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What Can You Learn From Necole Bitchie About Licensing!?! A Lot!


Necole Bitchie Interview with the Breakfast Club Power 105.1


Happy New Year! In 2013, I was a little lax about updating the J. Paye in Brief blog due to the deamnds of being a lawyer.  My goal for this year is to be more consistent in bringing you interesting entertainment and celebrity stories with a legal spin. Let’s get started with the first post of 2014.

It’s a new year and a time when many of us make resolutions.  Maybe, your resolution is to become a successful blogger and entreprenuer. Celebrity Blogger, Necole Bitchie went from being unemployed and sleeping on the couches of friends/family to creating a thriving blog and brand.  It took a lot of hardwork and sacrifice on her part to start realizing her business goals. As Necole says, “It takes time to get that breakthrough.” 

Necole Bitchie was recently interviewed on Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club.” She talked about some of the legal challenges she had to overcome. In the interview, she candidly talks about receiving cease and desist letters for using an unlicensed photo of Jay-Z and Beyonce on her blog.

In this digital age, there are several misconceptions about downloading and using pictures and video from the Internet.  One common misconception is if an image is on the Internent, it is in the public domain and no permission is required to use the image.  Or if an image can be downloaded from the Internet, it can be used without permission.

The reality is, once a photo or other image is created it is automatically copyrighted. Once an image is copyrighted permission is requried to use it. Copyright law prohibits both accidental and willful copyright infringement.  If you use a picture from the Internet on your blog without permission, you can be liable for damages even if you did not know the picture was copyrighted.

How can you use photos on your blog, website, or online magazine without infringing on someone’s copyright? One option is to hire a professional photographer. Although, you hire a photographer to take headshoots of you or produce imagery for your website, that does not necessarily mean you own the rights to the final images.  Ask the photographer to sign a work-for-hire agreement that stipulates copyright ownership of the final images belong to you.  Or if the photographer already has photos you like ask if they will license them to you on a exclusive or non-exclusive basis.  A entertainment or intellectual property lawyer can help you with these agreements.

There are sites like istockphoto, getty images, and others that offer stock photos that can be licensed or purchased for a fee. As Necole mentioned, in her interview licensing multiple photos can become expensive…especially if your business is in the startup phase and has limited capital.  A cost effective alternative, is to use your camera phone to capture your own photos and videos to use on your blog/website.

Not only does Necole’s life story provide solid advice about legal pitfalls aspiring bloggers should avoid, but on her blog she offers very thoughtful advice about living life vs. just existing.

Here’s to putting in the time and work necessary to get your breakthrough in 2014!

DISCLAIMER: The contents of this post does not constitute legal advice.  Please consult an attorney to discuss your legal needs.

Watch J. Paye speak on the Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Advance Screening Panel


As a fellow African and lawyer, I was honored to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela by speaking on a panel at an Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom advance screening, which was held on the night of his passing.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Advance Screening on 12/5/2013

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J.Paye Introduces Jadine Joseph


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Jadine Joseph is a 21 year old aspiring lawyer that attends Howard University. This past summer she participated in the 2012 WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network) Academy. Through WEEN each young woman received a virtual mentor, Jadine’s mentor is Johnetta Paye, Founder of J. Paye & Associates Law Firm. Jadine is currently the Marketing, Public Relations and Social Media intern for the firm.


J. Paye in Brief

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Throughout my life I have had many mentors who help to shape my legal career.  This summer I had the opportunity to give back and help guide another young lawyer in the making.  I was selected to be one of the virtual mentors for the WEEN Academy.  WEEN is a three week program that WEEN academy is, the first program of its kind, to rigorously groom young women ages 18-22 to be the next entertainment executives and moguls.

My mentee was/is Jadine Joseph a senior at Howard University.  When I first learned Jadine was my mentee I was surprised at how much we had in common.  We are both raised in immigrant homes. Jadine was born in Grenada and emigrated to theUnited Statesat an early age.  I was born in theLiberiaand came to theUnited Statesat the age of three.  Both Jadine and I dreamed of being a lawyer when we were nine years old.

More than our similarities….Jadine’s ambition and drive really impressed me.  The WEEN Academy students first assignment was an evaluation of how quickly they respond to introductory emails from business contacts.  I sent an introductory email to Jadine and within 24 hours I had a lengthy email response back.  Jadine has continued to amaze me with her talents.  Currently, she is the social media, marketing and PR intern for J. Paye & Associates.  This week’s blog post topic was to be a profile of Jadine, the WEEN academy and having me as a mentor.  On Wednesday night Jadine, stated she decided to tell her story in a video that she produced and edited.  I though the video was a true representation of Jadine’s personality…entertaining, youthful and vibrant.  The video also captured Jadine’s love of the fashion, music and entertainment industry.

Throughout the mentorship experience Jadine has surprised me by thinking outside of the assignment guidelines and brining innovated and bold ideas.  Not only, is Jadine a self starter who takes initative, she is also a leader and influencer.  It was no small task for her to organize a small group of her peers to help her produce a video describing her WEEN experience for the J. Paye in Brief blog.  Jadine has a promising future ahead of her.  I am glad that I was given an opportunity to be one of her mentors and help hone the abundance of talent that she possesses.

I usually end my section of the blog post with legal insight.  This is one of the frequently asked questions I get from my film production clients…when can I display a trademark or video in my music video or film.  The answer is when you have a license or permission from the owner of the trademark or logo.  If you do not have permission then do not include the trademark or logo in the shot.   Additionally, when producing a video make sure you license any music contained in the video or use royalty free music.

The insight I would really like to leave readers with this week is the importance of mentoring. Mentoring is a great way to really make an impact in someone else’s life and is a truly rewarding experience. Enrich someone else’s life by becoming a mentor.

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