Event Debrief: Copyright Traps: How to Identify and Stay Clear

On February 16, 2017, PAABA’s Patent Law section and Singularity LLP hosted “Copyright Traps: How to Identify and Stay Clear,” featuring Frank L. Bernstein, Singularity LLP founding partner.  Mr. Bernstein provided an overview of copyright law, specifically identifying issues relating to the use of copyrightable content from the Internet or from hiring independent contractors who produce code or artwork for an employer.

Specifically, Mr. Bernstein emphasized the following points:

  • Use certain phrases with particularity, as imprecise verbiage may result in unintended employment law issues. Specifically, a phrase such as “work for hire” may result in establishing an employee relationship where the intent was to establish an independent contractor relationship
  • Ensure that independent contractors assign intellectual property rights to the company.
  • Educate your clients on the different types of open source licenses. Some types require the licensee to make the modified code publicly available. In case of noncompliance, a client may be liable for damages.

This debrief was provided by Dariia Skrementova, SCU School of Law LL.M. Candidate 2017.