Rich Stim

About Rich Stim

Attorney Richard Stim specializes in small business, copyright, patents, and trademark issues at Nolo. He practices law in San Francisco and has represented photographers, software developers, craftspeople, publishers, musicians and toy designers. He is the author of many books, including Music Law: How to Run Your Band’s Business; Patent, Copyright & Trademark: An Intellectual Property Desk Reference; and Profit From Your Idea. Stim regularly answers readers’ intellectual property questions at Dear Rich: Nolo’s Patent, Copyright & Trademark Blog. Rich is also an author on Intellectual Property Law Firms. Stim also produces audiobooks, such as Nolo’s Crash Course in Small Business Basics, and performs and records with two bands, MX-80 and angel corpus christi. You can also find Rich on Google Plus.

Posts by Rich Stim

The Cisco Kid Public Domain Shootout - Pyragraph

Dear Rich: Pancho’s Copyright Status, and Contract Questions

Rich Stim

Beware that the Cisco Kid’s sidekick Pancho’s copyright status is not as clear. Pancho did not appear in the O Henry story and was reportedly inspired by Don Quixote’s sidekick, Pancho Sanza. His first appearance was in the 1945 film, The Cisco Kid Returns (not to be confused with the 1939 film, Return of the Cisco Kid).

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Family history bible - Pyragraph

Dear Rich: Can We Use Ancestry and DNA Information in Book?

Rich Stim

I’m helping two authors with a manuscript about their experiences researching their ancestors who were slaves. I am unclear about the legal rights associated with certain material including: 1) publication of information found in public records, 2) publication of information from church records, historical society records, family bibles, etc.

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Right of publicity meme - Pyragraph

Dear Rich: I Was In a Music Video But Never Paid

Rich Stim

Congratulations on being viewed by more people than the combined population of South Dakota, Delaware and Montana. Although your numbers pale when compared to Grumpy Cat or OMG Cat, you do have something in common with those feline YouTube stars: You’re not likely to see a paycheck. Here’s why.

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night of the living dead - pyragraph

Dear Rich: Can I Make ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Action Figures?

Rich Stim

Normally you would need two permissions to sell movie action figures: permission from the copyright owner of the movie, and permission from the actor (referred to as publicity rights). Because Night of the Living Dead is public domain, there is no copyright owner from whom you’ll need permission. However, you would need permission from the actors.

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Anita Ritenour - The Wreck Of The Edmund Peepsgerald - Pyragraph

Dear Rich: Can I Stream My Cover Song?

Rich Stim

We’re not sure imitation is always flattery, but we are pretty sure it’s not infringement. Copyright doesn’t recognize style, vibe, feel, or genre, only original content (though that rule has been tested recently).

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