Hope and Change in 2018: Congratulations to my client Katherine K. Rice, now Mayor Rice of Geronimo, Oklahoma

To begin the year, I wanted to take a moment to highlight one of my clients who is creating change in her world, anyway she can.

Katherine “Kylila” Rice founded her not-for-profit corporation Poetic Change in 2014 with the mission to “Break Barriers with Poetry and Performance. Build bridges through the arts, education, and innovation.” After attending West Point as a cadet, Kylila had turned to poetry, performance, and various other forms of art to help with her own emotional well-being. She learned the power behind it, and wanted to share how someone could use that power to make change, in themselves, in their community, and in the world. She also wanted to highlight other artists who were using their work to effectuate change. She wanted her own voice to be heard.

And it is a brilliant voice. When Kylila performs, her light shines.

And now, Kylila has stepped up in an even bigger way to make change and improve her community: This past November, Katherine K. Rice was elected mayor of Geronimo, Oklahoma.

So, I wanted to open the New Year by congratulating Kylila on her win; Kylila’s election was a ray of sun in what was frequently a bleak year. Not just because Kylila will do great work for the people of Geronimo, but because Kylila is part of a movement sweeping the nation of more women and people of color running for office at all levels of government.

Local politics don’t usually make national news, but local elected officials control a lot of our nation’s most critical institutions: they run our schools, they set police policy, they control how local court fees are set, and they determine how our elections are run and how our electoral maps are drawn. So as I look forward to 2018, I am hopeful. Because we desperately need more people like Kylila running all of those things with both passion and compassion, and I am hopeful that she will be the vanguard of a much larger movement.

So, congratulations, Mayor Rice. May your achievement shine bright as an example to anyone who doesn’t think their voices will be heard. We hear you now, and we’re listening.

 

Source: http://shop.poeticchange.org/item/visual-m...

But, I don't own any intellectual property...

There are three main types of intellectual property protected by the law: patents*, copyrights, and trademarks. While most people are familiar with these erms, they frequently confuse what each one means and what they protect. There are many excellent resources out there that define and differentiate patents, copyrights, and trademarks; I find these definitions from the USPTO to be especially helpful and clear. This post will focus on copyright - the most widespread and common intellectual property - which most people have no idea they own.

Copyrights: Once you have created an "original work of authorship," you have an automatic copyright by virtue of the creation alone. So, if you have taken photos, published a story, or written a song, you have a copyright as soon as the work is "created and fixed in a tangible form." But be careful to make sure that ou are the actual creator of the work; for example, the copyright on a picture belongs to whomever hits the shutter. So be careful that you don't let a monkey get a hold on your camera.  For many people, their copyrights simply exist but are never acknowledged or enforced; until, of course, their original work is misappropriated for profit or simply without credit. It is at that point that you need to consider the value of your copyrighted work (whether it is monetary value or personal value) and the costs of enforcement to decide whether to take any action to protect your copyright. In a brief consultation, I can help you determine which, if any, enforcement actions make the most sense for you.

Once you have decided that your copyrighted work is valuable enough to protect, I can help you find a variety of legal solutions that can hopefully prevent misappropriation in the first place, such as, registration and clear, written contracts whenever copyrightable work is being created, sold, or licensed to another person. But if your work does get stolen, I can help with enforcement, especially with DMCA takedown notices and other cease and desist letters.

My next post will cover how to determine if your company name, slogan, or icon (amongst others) are trademarks protectable under federal law.

*My legal services related to intellectual property focuses on copyright and trademark because patent law requires scientific or technical knowledge that I do not have. If patent issues arise during the course of my representation of a client, that work will be referred to a patent attorney.