You may have heard of the “fair use defense”, where certain unauthorized uses of copywritten material may be allowed by law. Here at PBPA, we often get questions from clients about the “fair use defense.” What really is the fair use defense? Does it give nonprofits a free pass to use copywritten material? In this episode of the PBPA Podcast, Jennifer Sandlin with Eversheds Sutherland will answer those questions and more as we review the fair use defense for nonprofits.
Copyright & Trademark
A nonprofit relies on its founder for its initial ideation, organization and drive. Many founders also create intellectual property that is used by the nonprofit, before and after the organization is created. During this webcast, our speakers will review some legal considerations and best practices for nonprofits around using content created by its founder including:
• What types of IP might be relevant?
• Is there a difference if a founder is a paid employee or unpaid volunteer?
• Written and implied license rights for use of the founder’s materials.
• Special considerations for internet content.
• If a nonprofit pays its founder to use their IP, what are the tax-exempt considerations?
Speakers: Ron Coleman, Partner at Parker Hudson & Robyn Miller, PBPA Senior Corporate/ Tax CounselSlides-When-a-Nonprofit-Uses-IP-Created-by-its-Founder
Social media makes a great way to communicate with nonprofit clients, stakeholders, donors, and the general public. Almost all posts use your organization’s or another’s intellectual property to spread the word. Intellectual property includes copyrighted content (like images, videos, and text), brands and logos and individuals’ rights of publicity. During this presentation, we’ll talk through the best practices and common pitfalls of using intellectual property with social media, including:
- Properly identifying your organization’s content
- How to best use others’ content without infringing it, including ‘what is fair use?’
- What is an “individual’s right to publicity” and how to avoid violating it
- Why it’s important to train staff and volunteers who post on behalf of your organization about these best practices
Speaker: Creighton Frommer, Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property at RELX
Applying for a trademark is a crucial step in solidifying and protecting your organization’s hard work and reputation. However, when applying for a trademark, your address, email address, and other details of your registration are added to the public domain. This gives unethical companies the opportunity to flood your mailbox and your email with deceiving notices in an attempt to get you to pay for private trademark renewal services you do not need. Please be aware that you are not required to pay for services through these private companies to renew a trademark registration.Article- Beware of Trademark Scams
Nonprofits, like all organizations, collect and create information that is valuable to the organization and important to maintain in confidence. Examples include client information (including personal and medical information), donor information, personal information (about board members, volunteers, or employees), as well as other business and financial information that needs to be protected. This article outlines five steps organizations should consider in protecting their confidential information.Article: Protecting Confidential Information – Five Steps to Consider
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.Guide to e-filing Copyright Registrations
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 CaveAvoiding the Legal Pitfalls of Using Photos slides
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
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 note that 33 minutes into the webcast we experienced some technical difficulties.
Social media is an invaluable tool that helps you connect with donors, clients, volunteers and stakeholders in a personal way. These platforms give you new and exciting ways to tell your story, but sometimes that story gets hijacked by negative comments. These public controversies can threaten your credibility, your reputation and your funding. This live webcast covers how to prepare for negative engagement, how to address it in the event of a crisis, and how and when to take legal action.
During this 30 minute webcast, our speakers will help nonprofits understand:
• What to do before a crisis happens
• How to approach negativity from a public relations perspective
• Response strategies
• Legal remedies
Presenters: Ashley Harp, Jackson Spalding, and Sam Casey, Sutherland
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.Copyright-Law-and-Nonprofits
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
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.Article: Intellectual Property for Nonprofits
Nonprofits invest a lot of sweat equity into building their “brand” and developing their training or educational materials. As a result, many nonprofits want to protect their name and materials.
During this one hour webinar, our speaker helps nonprofits understand:
- What are federal and state trademarks and when they are useful
- Issues associated with the use of name
- What are copyrights and whether an application is necessary
- The costs associated with trademarks and copyrights.
Presenter: Richard Rimer, Troutman SandersTruths and Myths about Trademarks and Copyrights