Georgia law regarding enforceability of NDAs.

Presenter: Dan Hart, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

This video requires <a href="" target="_blank" class="external">Adobe Flash</a> to be viewed.
Posted on December 7, 2011

You put a lot of creativity into your Organization’s logo, but have you protected it? Learn about Trademarks, and how to keep your image your own.

Posted on December 7, 2011

Have your organization invented a product or process? Are your name or original materials protected? Find out about patents, trademarks and copyright from the experts.

Please note that in addition to the legal disclaimer above, this article contains information that is based, in whole or in part, on the laws of the District of Columbia. As a result, the information may not be appropriate for organizations operating outside the District of Columbia.