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Free Joe Friday 10/29/10 – Facebook Copyright, Stolen Mopeds, and More

with 4 comments

Every Friday, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss last week’s Free Joe Friday? Don’t fret. We’ve got it all right here.

Casey: Joe, what implications does hosting discussions (such as these) on Facebook have in terms of content ownership? Who owns what when posted on social networking sites , and who is able to repurpose or redistribute what we have discussed here on facebook? Obviously T.O.S. will apply differently in each case, so I’m more specifically looking for how Facebook effects content ownership.

Joe Escalante: There would be an attempt to deal with this in the terms of service or T.O.S. as you call them.Somewhere on Facebook there are some terms of service that say you own all the content and you control how it is distributed. However, on other sites they could just as easily have some language that you agree to without thinking that would give them rights to content you created but that would be a tough sell in court if it was challenged. Anything you create contains an inherent copyright that can only be transferred in writing. Does that t.o.s. thing that you accept by clicking a button without a proper negotiation count as a “writing” for this purpose? Probably not.

From Celes: Joe, How Can I Get A Good Probate Lawyer In California, In Order To Get The Money Out Of My Grandmother Account That Has Already Passed Away? Please Help Me?

Joe Escalante: First of all Celes, I am very sorry for your loss.But you’re in luck because Legalzoom can hook you up with the perfect probate lawyer. is the first place you should go. I trust these guys, I think it’s a great place to go.

From Jan: Joe, I filed for divorce a year ago and never completed the process. I want to complete it now, but do I need to start over, or pick up where I left off?

Joe Escalante: If you used Legalzoom, they still have all your paperwork and they will jump right back into it with you in terms of their customer service without judging you for being so lazy, and going back to your ex’s house and that kind of wishy washy stuff. I just contacted them yesterday to ask about a 501 c 3 they were guiding me through that I ignored for over a year. They were very cool about it and we jumped right back in.

If you didn’t use legalzoom, it will depend on the state but I wouldn’t start over without contacting the court because that will confuse them. Check with the court in your jurisdiction where it was filed first. You don’t want two floating around the system. That will lead to problems.

Good question from Lee: Black pays cash to Stone, buys Stone’s moped; police stop Black; claim moped has stolen part; police confiscate moped as evidence; police disassemble moped; police take stolen part; moped no longer operable. What is Black’s recourse and why?

Joe Escalante: Other than the obvious civil rights violations for stopping someone for “driving while Black” there’s not a lot you can do. If part was stolen, that’s just good police work. Please tell me where you live. I want to live in a place where police have time to solve moped mysteries. Black has recourse against Stone. Stone needs to make “Black whole” because Stone paid for a working moped, not a moped made out of other people’s parts that can be confiscated willy nilly.

Sherri: I have a question. I was NEVER married, but when my x-boyfriend and I went to court in 1998, judge awarded the tax write off to my x-boyfriend every single year, provided he was current with child support. I moved out of state soon after this with my daughter whom I have full legal and sole custody of. In 2005 I claimed my daughter on my taxes because the tax laws changed on who could claim a minor child. In 2007 I moved back to the same state x-boyfriend and I use to live in. He then sued me for claiming my daughter on my taxes for 2005-2007. We appeared in court with the same judge from 1998. Judge made me change my taxes? Was this right?

Joe Escalante: It depends on what the judge based his decision on. Not enough facts here for me to give you any good advice, but if it’s less than $20,000 we’re talking about, I would move on.

Terrie: Joe, I started up an LLC with a silent partner. He supplied capital, including my salary. He put in $100k, he has 60% and I have 40%. He is expecting to be paid back. If I pay him back, do I take his stock b/c he now contributed NOTHING? I intend to share profits, but does this count as payment toward the initial capital he invested? Does it all come down to what we call it when I pay it to him?

Joe Escalante: Didn’t you see Social Network? Think about it from the Silent Partner’s perspective. He invested to own the company, otherwise he’s just the bank, and you don’t give the bank shares. You can’t take away his shares if the company is successful. If the company dies are you going to pay him back or are you just going to say “sorry, you win some you lose some?” probably the latter.
If he’s a shareholder, he owns the shares unless he wants to sell them to you. He’s entitled to keep the shares at this point and keep 60% of the profits.
Question from Judy: When a person has a will in one state and moves to another, is the will affected? What if an heir or the executor moves?
Joe Escalante: If you move to another state, you should create a new will. If the executor moves to another state, you should create a new will. But, generally, the validity of your will is determined by the state laws of your “domicile.” So the answer is yes!

Celes: Joe, I Want To Attend Law School, So That I Could Specialize In Entertainment Law, And Child Family/ Child Advocate Law. What Is Your Best Advice For Me?

Follow ups: Do You Think That It Is Too Early To Take The LSAT, If I Will Be Applying To Law School For The Fall 2011 Semester? Are The Practice LSAT Classes Good To Take, And Will They Really Prepare Me For Law School?

Joe Escalante: Don’t be too concerned with what type of “entertainment law program” they have at the law schools. Sometimes they use these to seem sexy and attract students but you are better off going to the highest rated school you can get into that seems like fun and get good grades. Law school can be very fun if you go to a good one.

To work in the entertainment field get internships at entertainment companies and impress people. I did that at CBS and landed a network business affairs job right out of law school.

It’s not to early, LSAT test results expire in like 3 years or something like that. Practice tests are very valuable. If you have the discipline, practice will help you immensely. You can always call my radio show with follow up questions about lawschools. For more info on this show, which is actually on the air right now, go to

Get more info and all the details and fine print about Free Joe Fridays. And join us on Facebook this Friday at 10am PT for more Free Joe!

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November 2nd, 2010 at 7:29 am