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Preventing Cybercrime

CLA Talks Video: Intellectual Property Rights and Nonprofits

  • 10/19/2015

Speaking at the 2015 CLA National Association Conference, attorney Paula Cozzi Goedert tells nonprofit leaders that 98 percent of copyright law can be summarized in the phrase, “Everything belongs to its creator.”

That simple notion, she says, is being challenged by the rise of the internet, where everyone has cut-and-paste access to everyone else’s work, and has the false belief that everything is free. And that is what makes understanding and complying with intellectual property law such a crucial part of running a nonprofit.

In this seven-minute clip, Goedert talks about two important rights of the creators of words, images, and sounds: to authorize copying of work, and to authorize the creation of derivative works (which she describes as “the eighth-grader problem”). Of particular interest is what nonprofits should do about independent contractors to prevent legal disputes over intellectual property.

Goedert is a partner in the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP, where she chairs the Associations and Foundations Practice Group. She concentrates her practice on the representation of nonprofit organizations, including professional societies, trade associations, public charities, and private foundations. A well-known authority on intellectual property rights, she was named a 2014 Leading Lawyer in Association and Nonprofit Law by the Leading Lawyers Network.

View additional installments in the CLA Talks video series.