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Six Examples; Copyright, Trademark, Copyright Infringement, and Trademark Infringement

Updated: Feb 4, 2019



Photo by Andres Umana on Unsplash



Working in the entertainment industry, it is very important to know and understand terms such as Trademark, Copyright, and Copyright Infringement. For instance, if there is a screenplay you’ve written, you might want to consider getting it copyrighted before distributing it to actors to read. Or, if you’ve created a character that has a catchphrase, it is important to get it trademarked beforehand. That way, the works you’ve created are properly protected. However, protecting what you’ve created WILL NOT prevent people from trying to steal your ideas. It will legally protect you and give you every right to take legal action.


What is a Copyright?


According to the teaching copyright website, copyright is defined as “a form of legal protection automatically provided to the authors of original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works.”

3 Types of Work Protected by a Copyright

Literary Works

Dramatic works and music

Motion pictures and other audiovisual works


Unfortunately, an idea CANNOT be copyrighted!


Have you noticed when you’re either watching tv or listening to the radio that you’ll hear someone using the words, “The big game” to refer to the “Super Bowl?” Well, here’s why! According to the DSM Group, “the NFL trademarked the terms ‘Super Bowl’ and ‘Super Bowl Sunday.’ “ It also states that “The NFL has trademarked catchphrases and team names associated with the NFL teams.”


What is a Trademark?

The Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) defines trademark as “ a word, phrase or symbol and/or design that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party to those of others.”


3 Trademark Infringement Cases

D2 Holdings v. House of Cards

Academy Awards v. GoDaddy

Lucky 13 v. Taylor Swift


What is Copyright Infringement


The U.S. Copyright Office defines copyright infringement as, “as a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyright is reproduced distributed, performed, publicly displayed or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner.”


3 Copyright Infringement Cases

The Associated Press v. Fairey

Vanilla Ice v. David Bowie/Freddie Mercury

Marvin Gaye Family v. Robin Thicke


Do you know of any copyright or trademark infringement cases, that we may not have mentioned? Please share them in the comments section.

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