Monthly Archives: January 2011

Asked and Answered: Using Pseudonyms, and getting paid.

Q:  Can you shed any light on how to best use a pseudonym from a legal standpoint? I have my copyright indicating the other identity, but what about in the marketplace?  For example, if I'm to be paid, how would that be arranged?

A: Using a pseudonym is actually pretty simple.  Tell your agent, manager and lawyer about your pseudonym, and ask that all contracts address this in the credit provisions.  The contract heading would read something like this:

“This Agreement is made this 31st day of January 2011, by and between Paul Producer and Walter Writer, p/k/a/ Famous Freddie”.    The credits provisions would require that credit be given to Famous Freddie, but the payments provision would call for payments in the name Walter Writer, and using his social security number.

In practice, payments typically go through an agent's account first anyway, so getting paid shouldn't be too much trouble.  The employer/purchaser just needs to know your legal name and tax information for its records.

Now, it is possible to petition the courts for a legal change of name.  For that, you'll need to hire a lawyer.  I don't recommend handling this kind of thing yourself.  It can be very tricky

This is intended as general information only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It is not a substitute for a private, independent consultation with an attorney selected to advise you after a full investigation of the facts and law relevant to your matter. We will not be responsible for readers’ detrimental reliance upon the information appearing in this feature.


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Episode 17: Can Kanye write songs 140 characters at a time?

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In this Episode:

  • Follow Ups
  • UMG v. Augusto
  • Brill v. Disney
  • New CRB Royalty Rates
  • Josh Groban sings Kanye’s tweets
  • Right of Publicity cases and the Constitution
  • Record Labels to pay $47.5 Million
  • Defamation in Copyright Registration
  • Presley Estate Sues Chrysalis

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one of the foremost authorities

Gordon is one of the foremost authorities in the area of entertainment law, and has provided positive results for my company on many occasions. I do not hesitate to extend my highest recommendation for Gordon Firemark.

Scott Whitfield
President, Bi-Coastal Music, Inc.

a rare breed

Gordon is a rare breed–an attorney with a heart who is great at what he does. He is a tremendous resource, with a quick wit, great sense of humor, and acts a sounding board for new ideas and opportunities. I highly recommend him Halee Fischer-Wright Continue Reading

Asked & Answered: Can I sell my novel after I’ve already sold the screenplay?

Q:  If a screenwriter sells the copyright to their screenplay, do they also give up the rights to the novel if they’ve written one based on the same story? A:  Not necessarily.  If the novel is based on the screenplay,  or tells the same story, then yes, the transfer of copyright in the screenplay would prevent… Continue Reading

Asked and Answered: Parody/Satire and copyright infringement.

Q:  When does a parody of someone else’s material infringe on their copyright? For instance, having a character use the Vulcan mind-meld in your story.  Changing some content within a Dr. Seuss story to create new characters but keeping the same meter, structure and rhyme.  Changing a word in a famous slogan to reinvent it.… Continue Reading

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