Professor Robert Lind, Director Emeritus, Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute

Q: I have a potential client who has come up with a fantastic slogan-design for a guitar manufacturer-retailer. Can I ethically disclose the idea to you? Second, should we first attempt to register the copyright then pitch the idea? How can I effectively reach out to a company like Guitar Center to pitch the idea? 
A: Because it is an idea, it cannot be registered with the Copyright Office.  You can register it with the Writers Guild.  That will provide a provable date certain.

As for dealing with Guitar Center, you might try speaking with the manager of a local store and ask the manager to check with the home office as to who you should speak to.  Another approach is to contact its headquarters and ask to speak with someone in marketing.  Introduce yourself as an attorney and request a meeting.

The blog’s editors are pleased to present this Ask the Expert with Robert C. Lind, the Director Emeritus of the Donald E. Biederman Entertainment and Media Law Institute and a Professor of Law at Southwestern. A former semi-professional musician, he has combined his interest in the arts and law to become an expert in several aspects of entertainment, media and intellectual property law. A prolific writer, he is the author or coauthor of widely used casebooks, treatises and study guides on entertainment law, art law, museum law, and media law, as well as copyright and trademark. This material is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied on without the assistance of a licensed attorney.