5 Ways to Protect Your TV Show (or Film Script) Idea

5 Ways to Protect Your TV Show (or Film Script) Idea

Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Entertainment
Lately, I’ve been fielding questions from aspiring script- and screenwriters (most recently from an old high school classmate and, before that, a colleague of mine who is apparently more creative than most of us!) who have asked me, “How can I protect my new TV show or movie idea?” In this post, I’ll go over what I usually tell these creative types in advance of their “pitch” to a producer, studio, or some other (actual or perceived) Hollywood insider they’ve managed to get in front of. Can Ideas Be Protected? Before we dive in, you need to understand one thing-- ideas (in and of themselves) cannot be protected. In fairness, it’s not just the script- or screenwriter hopefuls that sometimes hold this mistaken belief. I hear it at least a…
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How Do I Trademark My Book Title?

How Do I Trademark My Book Title?

Entertainment, Trademark, Trademark Infringement
Stacked Books by Thought Catalog from Pexels Every now and then, I'm asked by aspiring authors, songwriters, film makers, and other creative types, “How do I trademark the title of my book [or song, movie, etc.]?” In this post, we take a look and answer the question of whether titles to books can even receive trademark protection and how you can possibly protect the economic value of that awesome book, song, or painting title of yours. Ben's Note: For purposes of this post, I will keep things simple by referring to titles of books, but, for the most part, you can extrapolate these ideas to whatever work you’ve created, e.g., new song, photograph, YouTube video, etc. Can I Trademark My Book Title? First off, let's eliminate the suspense. In general,…
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Best Practices for Social Media Celebs and Influencers after FTC v. Teami

Best Practices for Social Media Celebs and Influencers after FTC v. Teami

Celebrity, Entertainment, Online Advertising, Social Media
Influencer by geralt. Pixabay License (image cropped) If you're a business that uses paid-endorsers and social media influencers as part of its marketing strategy, are you ready for elevated scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission? The recent settlement reached between the FTC and health-focused teas and skin care maker Teami, LLC offers some clarity and guidance for social media advertisers hoping to stay out of legal hot water. The Background Section 5 of The Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. § 45(a)) makes “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in interstate commerce illegal. When it comes to product or service endorsements, Section 255.0 of the FTC’s Endorsement Guides provides that the connection between advertiser and endorser must be “fully disclosed” where the connection between the endorser and the advertiser might…
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