I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Nearly everyone in my immediate and extended families own their own business. And true to the family tradition, I too have been a businessman for most of my adult life. That is part of the reason why nearly a quarter century ago I co-founded Piccionelli & Sarno to provide top-notch legal services to businesses from a businessman’s perspective. From the start it has always been our philosophy that businesspersons coming to our firm for legal services should find a kindred entrepreneurial business spirit here.
Similarly, for creative persons seeking our assistance, we have strived to ensure that they would always find that a creative spirit pervades what we do at Piccionelli & Sarno. That spirit results from the fact that both of the firm’s founders are accomplished creators. I am an inventor of numerous technologies and have been awarded more than fifty United States and foreign patents. I am also one of the founders of Stage 32 (www.stage32.com), the world’s first social network for independent motion picture production. I am also a lifelong professional musician and composer of more than one thousand musical works. Our firm’s co-founder, Robert Sarno, also an accomplished creator, is a major motion picture scriptwriter.
From the start we have believed that creative clients are best served by experienced legal counsel that also have a native understanding of, and reverence for, the creative process. And it is from our profound love of creativity and the fruits of the creative mind that we strive to protect our clients’ freedom of expression and intellectual property rights in their creations.
We thank you for visiting our website.
Gregory A. Piccionelli, Esq.
DMCA Takedown Notices
Recently I have received a lot of requests from our readers regarding the requirements for a proper “DMCA takedown” notice. For those not familiar with a DMCA takedown notice, it is a communication that is sent to an online service provider (“OSP”) by a party that owns or controls the copyright in a work that the party believes is being infringed on a website or via an online service controlled by the service provider. But before we get into the details about what should be included in a proper DMCA takedown notice, it is helpful to know why such notices are required in the first place.
It’s summertime, and like every summer, the weather’s beautiful and a whole lot of people are getting married. That’s a good thing, for as a friend of mine once told me, “Marriage is a sacred institution. It's something a man only does ... two or three times in his life!” Unfortunately, however, this summer, like every other summer, a whole lot of other people will be getting divorced.
This year, like every year, there is intense media focus on high profile, high net worth celebrity divorces. The one getting the most attention this year is, of course, the multi-hundred million dollar break up of Coldplay front man Chris Martin and actress Gwyneth Paltrow. While the media’s divorce gossip reporting surrounding star splits may reveal a kind of sick national obsession with celebrity wealth, and the woes of the privileged class, one good thing about the coverage, perhaps, is that it also seems to regularly provoke a discussion about asset protection in the event of a divorce or dissolution of a civil union. Consequently, this month’s article is about an important type of legal contract that I believe every entrepreneur should know at least a little bit about: the prenuptial agreement.
Music is a big part of just about every kind of entertainment. It is, for example, an integral component of most motion picture productions from mega-budget movies to micro budget indie films. Even a relatively large segment of adult videos include music. Online, the use of music is exploding all over the Web. From YouTube content, to online games, to the music playing in virtual world discos, music has become an integral feature of many types of web sites and other online services. For example, music is being used with increasing frequency in web ads, site tours and in online promos for an ever-increasing range of products. Paraphrasing an old Rodgers and Hammerstein song, one might rightly say that the web “is alive with the sound of music”.
We live in an age of unprecedented consumer access to a nearly limitless amount of content. As a result, sellers of goods and services have been challenged like never before to find ways to reach new customers amid the relentless deluge of information. And as the competition for eyes and ears has intensified, so has the importance of effective branding and brand-building.
For more than two decades, as an attorney and business consultant, I have helped a wide variety of companies develop, exploit and protect their brands. While the process of effective branding and brand-building is by its nature always unique for each company, one critical element is common to virtually every branding and brand-building program: the acquisition and effective use of trademark rights. To help our readers gain a better understanding of how important trademark rights are, I asked attorney Anna Vradenburgh, one of the country’s preeminent trademark attorneys to do the following interview in which we discuss how companies can effectively create, protect and exploit valuable trademark rights as a part of an effective brand-building program.
Unlike producers of non-sexual content, adult content producers must comply with a complex and burdensome set of federal criminal regulations known as the “2257 Regulations”. For those who are not familiar with the 2257 Regulations, they are a pair of statutes (18 U.S.C. §2257 and 18 U.S.C. §2257A) and associated regulations (28 CFR 75 et seq.) that require producers of sexually explicit content to create and maintain very specific kinds of records in precise accordance with certain specified requirements. The law also requires that certain specified compliance statements must be affixed to content subject to the 2257 Regulations indicating where the records are available for unannounced inspection by the FBI.
Most types of live and recorded visual depictions of actual or simulated explicit sexual material are potentially subject to the 2257 Regulations. Consequently, knowledge of, and compliance with, the 2257 Regulations are mandatory requirements for every adult content producer. Underscoring the importance of these obligations is the fact that failure to scrupulously comply any one of the numerous provisions of the 2257 Regulations can subject a producer to severe penalties.
Obtaining a desired domain name is a critical part of modern commerce. Unfortunately, all too often a company or a person will register a domain name and use it without sufficient consideration of whether doing so will infringe another’s trademark or service mark. This can be a very costly mistake. Registration of a domain name that is identical or similar to a trademark or service mark can trigger a lawsuit brought by a trademark or service mark owner under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA’) or an arbitration procedure brought under the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (“UDRP”).