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Law & Business Podcast: Episode 59 Musician Andromeda Turre has Copyright Questions

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It's always fun when your friends drop in for a podcast episode. My guest this time is my friend, the talented and lovely Andromeda Turre. Andromeda is a jazz singer whose latest project is called Growing up Jazz, a series about the influence of jazz on the American soul that runs parallel to her life story as the daughter of two jazz musicians. Andromeda had some copyright questions. These questions came from the musician's perspective, especially as we discussed the need for a copyright registration in the music and a need for a copyright registration in the sound recording (aka "sync license" when musicians license the recording). However, everyone who works in all media should find it informative and we want Andromeda back on soon. BTW - nobody is allowed to use "poor man's copyright" on the podcast anymore. That term is officially banned. Anthony Verna: (00:03)And welcome to the Law and Business podcast. I’m here with my friend Andromeda Turre. How you doing? Andromeda Turre: (00:09)I'm so good. And thank you so much for inviting me on to talk to you today. Anthony Verna: (00:13)Thank you for coming. Thank you for coming. And by the way, let's tell everybody listening. as Andromeda is a jazz singer and where can everybody find your stuff on the web? Andromeda Turre: (00:26)You can find it at andromedaturre.com. I'm on Spotify. I'm on iTunes, wherever you download or stream music, you can find my music and, yeah, that's it. Anthony Verna: (00:36)Well, thank you for coming. And so let's talk a little bit about copyright stuff, especially for, for the musician, especially the musician inside. Well, you've got a musicians inside and outside of you, so… Andromeda Turre: (00:55)But there's so many questions about copyright that I think so many musicians will want the answers to, and I know that you can help us out. So, I've got some questions for you today.Anthony Verna: Hit me with the questions. That's what we’re here for.Andromeda TurreOkay. My first question is: Why do musicians need to copyright their music? It can be expensive. And I know that you can copyright things as a group or as an individual song. Give us the pitch as to why we should do this. Anthony Verna: (01:24)Sure. So, in the United States… Let's start here… In the United States, without any kind of registration, if there's infringement, you can't file a lawsuit. So, I always say with copyright law, number one, it's the entry for, for a lawsuit and really it's a catalog as well. So, if you register every single song, you will be filing the composer's name, the date that it was composed, chances are where. And so, in that particular aspect, as your career grows, as your catalog grows, your copyright catalog grows. So, you have that barrier court and you have a catalog. So this way, if somebody needs to license something from you… I'm sure a lot of musicians are also members of ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. And therefore, they've got to have that catalog in there for licensing as well. Having the copyright registration is kind of the glue to making all of that work. Now also, besides just entering court, if you have the registration before any infringement happens, you are entitled to at least the potential for more damages. So for example, if you've registered your song and somebody copies it, whether it's intentional or unintentional, but if somebody copies your song passes it off as their own, and you get no royalties from it, then you can file a lawsuit and you can ask for actual damages. In other words, the loss monies. You can ask for what we call statutory damages, which is an easier accounting of those monies. And you can ask for attorney's fees as well, and this way copyright infringements would be worth it. If you don't file that lawsuit, you will… I mean, if you don't, excuse me, file your copyright before the infringement, you are not entitled to a statutory damages and you are not entitled to attorney's fees...

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    Law & Business Podcast Episode 53: A Plush Toy Client Begins with Consultants

    25:27

    It is the seventh and penultimate episode of this special mini-series with the Nessa Group, in which the discussion is about a plush toy company that is a start-up. The toy company has been able to services from Verna Law and the Nessa Group in order to get started - a mixture of intellectual property and business know-how. There was even some highly creative market research done at Toy Fair. Anthony Verna: (00:01)Welcome to the seventh episode of our special mini-series with the NESSA Group. Jim Huerta, how's it going? Jim Huerta:It's going well. I think we're making great progress. Great conversation. I hope the audience will enjoy some of the points that we're making. Anthony Verna:I hope so too. Barry Kolevzon, how you feeling? Barry Kolevzon:Feeling better every time we get involved in this area. And actually, … Anthony Verna:You've got more… Barry Kolevzon:where I think that we've got a nice length of time to build relationships. Thank you. Anthony Verna:Thank you. Barry. Wil Jacques, patent connoisseur. How's it going? Wil Jacques:Another great day. Great to be here. Anthony Verna:Wonderful. Justin Tripodi, brand king. Justin Tripodi:I was wondering if I was going to get a title this time. How you doing, Anthony? Anthony Verna:Wonderful. Thank you. Scott Mautner, corporate attorney. Scott Mautner:I'm doing well. Thank you. And I am with Harrington, Ocko and Monk before you ask. Anthony Verna: (01:03)And I am managing partner at Verna Law. So let's talk about a little bit about the plush toy industry. Wil and I have lots of plush toy experience. Wil, you have written one patent or is it multiple patents… Wil Jacques:Multiple patents. Anthony Verna:For the plush toy you're currently holding? Nobody can see that you're holding it. So props don't do very well on audio, but, but you are holding the product. Wil Jacques:Well, the audience can hear him. Squeaky Voice:Hi. Anthony Verna: (01:48)Let's talk about the patent because it's been published. So it is public. So let's talk a little bit about the patent application that was made for this particular product. What makes it so unique? Wil Jacques:Ah, very interesting. And actually only one of the patents has been published, but, the plush toy industry, you know, has seen some innovation obviously over the last 80 years. But there's been very little has been done recently I think we would look to Jennifer Telfer’s pillow pets as an example of an innovation in the plush toy space. This particular toy actually tells a story, you know, around let's say a fairy tale figure that kids are familiar with, but it provides that story by putting some elements or features as we patent folks like to call it into the plush toy. Anthony Verna: (02:44)Okay. So, so yeah, just tell us a little bit about what the patent discloses. Wil Jacques:Okay. So essentially what the patent discloses is that this little bear allows you to take an object, let's say it's a tooth for instance, you're able to put this thing into the mouth of this little bear and it drops down into a little chamber, let's call it a heart section. And then the child is able to kind of, as we would like to say, it's a teaching toy - share and care. So they're sharing and carrying their fallen tooth into this little toy. Anthony Verna:And there are some people who might have a problem wrapping their head around it, but a lot of people do have their baby teeth saved. And so this is a container that can do that as well as be a toy. Wil Jacques:As well as be a toy, as well as allow the parents or the child or the user to be able to access and take that tooth or that object out of the toy later on, which is something that generally is not seen in a plush toy. Anthony Verna: (03:50)I mean it's a plush toy. It's a patent. I have to admit that combination is rare. To me that sounds like a unique selling proposition. Wil Jacques:Yes, it is.
  • Law & Business podcast

    Law & Business Podcast Episode 52: The Importance of Accredited Investors in Venture Capital

    25:16

    Be well, everyone. Thank you for listening. Do not forget to rate the "Law & Business" Podcast on your podcast app! In this roundtable episode with the Nessa Group, we discuss the importance of accredited investors in venture capital, what it means to be an accredited investor, what the possible pitfalls are if the investors are not accredited, and solutions from various disciplines in the case that a business looking for venture capital happens to fall into this trap. Enjoy the episode. Anthony Verna: And welcome to episode six of our special mini-series with the NESSA Group. And let's just start this off. Jim Huerta, how are you doing? Jim Huerta:Hi, I'm wonderful. Enjoying the company and enjoying the conversation. Anthony Verna:Thank you, sir. Barry Kolevzon, how's it going? Barry Kolevzon:Going very, very nice. And we're very excited at the movements that we're making to go forward again. Anthony Verna:All right. I only like going forward never backwards, but I practice law. So, Wil Jacques is with us. How are you doing, Wil. Wil Jacques:Very good to be here. Hello to our listening audience. Anthony Verna:Justin, how's it going? Justin Tripodi:Doing great. Compliments on that joke. Anthony Verna:Thank you, sir. Justin’s buddy over there, Scott Mautner. How you doing Scott? Scott Mautner:I'm doing well, thank you. Anthony Verna:And since you and I are attorneys, what firm are you with? Scott Mautner:I'm with Harrington, Ocko and Monk. Anthony Verna:And I'm managing partner of Verna Law, as well. So let's start here. Scott, this situation came from you. An entrepreneur had a great idea. Some friends worked on source code with this entrepreneur to launch an app. There were some issues there and I believe they came to you with already $2 million raised. Scott Mautner: (01:13)And with unaccredited investors. Anthony Verna: (01:16)Yeah. So that $2 million came from unaccredited investors. Scott Mautner:Not all of it, but some of it, yes. Anthony Verna:So, all right, let's start here. What's the difference between an accredited third party and an unaccredited third party? Scott Mautner: (01:30)So under the securities laws to be accredited, you need to have income individually for $200,000 per year or with your spouse of $300,000 per year or have net assets excluding your home value of over $1 million. And so when you're raising money, it's a lot easier because you don't have to provide the amount of information for accredited investors that you would for unaccredited. So, when we raise money, we always want to do it with accredited investors. And if you don't meet the security laws, exceptions and rules relating to that, what happens is your investors can rescind their investment at any time. So, you could be running a company for four years and someone finds out that you didn't meet the exemptions you need under the securities laws. And they could say, I want my money back and you have to give them their money back. So it becomes a much bigger problem than just, “Oh, I forgot to give them financials.” or “I forgot to give them this or you know, other information.” So that's the first thing. And, and you know, every sort of company when you're dealing with venture capitalists and angel investors, they're always going to want to deal with accredited investors. It makes it simpler. Anthony Verna: (02:45)So is that what the definition of bad securities exemptions are, is the ability to take that money back? Scott Mautner: (02:51)Effectively if you have a bad offering? Yes, it would be rescinded. Rescission of the offering. Anthony Verna:So basically if somebody is not accredited, could take the money back and if you said a company is working for four years and maybe they're burning through capital, they don't have that. Scott Mautner:It's a problem. Yes, yes. Yeah. I mean there's ways to fix it, but the best way to fix it is just to make an offering from t...
  • Law & Business podcast

    Law & Business Podcast Episode 51: A Nessa Group Case Study with Improving a Plush Company’s Business

    24:56

    In Episode 51 of the "Law & Business" Podcast, we take a look at a company that makes a plush product that is also a curtain tie-back. It is a very useful product, but one that also features the ability to be very fanciful. So the group takes a look at how the Nessa Group improved its sales and revenues from many different aspects, and also looks at what to continue to improve. In this episode: Anthony Verna, Wil Jacques, Jim Huerta, Barry Kolevzon, Justin Tripodi, and Scott Mautner. Enjoy the stimulating conversation. Anthony Verna: (00:00)Everyone, welcome back for our fifth episode of the special mini-series with the NESSA Group. I'm Anthony Verna. Chances are you already knew that by listening to this., With us, Jim Huerta, principal of the NESSA Group. How you doing? Jim Huerta:Hi, I'm doing well. Thank you. Anthony Verna:And Barry Kolevzon second principle of the NESSA Group. Barry Kolevzon:I’m listening to all of this. Anthony Verna:I'm glad. I'm glad that you are. Also Wil Jacques. How are you, Wil? Wil Jacques: Very good. Anthony Verna: Justin Tripodi… Justin Tripodi: How are you doing Anthony? Anthony Verna: I’m well, thank you. And the well-dressed Scott Mautner there. How you doing, Scott? Scott Mautner: I'm doing well, thank you. Anthony Verna:All right. And for attorney ethics since you and I are a part of firms, what firm are you with as well? Scott Mautner: I'm with Harrington, Ocko and Monk. Anthony Verna:All right. And, of course, I'm the managing partner of Verna Law. But again, chances are you knew that. All right. So today we're going to talk a little case study here. And NESSA Group had a client, one that I'm familiar with as well. We won't mention it by name, but we will just say that their product is a curtain tie back. Jim, how'd I do with describing the product? Jim Huerta: Perfect. Anthony Verna: The current tie back has a plush cover and on top of that plush cover, I would say, is a plush figure as well. How am I doing? Jim Huerta: You're doing well. It's amazing how well you are doing . I'm just listening. Anthony Verna:Thank you, Jim. And basically, the plush part of this, what makes it attractive is that it's in different animal shapes. Again, how am I doing with describing the product? Jim Huerta:You’re doing very well. Anthony Verna:Okay. Jim, Barry, let's start with you two. This company, when you met them, was having problems. Can you describe, let's start here a couple of the problems that this company was having? Barry Kolevzon: (01:55)Oh, there, there are a bunch of issues that are involved. I don't believe that they were staffed to carry on what they had. They’re in business 15 years, 20 years, 30 years. I'm not sure. And basically they were evidently happy with where they were. Then they woke up and said, “Hey, you know, we got a problem.” Anthony Verna: (02:19) Well, I think a lot of a lot of business owners are like that. You're in business for a while and it seems okay. Barry Kolevzon: (02:25) Well that's a problem. That's a big problem there. You know, they go to their buddies and talked to them and hey know everything, and the problem is evidently they don't. Anthony Verna: (02:39) All right, so what would be another problem? Barry Kolevzon: (02:42) Well, could be the problem of whether they make the product or the sample or whatever it is in house or out house. It depends on getting… Anthony Verna: That sounds like a supply chain issue. Barry Kolevzon: A supply chain issue, yes. Anthony Verna: (02:57) All right. So let's start here. When you say that the company was in existence for 10 to 15 years, but not exactly where the business owners wanted you're talking revenue? Barry Kolevzon: Yeah, they were short on revenue. That was a problem. Anthony Verna: Okay. So let's start here. Was there a sharp decline in the revenue or was it just the revenue wasn't good eno...

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