Tips To Find A Good Sunshine Coast Solicitor

sunshine coast solicitor

sunshine coast solicitorIf you can find a good Sunshine Coast Solicitor, then chances are high that you will win a case. Even if you are guilty, the legal repercussions can be softened by a good Sunshine Coast lawyer. Everything depends on the expertise, knowledge and skills of the Sunshine Coast Solicitor.

Here are some tips for you to find a good Sunshine Coast Solicitor.

First, you must know how to find a Sunshine Coast lawyer. You should seek references from people you know and conduct an online search. Look for the best Sunshine Coast lawyers in the city or town where you live. Don’t hire a Sunshine Coast Solicitor in Auckland if you live in Hamilton. Also, don’t hire a Sunshine Coast Solicitor who specializes in criminal law if what you need is someone to settle a property dispute. You need to look for Sunshine Coast Solicitors who have the expertise needed for your case, are located or based somewhere nearby and have a good track record.

Prepare a shortlist of the Sunshine Coast solicitors that have a good reputation and are specialized in the required niche. You can check out the reputation of Sunshine Coast lawyers by referring to their licenses and qualifications, reviews and by speaking with their present or former clients.

Once you have the shortlist of potential Sunshine Coast Solicitors, whom you can hire, indulge in a consultation to assess whether the Sunshine Coast lawyer will be a great choice or not. This initial consultation will be a very important checkpoint. You must assess if your Sunshine Coast lawyer is paying due attention to what you say, you should be comfortable discussing your case with the Sunshine Coast Solicitor; you should be able to trust him or her and must be able to bank on his or her expertise. You should also take into consideration the team that works for the Sunshine Coast Solicitor. If a Sunshine Coast lawyer doesn’t have an impressive team or a group of talented associates then the Sunshine Coast Solicitor may not be your ideal choice. A Sunshine Coast Solicitor cannot work on multiple cases with equal élan unless he or she has some very good associates and can multitask without any problem.

If you are happy with the consultation, only then you should consider the fees. Good Sunshine Coast Solicitors will always charge more but you should never hire a Sunshine Coast lawyer whom you cannot afford. The last thing you want is to run into financial troubles trying to pay the fees of your Sunshine Coast Solicitor. Some good Sunshine Coast Solicitors have a policy of charging you only when you win and that is a good way to go about it.

A Guide To Find A Good Sunshine Coast Solicitor

When you have to find a Sunshine Coast lawyer, you should get accustomed with the various facets of the legal profession. You cannot conduct random searches and find your solution to how to find a Sunshine Coast lawyer. You must know what you are looking for and you must find a good Sunshine Coast Solicitor.

Here is a brief but very helpful guide to find a good Sunshine Coast Solicitor.

You can obtain the details of as many Sunshine Coast Solicitors as you want from online directories or from references. Once you have the details of the Sunshine Coast lawyers, you must find out about their academic qualifications, licenses, associations they are a member of and their experience. A Sunshine Coast Solicitor should have a degree in law, which will indicate the specialization; he or she should be licensed to practice law in Sunshine Coast and must be a member of one or more reputed associations, for instance the Sunshine Coast Bar Association. You should also look at the number of years one has been in practice. A young Sunshine Coast Solicitor who has not got many years in practice may not be a bad Sunshine Coast Solicitor but being in the game for a relatively long time will always be better. When a Sunshine Coast Solicitor is exposed to a variety of challenges and has handled different types of cases, he or she will be a better option for you.

Once you have ascertained the credibility of a Sunshine Coast Solicitor, you should find out more about his or her expertise and history of practice. How many cases has the Sunshine Coast lawyer won, how long does he or she typically take to win a case, is he or she specialized in settlements, arbitration or trials. These are some questions you need to find answers to.

You should always try and find a good Sunshine Coast Solicitor who will not charge you any fees if you don’t win. There are Sunshine Coast lawyers who have a ‘no win, no fees’ policy. Such Sunshine Coast lawyers may turn down your case if they see no possibility of a win but at least you will not be paying money to a Sunshine Coast Solicitor for a case that you will be eventually losing. A ‘no win, no fees’ situation is a win-win for a Sunshine Coast lawyer and for you. A Sunshine Coast lawyer may ask for a generous payment if you win and you don’t have to pay that if you don’t win.

Finally, you must find a Sunshine Coast Solicitor whom you can trust and who will put in every effort and resource needed for you to win.

Sunshine Coast Lawyers

sunshine coast lawyers paralax

sunshine coast lawyers paralaxLegal professionals can charge you big and expensive fees, especially if they are among the best in the business. It is always wiser to go with the best in the business since they will have resources which other lawyers may not have. But you also need your Sunshine Coast lawyers to be passionate about your case.

Without an active interest in the case, a lawyer will always be vulnerable to a loss. It is a Sunshine Coast lawyers understanding and execution of a case and the local community that determines if he or she would end up with a win or will be paving the way for a loss.

Whether it is the fees involved or the level of interest of the Sunshine Coast lawyers, you should find a Sunshine Coast lawyers who is upfront with you.

Sunshine Coast Lawyers Fees

Let us begin with the fees. You need to find a solicitor who will tell you right on the first day in your first meeting how much he or she would charge you. It may be a ‘no win, no fee’ situation wherein you pay nothing unless you win.

If you win then you may be needed to pay a certain amount. If there is compensation for you to win then the Sunshine Coast solicitor will charge you a certain percentage of the compensation.

Sunshine Coast lawyers may want to hike your compensation amount to accommodate a fatter paycheck for him or her. It is acceptable and a norm but the solicitor you choose must be upfront with you if such a step is being taken.

If the situation is not a ‘no win, no fee’ one, then you need to know how the Sunshine Coast lawyers will charge you and what would the amount be. For instance, if your lawyer wants to charge you hourly whenever he or she meets you and ask you to pay hourly fees for every time the Sunshine Coast lawyer has to make an appearance at the court or at the arbitration table.

Sunshine Coast Lawyers Hourly Rates

Sunshine Coast lawyers may charge you a consolidated amount regardless of how many times you have to consult him or her, pay a visit or need him or her to attend court hearings. Both are norms and Sunshine Coast lawyers have their own approaches.

What you need is your Sunshine Coast lawyers to be upfront with you. There shouldn’t be hidden charges. You must not receive shocks and aftershocks as the case goes ahead when you have to shell out more money than you had been told or than what you had anticipated.

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Construction and Building Dispute

Construction and Building Dispute

Construction and Building DisputeAre you looking for construction and building dispute information?

  1. When you work in the construction industry there may be times when you have a construction and building dispute.
  2. If you aren’t being paid for work, then this can be a very frustrating thing to go through.
  3. There are ways to achieve a resolution of a Construction and Building Dispute without having to go through the costly and lengthy court process.
  4. To resolve disputes an “adjudication” may be able to help you.

It doesn’t matter what type of contract it was, Construction and Building Dispute lawyers have handled a number of construction disputes cases. It may have just been a verbal contract without anything written down or for goods or services to the construction industry or any other reason. If the contract was agreed to after 1 October 2004, and carried out in Queensland, then you may be able to use the adjudication process which falls under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA).

Construction and Building Dispute Claims if you’re Owed Money

This is an alternative to going to court, but many of the ways you do paper work and terms are legal in nature. If you’re claiming money from a Construction and Building Dispute for example, you’re the “claimant” the person that owes you the money is called the “respondent.” When the claim is sent, you “serve” it to the respondent. This is done to remove any confusion over how to interpret the details of the dispute. There’s one set of terms and one set of rules so it’s fair to both sides in the dispute. You should become familiar with the terminology and you should follow each step exactly before you go on to the next one.

Sunshine Coast Lawyers Construction and Building Dispute

Can do you Make your Payment Claim?

You have a certain timeframe where you can make a claim for money owed under a Construction and Building Dispute. You can start a claim when the job is finished or when you’re still under contract.

For each “reference date” you can only make one claim. This is the date you’re able to claim a payment under the contract. If the contract doesn’t have a reference date, then the last day of the month in which you supplied goods, services or carried out the work can be used.

The claimed amount is anything that you feel you’re owed under the contract. You’re not able to sever more than one payment claim for each reference date, but it may include any amount that’s outstanding from any previous claim you made.

If you Have More than One Claim

If you have money owed to you from previous months, you can include these outstanding amounts on the current claim. Make sure you recode the additional claim amounts and have them clearly identified along with the corresponding reference date.

The document must be “served” to the company or person that owes you the money. This can be done by emailing, faxing, or mailing the notice to the email address or address that’s stated in the contract. If the contract doesn’t have these details then it can be served to the last known business address. This can’t be a PO Box unless this is the service address that’s stated in the contract.

You can also deliver the claim in person by giving it to the respondent or leaving it at the address that is noted in the contract. If there are no details known, then leave it as the residence or place of business that is last known to you. Make sure you keep fax receipts and other evidence so you can provide this to the adjudicators at a later time.

Getting Construction Claim Responses

The respondent is the person who owes you money. They must respond to your claim within a period of time. The timing depends on the type of claim, which can be a standard claim up to $750,000 excluding the GST or a complex claim which is over $750,000 and excludes GST.

If you Get a Payment Schedule

If you receive a payment schedule then you can go to adjudication without notifying your respondent if:

  1. The respondent has given you a payment schedule, but you’re not satisfied with their response or what they are willing to pay
  2. The respondent has agreed to pay some or all of the money owed, but fails to do this on the due date

If you don’t Get a Payment Schedule

If the respondent doesn’t serve you with any payment schedule, then you must provide notice of your intent to apply for adjudication of your payment claim. In some cases you can receive unpaid portions of a claim as debt through the court system.

Giving the Respondent a Notice of Intention to Apply for Adjudication

Before you proceed with adjudication you need to serve a Notice of Intention to Apply for Adjudication on the respondent if there’s no payment schedule given by the respondent. This must be filed within 20 days immediately following the due date for your payment. The date is stated in the contract or its 10 business days if you have a silent contract.

Suspending Work – Your Rights

Once a payment claim has been served you may be able to suspend work if it hasn’t been paid for that you’re claiming. This can only be done under certain circumstances. Work can only be suspended if the person that owes you money:

  1. Hasn’t payed the full amount claimed by the due date and hasn’t served a payment schedule to you within a specified time; and
  2. Pay any full amount that was decided by an adjudicator within five business days after the due date for the payment.

The respondent must be given two business days’ notice in writing that you’re suspending work under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (BCIPA).

If you have been paid, then you can resume work again within three business days of being paid.

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Conveyancing in Brisbane

Queensland Conveyancing House Purchase sale

Conveyancing in Brisbane  – The transfer of legal titles of property is something that occurs on a daily basis in Brisbane and around the world. This is an act that is both simple in nature, yet somewhat complex in structure as a number of steps have to be taken before a Brisbane conveyance can be considered completed.

What is Conveyancing in Brisbane?

Essentially, this is the transfer of legal title of property that goes from one person or entity to another. Property conveyancing in Queensland consists of the transfer of real estate property usually through a sale, although technically the property can be transferred using other methods.

There are three steps that are involved when it comes to Brisbane conveyancing law. Each is necessary in order to properly complete the transaction.

  1. Finishing the Contract
  2. Procedures Needed Before Completion of Transaction
  3. Procedures Needed After Completion of Transaction

This three step in the Brisbane conveyancing process involves several smaller steps that must be addressed by a conveyancing solicitor or conveyancing clerk before the Brisbane conveyance is considered complete. The transaction is handled by a conveyance, a licensed party that provides assistance in the transfer of the land. They prepare all the documents and coordinate the actions between the buyer and seller.

How Conveyancing in Brisbane Works

Generally speaking, there is a considerable amount of paperwork involved the steps need to be followed in order for the conveyancing transaction to be considered legal.

  1. Initial Bid or Offer
  2. Acceptance
  3. Drafting & Exchanging of Contracts
  4. Completing the Process

The initial bid may be immediately accepted or rejected with negotiations lasting as long as desired in order for both parties to be satisfied with the price. Once accepted, the Brisbane conveyancing lawyer starts to go to work by creating the proper documentation and exchanging it at the proper time. It is important at this point how each step is taken in order to ensure the legality of the exchange.

The final process is where the payment is provided and the keys to the property are handed over to the buyer. It must be noted that in Queensland there is a “cooling off” period of five days that allows the purchaser to pull out of the contract for whatever reason. If the purchaser does pull out during this time frame, they may owe 0.25% of the purchase price to the seller.

How a Brisbane Conveyancer Works with You

During this process, the conveyancer will go over each step of the process to ensure that everything is followed correctly. This includes getting further information about the property from the seller and about the newly acquired mortgage from the buyer if they have chosen to pay in this manner. Although seemingly complex in nature, the actual system has been performed so many times that becomes routine for the conveyancer.

Conveyancing in Brisbane also may involve working with a converyancer about items other than buying or selling. For those who want to subdivide the property, perhaps update a title or change an easement, having a conveyancer by your side can be of great benefit. When conveyancing in Brisbane, you can get the assistance needed to ensure that all the rules and regulations are properly followed when it comes to buying or selling land.

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Queensland Conveyancing Searches

queensland conveyancing searches Sunshine Coast Conveyancing Lawyer

queensland conveyancing searches Sunshine Coast Conveyancing LawyerQueensland conveyancing searches are vitally important when you are searching for property to purchase.  Your solicitor will often recommend that certain Queensland conveyancing searches are carried out. While these searches add to the overall expense of buying, they are a necessary tool for discovering potential issues with a property. One particular search is known as a local authority search, and will uncover important information concerning a property.

The first thing revealed by local conveyancing law searches is whether all the required planning permissions for the Queensland property have been obtained. If your seller has altered or built on the property without proper planning, then it is possible that the local authority will require the alterations be removed or the building demolished. This could dramatically reduce the value of the house, and necessitate a large outlay to put it right.

Queensland Conveyancing Searches

The next item made apparent is whether or not the roads near the property are maintained by the local authority. If they are not, then you may have to contribute towards future maintenance. This is something you would then have to budget for on an ongoing basis.  The correct Queensland conveyancing searches will show this.

A further item the residential Queensland conveyancing searches reveal is whether any new roads or railways are proposed within 200 meters of the property. This is especially important if you are planning to buy in what you thought was a quiet area. If you proceed without performing a local search, but later find a major highway is about to be built, you may not get the peaceful property you thought you were buying.

Any proposed traffic scheme comes next on the local conveyancing searches. This may reveal whether a one-way street is planned. If you buy a property whilst unaware of this proposal, your planned use of the property could be restricted.

The last item is public access over the property: this is vitally important. No doubt it would be highly troubling if you were to purchase a property only to find that there is a public footpath at the bottom of your garden. This has the potential to ruin your private enjoyment of your property.

Golden Rule of Queensland Conveyancing Searches

The golden rule of purchasing property is buyer beware. All of the above factors are a matter of public record and therefore it is possible for you to research them. If you had the opportunity to search the registers but decided not to, then it is you who will have to deal with the consequences.

The result without Queensland conveyancing searches may be financially disadvantageous to you, or your enjoyment of the property may be seriously hampered.  It is always advisable for you to undertake a local search in order to make a fully informed choice about proceeding with your purchase.

What Are Some of the Possible Conveyancing Searches?

  1. Title Search
  2. Registered Plan
  3. Local Govt. Rates Search
  4. Local Govt. Town Planning
  5. Local Govt. Sewerage & Drainage
  6. Unity Water
  7. Pool Safety
  8. Land Tax
  9. Qld Transport / Mains Roads
  10. CLR (contaminated land register)
  11. Energex / Ergon
  12. ASIC
  13. Telco
  14. Body Corporate
  15. Form 13
  16. Community Management Statement
  17. Building Management Statement
  18. Heritage Register
  19. Qld Building Services Authority
  20. Flood Search
  21. Town Planning
  22. Powerlink

As you can see, there are a lot of potential problems which might arise if you do not thoroughly do your homework.  Please ensure that you engage a great quality, local Queensland conveyancing solicitor today.

Queensland Conveyancing Searches

Ethics of Autonomous Military Robots

ethics of Autonomous Military Robots

Autonomous Military RobotsRegarding the Ethics of Autonomous Military Robots, the Australian Computer Society Code of Conduct, the Computer Ethics Institute Ten Commandments, and Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics all share similar themes, namely the primacy of human beings, and the protection of the public interest.

But what does this mean in a war zone? If the universal standards of war, such as the Geneva Convention, amongst others are to be applied, then the definitions of these ethical standards surely must differ from those of a non-war zone.

When thinking about the ethics of autonomous military robots, the loss of human life must be the most important ethical question facing the makers of autonomous military robots.

Human Rights Watch produced a paper which outlines the ethical problems associated with autonomous military robots. These problems are:

  1. The killing of civilians in error;
  2. Principals of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity; and
  3. Accountability – who is to blame if something goes wrong?

The Killing of Civilians

ethics of Autonomous Military RobotsWhen thinking about the ethics of autonomous military robots, would it be possible for an autonomous robot to distinguish between a civilian and a combatant? Humans have a lifetime of experience with which to draw upon in making split second decisions.  Is this something which could be programmed?

According to ICRC, as yet, there is no consensus as to how autonomous weapons could effectively discriminate between a civilian hunter for example and an enemy soldier. This is not to say that it could not happen in the future.  However, if I could guess what technology would be like in the future, I would be a billionaire!

Principals of Distinction, Proportionality and Military Necessity

The law regarding the ethics of autonomous military robots says, International law and international human rights law are incredibly important to safeguard against atrocities.

Distinction is the doctrine, as argued above, of discerning between enemy soldiers and civilians.

Proportionality is the doctrine where death and/or damage must be proportional to the situation. What was the greater good? Can an autonomous robot be programmed to make that decision? Noel Sharkey makes the case that autonomous military robots could eventually make that decision better than humans, however this has not been able to be simulated as of yet.

Military necessity is the doctrine that all actions must be in war time and on military targets. Once again, is this something which could be programmed? It must be argued that because any moral or subjective determination could be removed from the military necessity idea, that this would be the easiest to implement.

Meta data from hundreds or thousands of sources could be analysed instantly in determining a military target. Would there be mistakes? Maybe, but arguably less than with human error.

Accountability

the ethics of Autonomous Military RobotsMost importantly regarding the ethics of autonomous military robots, if something goes wrong, who is to blame? The CEO’s? Yeah right! The programmers?

If soldiers do not follow the rules of war, then they are sometimes subject to the consequences. But if an autonomous robot that is capable of making its own decisions, makes a bad decision, what would be the recourse if one of those decisions was to blow up a school of one thousand children?

Currently, at common law a crime is only a crime if it has the essential elements, one of which is mens rea, or guilty mind. It must be argued that a robot does not have the prerequisite mens rea.

Ethics of Autonomous Military Robots – Conclusion

I am a lover of technology and I don’t believe in a dystopian future. However, as argued above, there are a great number of problems associated with fully autonomous military robots. These questions need to be asked, and it is vital that they are for a full and robust debate. Noam Chomsky said “the only difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist is what side you are on. If we do it it’s freedom fighting, if they do it, it’s terrorism”. What would happen if countries like North Korea manufactured these weapons?

Moore’s Law of exponential growth suggests that the future of robot intelligence could surpass that of human intelligence.  If this is the case then it would actually be arguably a more moral action to use autonomous robots than not, if it resulted in less friendly fire deaths or mistakes causing civilian casualties. Not to mention less deaths of coalition forces on the ground.

Until then I think that the slow, incremental transfer of decision making to autonomous military robots would be the best way to move forward, whilst protecting innocent lives. Safeguards should also be built into the hardware and/or software to enable humans to have full control of our robotic allies, just in case.

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Generic Terms v Trademarks

trademarks in Sunshine Coast Queensland

trademarks in Sunshine Coast Trademarks and generic trademarks as a term is a common word or term, usually found in the dictionary, that is used to identify a product or service, and is not specific to a particular source.

You cannot register a trademark that is a generic term for your particular goods and services. If your trademark becomes generic, usually as a consequence of improper use of that trademark, your rights may no longer be applicable.

For example, if you were the owner of an online business that sold greeting cards, and you wanted to trademark the brand and domain name ‘greeting cards’, you would likely be unsuccessful.

This is because you would not have a strong case in claiming that ‘greeting cards’ is a unique service mark, and therefore prevent all other similar business from using any marks that are confusingly similar to your own.

Scandalous TrademarksThis is because the law does not generally allow a business to claim a generic term as its trademark.  A generic term being a word that identifies the type of goods and services involved.

Consider this: you could not claim ‘Software’ as your proprietary mark should you sell software, or ‘Apple’ should you sell apples. However, you could name your software business ‘Apple’, as this is an arbitrary use of a generic term, rather than an identifier of your product.

Allowing a single company to use a generic term as its trademark would conflict with the rights of other companies to identify their own goods and services by their standard terms, thereby confusing the use of particular words and creating an unfair disadvantage.

This rule applies to all words that start out as generic terms, and also words that originate as brand name but are used by consumers as a different word for the specific goods or services they were meant to brand. For example, the words ‘escalator’, ‘cellophane’, and ‘aspirin’, all originated as trademarks, but were used so widely by consumers that they were no longer brands.

Generic Terms as Categories of Trademarks

Trademarks Domain NameWords are divided into five different categories when they are being assessed as suitable trademarks. These categories define whether or not your proposed trademark is a strong, unique mark, or a diluted, generic term. Strong marks are more protectable against other marks, as well as more identifiable by the consumer.

These are the five categories, ranked in decreasing strengths:

Fanciful Marks

A fanciful mark is an invented or made-up word that has no relation to your goods or services being described. These are generally the strongest, most assertive marks.

Arbitrary Marks

An arbitrary mark is a pre-existing word, but they are still not used to describe your particular goods and services. These are also generally strong marks.

Suggestive Marks

A suggestive mark is a word that is suggestive of meaning or relation to your goods, but does not actually describe the goods themselves. While a suggestive mark is a weaker mark, it is still generally successful to register as a trademark.

Descriptive Marks

A descriptive mark is a mark that identifies the goods or services, or a particular characteristic of those goods. A descriptive mark is a weak mark, and generally difficult to register or defend successfully. The only way to strengthen a descriptive mark is to use a word that has a second meaning.

Generic Terms

A generic term is the weakest of all categories, and impossible to register as a trademark.

Use of Trademarks Over Time

trademarks in Sunshine Coast QueenslandEven though some word categories define trademarks as stronger than others, it is possible for strong, distinctive marks to become generic terms, due to the widespread use by consumers. For example, aspirin, escalator, margarine, and cellophane all originated as trademarks: arbitrary terms become generic terms.

Rather ironically it is the popularity of a trademark that causes it to become a generic term. The proper use of a trademark will result in that mark remaining the exclusive property of the owner. Improper advertising of a product or service can result in consumers adopting that ‘name’ to identify all products and services within that marketplace: therefore that mark loses its uniqueness. This is sometimes referred to as ‘genericide’: when the owner of a distinctive mark unwittingly takes part in the obliteration of the uniqueness of their own trademark.

Stop Your Trademarks from Becoming Generic

You can avoid your own mark from becoming a generic term with a few simple steps:

  1. Encourage correct grammatical usage. Trademarks are adjectival: refrain from using your mark as a noun or a verb.
  2. Ensure that, when advertising, you use your product’s generic name alongside the trademark. Your trademark is the adjective, and the generic term for your product is the noun.
  3. Ensure that your trademark stands out from other surrounding text. You want consumers to identify your trademark amongst the generic product names and descriptive text.
  4. Use a trademark symbol in order to assert public notice of your trademark rights regardless of whether your mark is registered or not. Use the ® symbol to identify a registered trademark, or the ™ symbol for both registered and unregistered trademarks.
  5. Avoid using variation of your mark. Using variations indicates to consumers that the improper use of your mark is acceptable. It’s wise to avoid changes in the spelling, abbreviations of your mark, plurals, or additional apostrophes, or combine your mark with other words or marks. The key to a strong trademark is to ensure that it remains distinct and recognisable at all times.

An experienced trademark litigator will be able to advise you on whether your mark is able to be registered and whether your mark is unique and definitive by conducting a trademark search. Contact your local, experienced trademark attorney before you file your registration application for the best chance of registering a strong, defensible mark for your business.

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How to Register a Trademark

How to Trademark a Logo Sunshine Coast

Do I need a trademark expert picA trademark when registered to your business, is essential in the protection of your intangible assets and intellectual property.

It also works to make your business name unique and recognisable from the competition present within your field.

Many businesses make the mistake of putting off the process of trademark registration: contrary to popular belief, trademarks registration is not rife with complexities and complications.

The following steps will aid you in having a trouble-free, painless trade mark registration.

Choosing your Trademark

how to trademark a business nameA trade mark is something used to identify the specific goods and services of one company from those of another. This definition includes names, symbols, figures, entire words or single letters. A ‘trademark’ is the term used to describe the marks used to signify goods: a ‘service mark’ is the term used to signify services. However, most people use the term trademark for both.

A trademark is more than simply a name. Your registered trademark is actually a type of intellectual property that can be purchased, sold, or licensed. When you register your trademark, it becomes solely yours: other companies cannot use it without your explicit permission for risk of infringement. Your trade mark will increase its value as your brand does.

Whether you’re starting out or continuing to grow your business, you should register a trademark in order to prevent a competitor from marketing similar products or services under your business name. When you have a registered trademark, other companies may still attempt to do this: however, your trademark gives you the right to take legal action against them.

Choosing a trademark can be tricky. Most business names aren’t actually applicable for registration. In order to successfully register your business name as a trade mark, you need to select a name that is completely unique from the others within your market. Examples for this include made-up names or words used as trademarks, for instance, Google. You could also use a symbol or object that has no obvious correlation with the product it signifies, such as the ‘apple’ symbol used by Apple computers.

Strong marks are generally more successful in profiling your business than ‘weak’ marks. A weak mark has a clear relation to the product or service it signifies. For example, ‘Joe’s Plumbing Company’ clearly relates to a plumbing service. It lacks uniqueness and would therefore be very difficult to register as a trade mark.

If you’re worried about coming up with a company name that will be registered successfully, you should speak to your local Sunshine Coast lawyer before your application process begins. An experienced lawyer will help you choose a name, or at least give you their legal opinion on a name, in order to increase your chances of trademark approval.

Registry Trademark Searches

How to Trademark a Logo Sunshine CoastOnce you’ve settled on a mark design, you then need to make certain checks to ensure that no one else within your market has filed a conflicting application. Registration conflict might occur when another company, supplying the same goods and services as your own, has applied for a similar trademark symbol.

You can access a number of free search engines to check for similar applications: however, a free search engine may not provide you with a full scope of all other applications. Consulting a professional is the best option for conducting your registry searches. An experienced trademarks lawyer can provide you with a complete search report, as well as explain these search results to you. Your lawyer will be able to explain to you, fully, why or why not your trade mark is eligible for registration.

Applying for Trademark Registration

registered trademarkOnce you and your lawyer have selected a trademark for your business and undergone a thorough search of all the appropriate registries, you will then have to file an application with IP Australia, the government body that administers Australian intellectual property rights, specifically trade marks, patents, and designs. The information that you supply on your application will determine not only your trade mark rights, but also how far your legal protection will extend.

The trademark application is a reasonably difficult document to fill out correctly. Once your application is filed, an attorney will review your application and determine whether or not your trade mark is suitable for registration.

While you can access trade mark application forms online, it is wise to seek the assistance of a professional lawyer when you’re filling out your form.

Consult with a professional before you complete the submission process in order to ensure that you have filled out everything correctly, therefore allowing you the best chance to be registered, and providing you with as much protection as possible.

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Common Conveyancing Mistakes

conveyancing solicitor in Brisbane

Conveyancing LawyerThe business of conveyancing is a complex and ever-changing field, particularly for someone who is unfamiliar with it. Overlooking small contractual changes or missing important deadlines can result in you paying hugely in your time and money. If you’re considering undertaking a property transaction, it’s important to be familiar with the common pitfalls of conveyancing, particularly if you’re thinking of carrying out the transaction without the assistance of an experience conveyancer or property solicitor.

Common Problems in Conveyancing: Selling

1. The purchasing party misses their deposit deadline

Timing is everything during any conveyancing matter. Should the party purchasing your property forget or refuse to pay their deposit before the required deadline, your real estate agent is responsible for following up on this issue. However if the buyer continues to cause problems with the deposit payment, you will require the legal advice of a conveyancer or solicitor. Your solicitor might suggest charging interest on the unpaid amount as a consequence. Without the legal guidance of a professional, however, you might find that the transaction falls through entirely.

2. Your bank misses the settlement date

Unless you’ve repaid your mortgage in full by the time you decide to sell your property, you’ll have a mortgage that needs to be settled. A good conveyancer or solicitor can make arrangements with your bank to ensure that your mortgage is disengaged by the required date. It’s crucial that your bank discharges your mortgage before the date of settlement, so that the Certificate of Title can be awarded to the buyer as soon as they have paid out the mortgage with the proceeds of the sale.

Sometimes the discharge process takes longer than expected. This might happen if a specific department doesn’t receive the required documents from other departments. If this should happen, your solicitor might be unable to book a date for the settlement of the property. An experienced solicitor will be able to rectify a matter such as this with little consequence: you, alone, might find yourself in hot water with the buying party.

3. The buyer isn’t prepared for settlement

It’s not only you who is relying on your bank to liquidate your debts before the settlement date: the buying party must wait for their own bank to grant them a mortgage. If the buyer is caught up in waiting for their bank to finalise their mortgage documents, they might not be ready to settle on the date you have set. An experienced solicitor or conveyancer can inform you of the rights you have in this situation, and advise you on which actions to take: whether you reschedule, or charge a penalty of interest on the price of settlement.

4. The buyer refuses to settle

Before the sale of property is settled, the power is in the hands of the buyer. Before the date of settlement, your property will undergo a final inspection by the buyer. Should they find something unsatisfactory that they missed on the first inspection, they might decide to refuse settlement until the faults are repaired. You’ll need to contact your solicitor or conveyancer for legal advice should this situation arise. A good solicitor will know exactly how to negotiate this situation: often they will enforce the rules outlined in your Contract of Sale.

Common Problems in Conveyancing: Buying

1. Your bank won’t grant you finance

Unless you have the money to buy a property outright, you’ll need to obtain some manner of finance before you purchase a new home. To help in the acquisition of a loan, you’ll need to sign a Contract of Sale. Contracts of Sale include an agreement for a set date of settlement: this is the date that the Certificate of Title is passed to you. You will need to have paid your deposit in full by this date, and you will begin making repayments on your new home. Yet if there is a stall in finalising your mortgage documents, your bank will be unable to approve your loan by the required date.

Your conveyancer or solicitor will need to negotiate with the selling party to grant you an extension on the date of finance. It’s important that you communicate any issues with your loan application with your solicitor, because if you should fail to notify the vendor of these issues, they may nullify the Contract of Sale and the deal will fall through.

2. The bank misses your date of settlement

If you don’t have access to your home loan before the date of settlement, you most likely will fail to meet the obligations of the settlement by the required time. This is essentially a breach of the Contract of Sale, and the vendor has rights to charge you penalty fees or interest, or nullify the contract completely. It’s essential that you have a solicitor or conveyancer to discuss legal options should this issue arise, or to discuss ways to avoid this problem before it occurs.

3. Issues with the condition of the property

Before you complete the transaction of property, you’ll undergo a final inspection to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was when you signed the Contract of Sale. If you are to notice any differences in the condition of the property, or other flaws you might have overlooked initially, you can ask your solicitor to advise you of your rights. You are granted rights by the Contract of Sale, and you should be able to dispute changes to the condition of the property. This is a surprisingly common issue, and so an experienced solicitor will have encountered this problem before.

Common problems with conveyancing contracts

If you’re unfamiliar with the ins and outs of conveyancing, it’s easy to fill out the necessary paperwork incorrectly, or forget to submit it altogether. Both of these mistakes can result in disaster for any buyer or seller. It’s best that you enlist the assistance of an experienced solicitor or conveyancer to avoid the following mistakes:

1. The property or land description is incorrect

Generally this means that the incorrect Certificate of Title has been entered on the contract: whether the parent title is entered in place of the current title reference; or the street address is confused with the lot number on a block of divided land. This is one of the more common contract mistakes, yet extremely complex – and expensive – to reverse.

2. Incorrect purchaser’s name is entered on the Contract of Sale

If you’re unsure of what name you wish to have on the title, you might enter the term ‘and/or nominee’ on your Contract of Sale. Be aware, however, that this phrase doesn’t grant you the scope to change your name after the contract has been signed: you must have decided upon the name you wish to use before you sign the contract. Similarly, you need to have signed and dated a Letter of Nomination before signing the contract. If you decide to change the name only after signing the contract, it will be viewed as an assignment of contract instead of a nomination. This can come with substantial stamp duty consequences.

Similarly, the name signed on a contract cannot be changed by addendum without full termination of the conveyancing contract.

3. You fail to list property encumbrances

If you’re inexperienced in matters of conveyancing, you may not be familiar with the conveyancing process of ‘lifting and replacing’ encumbrances. This refers to the process of nullifying the existing mortgage on the property and applying a new encumbrance with the purchasers. If you fail to undergo this process, it can cause significant problems at the settlement date. Not only this, but there are a number of fees associated with the lift and replace process, and these need to be listed on to avoid the frustration of both buyers and sellers.

4. The tax information is incorrect or incomplete

There are varying sections referring to tax depending on the type of contract you are using in your property transaction. It’s easy to fill in these sections incorrectly or overlook them entirely: however this can lead to significant taxation and stamp duty consequences.

Avoid the pitfalls of conveyancing

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland strongly recommends against undertaking a property transaction without the full guidance of an experience conveyancing professional within the conveyancing field, and with so many potential pitfalls, you can understand why. Reconsider undergoing the conveyancing process alone: an experienced solicitor or conveyancer can help you negotiate and avoid the pitfalls of property transaction, thus saving you time, money, and frustration.

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Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home

Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home

Purchasing A Sunshine Coast HomePurchasing any Sunshine Coast home is a huge leap forward for any individual, particularly if a buyer is new to the process. The amount of time and money you will commit can cause a significant amount of stress. Use the strategies in this article so that you have the most success and ease your concerns.  Real estate agents should keep in contact with former clients over the holiday season or the anniversary of their Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home. They will be reminded of how you helped them with their home buying experience. At the close of your greeting, tell them that you’re working on a type of referral basis and that you’d appreciate it if they recommended you to some of their friends.

If you are thinking of relocating, you should look up information about the neighborhood using resources on the Internet. You can discover a good deal of information this way. Consider the population, population and unemployment rate of your desired location before purchasing a house there so you ensure that you will love where you live.  Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home that need multiple improvements or updates are sold for cheaper than other homes. This can be a money-saver in purchasing the home, and then make repairs or improvements on your own schedule. A little fix up work can transform an ugly facade into the house of your dream home!

Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home

If you are interested in purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home that costs a lot, look for a business partner you can trust and can easily work with.  If a seller refuses your offer, there’s always room for negotiation. They might offer to cover closing costs or make some repairs prior to you moving in.  If you are planning on having kids, you should consider the location of the house in relation to your preferred school district in case you decide to have children.

Now is the perfect time to invest in real estate. Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home values are currently at a low since the market crash. The housing market will rebound, so any investment you make will have returns.  Always hire an inspector to look at any property that you wish to buy.You don’t want to discover after you have signed the purchase contract. This can be a serious problem if there are structural issues after you buy the home that should never be bypassed.

So you want to find a place to purchase a Sunshine Coast home, but now you need to find a qualified real estate agent. You clearly need to find someone you can rely on to be honest and fair.An experienced agent can show you properly.

Purchasing A Sunshine Coast Home

If you’re aiming to purchase a home, it is important that you do not buy a home for its decor. You must get a house based on it’s construction and the shape it has. If you are finding yourself more drawn to a home’s decor, you could pay for it later because you failed to see a large structural problem.

When you are choosing an agent to assist you in looking for a Sunshine Coast home, ask this person the length of time he or she has resided in the area. If they haven’t been on the job or in the area for that long then they won’t be as up to speed on local restrictions, they are likely devoid of deep knowledge regarding local roads, roads and neighborhoods as a long-time resident.

When you are planning on making an investment in a Sunshine Coast home, stay focused on the goals you’ve set. Determine whether you want to achieve short term or long range goals.Don’t consider properties that is irrelevant to your pre-determined criteria. A lot of owners make compromises and end up making poor investments.

Hire your own professionals when purchasing a house. No one wants to pay for services that they could receive for free. Even though this is true, it’s probably better to hire the people you can trust and that you know personally.Getting to the unvarnished truth will save you a ton of money down the long run.

When looking to purchase a Sunshine Coast home, be sure that amenities such as parking are adequate to your needs. This is of particular importance for homes that do not have a driveway. If there aren’t lots of parking spots nearby, you may find yourself having to hike long distances each evening from parking spots well out of your way.

Prioritize your wants and needs when negotiating a real estate. Make sure you include every issue under negotiation, and set the expectations for every one of them.The strength of feeling you establish your eyes.

Don’t hire a real estate appraiser unless they have five years experience or more. Never hire the appraiser recommended by a Realtor. You might have a conflict of interest. The appraiser should also be licensed or certified by the state.

You must be organized if you are going to try to buy a house.  Have a specific notebook for recording information about real estate from various online and offline sources.

Be sure to have enough money saved up for the down payment your mortgage loan servicing company will require. If you do not, you could wind up paying for private mortgage insurance, also known as PMI.

Even though a home inspection may not be required by your bank, you will still want to have any property inspected. A good home inspector will be able to detect issues with the property that might have otherwise been overlooked.

Collect data about the market for housing market. Look at websites to look for any foreclosed houses, the average selling price, housing backlogs, and other sources of information. A good location may help a property rise above other problems with good products can put you on top even if the area.

Alright, are you prepared to make your first purchase of your Sunshine Coast home? Hopefully, the tips laid out here make you feel better about concern you may have. Put the tips you just learned into practice and buy with confidence. Purchasing real estate doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Owning real estate is a very rewarding experience! Be sure to count the costs and make good decisions.

Buying A Sunshine Coast Home

Mastering Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real EstateRegardless of whether you are buying or selling the Commercial Real Estate in Queensland, negotiate!  Be heard so that you can get a fair price on the Commercial Real Estate price.

Commercial real estate involves more complicated and longer transactions than buying a residential home is. You need to understand, when all is said and done you will receive a big return on the investment.

You will probably have to put a lot of time on your new Commercial Real Estate investment at the beginning. It will take time to find a lucrative opportunity, and after purchasing a Commercial Real Estate property, you may have to wait for repairs and remodelling before you can start monetizing your investment. Don’t abandon you commercial real estate venture because this is a lengthy process that gobbles up large portions of your time. The rewards you see will show themselves later.

Commercial Real Estate in Queensland

If you are hesitating between different Commercial Real Estate, think big.  Generally, this is much like the principle of buying Commercial Real Estate in bulk; the more units you buy, you will end up getting a better price per unit.  When interviewing potential brokers, make sure you know if they are experienced within the commercial real estate market. Make sure they are specializing in the area in which you are selling or buying. You need to get into an agreement that is exclusive.

You should try to understand the (NOI) Net Operating Income of your Commercial Real Estate.  There are many things that can impact on the price of your value greatly.  Make sure you have the right access that has utilities on any commercial piece of real estate. The property must have access to electric, sewer and gas, as well.

Have a list of goals on what exactly it is you start searching for commercial real estate properties. Write down the things you like about the property, important features are office numbers, how many conference rooms, offices, and how big it is.  You might need to make some repairs or improvements to your new space before you can move in. This may be simple changes such as repainting a wall or rearranging furniture.  There are differences between brokers in the commercial real estate. Some brokers or agents only work with tenants, while brokers work alongside tenants and landlords alike.

Get the Best Commercial Real Estate Lawyers

Borrowers have to order the appraisal in Commercial Real Estate loans. The bank won’t let you to use of it later. Order your appraisal yourself to ensure everything goes as planned.  Talk to a good tax adviser before you buy any property. Work with your adviser to find an area where the taxes will be lower.  This is necessary in order to confirm that the terms match the rent roll and the property’s documentation. If you do not look over these key terms, there may be a term that got overlooked by the rent roll, altering the pro forma.

Be sure to realize all properties have specific lifetimes. The Commercial Real Estate could need major improvements like a new roof or total rewiring. All buildings eventually need maintenance and remodeling.Make sure that you budget future repairs such as these.

Commercial Real Estate pros can recognize a solid investment immediately. They can also see when there are extensive damages to be fixed, have the ability to calculate risk and can do the calculations that let them know for sure that their monetary objectives will be fulfilled by the property in question.  However, each opportunity and property is unique, and determine what the best investment is for you.

Your first step is to find the best financing – Commercial Real Estate lenders and real estate are different than simply buying a home. They can be better in some ways. Commercial loans require a larger down payment, but you may avoid any personal blame if it’s a bad deal, and the bank won’t mind as much about you borrowing money for the down payment from friends and family.

The Best Commercial Real Estate Conveyancing

Know your business goals before searching for Commercial Real Estate property! You should have a good idea of every aspect of your ideal office space. If you are planning growth for your company, you should consider buying additional space now while the real estate market is at its lowest, this helps you to save money down the road.  Find out how the company you have under consideration defines success. Ask them how they estimate your needed space, property selection and other matters that are important to you.  Knowing these things before signing on with them can be very helpful.

Don’t underestimate your relationships with lenders and investors when you’re in the market to purchase Commercial Real Estate property. For instance, many commercial properties that are sold are unlisted, so having a broad network can increase your exposure to great deals.  This protection is rarely available today, leaving you completely vulnerable to inflation losses.

The above article should be of significant help when you begin planning your real estate investing goals. By following the advice in this article, you can join the ranks of those who are reaping the benefits of this lucrative field.

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Conveyancing Lawyer Sunshine Coast

Conveyancing lawyer Sunshine Coast Qld

Conveyancing lawyer Sunshine Coast QldPeople need different things from a conveyancing lawyer. Regardless of your reason for requiring one, there are several basic tips you need to know.  Read on to find out some helpful tips that will help you deal with a conveyancing lawyer properly.

You must not hire the first conveyancing lawyer on the Sunshine Coast which you find for your current house purchase or sale.  Make sure that you do some research to get the best results.  Ask for as much information since you can on any conveyancing lawyer you’re thinking about hiring.

You want to generally be able to stay in touch with your conveyancing lawyer. Essentially the most common complaint people have has unable to contact their conveyancing lawyer. You need to avoid being left wondering what’s going because your lawyer is otherwise engaged golfing.

You may want to have an conveyancing law firm on a fixed fee should something catastrophic takes place.  This will serve to stop you from having to look for a trustworthy law firm.  Keeping an law firm on retainer helps give you the luxury of always having the ability to access good advice.  Many lawyers receives a commission and go without having contacting their clients for some time.  Conveyancing law is different as time is always of the essence of Queensland land sales contracts. However, if you feel that your lawyer is not offering you the best service, you can speak up with regards to conveyance if you to don’t like . While your lawyer is shopping for you, they might have quite the event load.

Best Conveyancing in Queensland

  • Customer Service– We offer quality conveyancing customer service – YOU are important to us
  • Locally Based – Don’t speak to a call center, speak to a real Queensland lawyer
  • Experience – We are highly experienced, with over 10 years of trusted service
  • Fixed Fees – With a single fixed fee, you can be sure that the price we quote you is the price you pay
  • Speak to a Lawyer – A local conveyancing lawyer will supervise your case from start to finish

You should try to get a referral for a good conveyancing lawyer to pick.  For example, should you be selling a property, you should get in touch with a conveyancing lawyer, an estate broker, accountant, etc. These kinds of people constantly interact with conveyancing lawyers and might give you advised judgements.  You should find out whether a conveyancing lawyer has experience with your specific property.  Because a conveyancing lawyer specialises in property just like yours it means they’ll be able to give you the best advice.

Conveyancing Lawyer Fees

Check into all the fees the conveyancing lawyers fees. Sit down and talk to them about your payment and whatever you wish to achieve. Know what cost overruns may occur and how much they are likely to be.  Only hire legal counsel you trust, this is true if you’re using a lawyer for property purchase or selling needs. Many lawyers look for a blank checks or retainer fees. Remember that hiring the wrong conveyancing lawyer can be catastrophic as you are essentially putting your financial life inside their hands.

Ask Your Conveyancing Lawyer Anything

Ask every conveyancing lawyer that you interview as many questions as you need to to fully understand the process. During your initial meeting, the lawyer ought to demonstrate a willingness to address your concerns, even though you are not being charged for it. They need to adopt responsibility and then make you feel safe. If they don’t, simply leave.  Whenever your conveyancing lawyers are late returning your message or calls, they will probably treat you worse once the conveyance is underway.  Do your research before engaging a conveyancing lawyer. Each state’s laws when managing the time you have got to file and proof differ. Conveyancing takes a different approach from other areas of commercial law, thereby it should be approached so. There are unique rules that need to be followed.

Know about your current case before hiring a legal professional. If you aren’t aware about the issues concerned, you can’t very well explain them to a conveyancing lawyer. This knowledge will make sure you a better idea of the most useful position to be successful.  You should never hire a conveyancing lawyer without first having a conference with them. Hiring an law firm without meeting them first can be a disaster. Meeting first will really explain how comfortable you might both be collectively.

Qld Convey

Interview multiple legal professionals, even if the 1st interview was decent. Legal problems can last for lengthy durations, you need to experience a conveyancing lawyer you are comfortable dealing with.  If you would not have a flat charge or fixed fee structure, then you ought to be in control of the amount you are spending. You have the right of knowing and monitoring the direction they use your money is used and be mindful of where the money will go.

Don’t spend money on a conveyancing lawyer until you realize all the costs involved and what you will really get. Some legal professionals want a retainer for you to even consider instances. That retainer may well not even be utilised towards your final bill but only for keeping the law firm available.  Best Conveyancing Sunshine Coast offer a fixed fee structure for your peace of mind.  Agree with when you will pay your conveyancing lawyer before hiring them. A lot of attorneys are going to be paid outside of eventual settlements expenses, but never hesitate to build a payment plan if you can.

If you are searhing for a Sunshine Coast lawyer, try to locate a conveyancing lawyer who will help you on a basis of a fixed fee pricing structure. This means that when you find a sizzling hot property, your lawyer will collect money from you and you will probably have nothing else to pay.

Key to Choosing a Queensland Conveyancing Lawyer

The key consider choosing a conveyancing lawyer is your gut instinct.  Would you trust them? If this is not the case, then this conveyancing lawyer is not right you, even if they are qualified and are cheap.  Try to maintain costs after employing your conveyancing lawyer. Don’t call and email your lawyer too frequently as you may be charged for that time. In add-on, take care of little things by yourself, such as picking up legal paperwork or faxing documents.  These small fees can accumulate very quickly and run you lots of money.  Lawyers consider a number of factors with take care to fee plans. Experience with a particular specialty is an example and this is usually one case through which spending a better rate. A complicated case will even cost more, even if it means your research time is this big deal instead of the actual trial run.

Dealing with legal counsel should be something which is helpful in addition to productive. You should now feel you can have a lawyer you are able to trust to resolve your case. Utilize the tips in this piece to identify the most beneficial lawyer for a person.

Don’t Just Go For a Cheap Conveyancing Lawyer

We hear so many horror story’s about other bad conveyancing companies out there.  There is a reason that these company’s are so cheap, because they don’t do the job properly.  For example, common complaints are;

  • Told clients they booked settlement but they hadn’t
  • They changed paralegal half way through the process
  • You will have to chase up every little thing
  • You might even have to ask who to pay the money to
  • Did not book in settlement
  • Never read our contract and still forced to pay them
  • File got passed through to least 3 of solicitors and paralegals
  • It was up to me to find out who handled my file.
  • No correspondence from them
  • Once they are paid don’t offer any assistance
  • Don’t hold your breath if they tell you “I’ll be getting back to you asap”
  • You have to chase for information on a constant basis
  • Numerous calls and emails before any response
  • any correspondence was a non-existant
  • you will the one chasing them for any info and updates on what’s happening
  • We went 5 days without any correspondence from the first paralegal assigned the property (and about 10 calls/ email requests for her to contact us).

Sunshine Coast Conveyancing Lawyer

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

Conveyancing Sunshine CoastAre you looking for Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld?  This article explains all you need to know about buying property on the Sunshine Coast, selling property on the Sunshine Coast and the conveyance of commercial property on the Sunshine Coast.  Conveyancing is the transfer of land from one party to another in a legalised way. Conveyancing usually involves the assistance of Sunshine Coast conveyancing solicitors: without the guidance of a professional, complications can arise in the soliciting process and often some matters are left unsolved. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a solicitor that specialises in the field of Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld.

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld – Finding a Lawyer

In the search for a conveyancing lawyer, it is important to find a balance between experience and reputation and cost. Specialist conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld solicitors will often charge a higher rate, but if you dedicate some time to widen your search and compare quotes, you will come into contact with someone with a lesser rate. Don’t choose price over service: ensure that your solicitor has a strong success rate in the handling of conveyancing cases. Should you consult an inexperienced solicitor, the issues that arise during the settlement can add extra cost to your solicitor’s bill.

The number of specialist solicitors is increasing with the rapid development of the Sunshine Coast conveyancing market. As a result, the competitiveness of the market has also increased. Because of this, you are provided with an array of firms to select from, and a more competitive rate. However, it is important to choose the right solicitor to handle a specific issue or case in the best way. If you don’t choose carefully, the result can be the loss of finances as well as your case.

There are certain issues that you should keep in mind while you are searching for the right conveyancing solicitors:

  • Ensure that the solicitor you consult has a background in cases related to real estate, and depth of experience
  • Verify the licenses of the conveyancing firm and of the solicitors within that firm
  • If you have approached a freelance solicitor, verify their success rates in recent cases. Also check that they possess a government-approved license within the field.
  • Avoid conveyancing firms that require you to sign off on bonding terms before you embark on your own case. Do not consult solicitors who require an advance payment in full. These types of behaviours are common within unreliable firms.
  • Search online for further insight into solicitors’ backgrounds.

It can help to go off a recommendation or referral: this is usually the best way to find a qualified prospect. If you have consulted a particular firm or attorney in the past, check to see if they have the experience in the areas you require, or ask them to refer you onto someone who does.

Above all, ensure that you are comfortable with whoever you choose to consult. You should be able to communicate comfortably with your Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld solicitor and to ask them questions about the conveyancing process and receive satisfactory answers.

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld – Selling Property

Many Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld solicitors have the misguided idea that when selling property, all they have to do is hand all of the paperwork over to the buying party. This belief was spread by the axiom of Caveat Emptor. Caveat Emptor gives the property investor the obligation to cover defects or legal issues, rather than the seller.

In addition, legal cases have encouraged conveyancing lawyers away from paperwork in fear of being legally exposed to an argument in reviewing, or commenting on papers that may give some responsibility to the buyer.

The commoditisation of conveyancing, and the lessening of fees through competition, means that most conveyancing firms can’t afford to be proactive in reducing the risk of the buyer’s solicitor making enquiries.

The combination of these issues results in the fact the most solicitors do not read through the necessary paperwork properly, which can lead to the following consequences:

The end result is that the majority of conveyancers do not read through them first with the following results:

  • The solicitor fails to ensure that the buyer’s lawyers receive the paperwork.  Few conveyancing lawyers provide these to the buyer’s lawyers, and instead rely on the agent to do so.
  • If the seller does not have the paperwork prepared by a conveyancing solicitor, this may contain un-spotted errors.
  • Some sellers rely on the registered title stated in the paperwork. If the papers are out-of-date, days can be lost while fresh requests are made by the buyer’s solicitors.
  • Even if the title is up-to-date, some conveyancing lawyers forget to apply for the independent documents referred in the title. Around one third of titles refer to additional documents: all of these are required by the buyer’s solicitors. These applications need to be made promptly, because the Land Registry can take up to a week to send these documents.
  • A complete set of planning permissions for home improvements within the last 20 years must be produced by the selling party. If they aren’t available to the buyer’s solicitor, time is lost while the matter is chased up. According to Sunshine Coast Property Lawyers data, there is an average of 1.5 planning documents applicable for every property.
  • Should the contract contain ‘special conditions’, particularly those that are unusual or uncommon, the buyer would be liable to pay should they fail to complete these conditions.

The Sunshine Coast conveyancing process can be sped up if these shortfalls are avoided. Sadly, if the paperwork or contracts are not exchange-ready: they need to be examined closely in order for the right information to be provided to each party.

Hiring a professional to assist in your conveyancing matters is the wisest course of action. Because there are so many steps involved in the conveyancing process, there are many opportunities for issues to arise: should you encounter problems, it is best that you have a professional to assist you. Arm yourself with a combination of your own acquired knowledge and the life experience of your solicitor, and you can achieve your financial and investment goals.

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld Made Easy

Despite the current state of the market, investment properties on the Sunshine Coast are one of the easiest ways to make money. Investors can stand to make a good deal of money by making the right kinds of transactions. Before you invest, however, it is important to learn the ins and outs of conveyancing in Qld. Knowing what is involved and how all of the processes work is the best way to become lucrative in your investments.

It is important to be informed about what the Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Qld process entails. In order to gain a detailed understanding, you can enlist the help of a professional conveyance or a conveyancing company. An experience professional in the field will be able to fully explain the laws surrounding property transactions. Before you learn the intricacies of conveyancing, however, you need to understand the basic principles.

In essence, conveyancing is the transfer of a property from one party to another. It is a legal transaction, and the laws surrounding it are put in place to protect both the buyer and the seller. These laws help eliminate fraud or other untoward conduct on the part of either party, and altogether help the conveyancing process run smoothly and without issue.

There are many steps involved in the conveyancing process. Before you invest in a property, familiarize yourself with the various aspects of the processes involved. Be attentive of the laws specific to your region, and all aspects specifically related to the areas you wish to invest within.

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Copyright On The Internet

Designs and Copyright on the Internet

copyrightCopyright ownership on a popular blog that consists of articles containing well-researched information, entertaining posts and personal photographs.

You are constantly adding new content to ensure that you receive hits in high numbers.

The quality of your articles brings many readers, but this increase in popularity sparks the concern that someone might copy your website content.

Creative Commons licensing can automatically protect some content, but it’s often not enough protection: there is no legal preventative from people copying the content of your blog or from sharing your personal images without consent.

Even applying a No Copy script to your website is never fool proof.

Copyright On The Internet

Copyright on the internet is tricky. Advice from a specialist solicitor can clear the muddy water: when it comes to internet copyright, there are some clear-cut rules that are good points of reference in straightening out copyright infringements. For example, the Berne Convention states that images are covered by the copyright laws of the country in which they were created. To expand upon that rule: if someone from the United States downloads, without consent, an image from a Australian website, they have infringed upon copyright. This is because it is illegal to import or download material into the United States.

Copyright On The Internet

Copyright LawsIt can be hard to prove that downloaded images or articles are infringing upon copy right. The onus of proving the whereabouts the material was originally uploaded, as well as where this content was stored, can be difficult to verify.

If an Australian website was set up from a home address in Brisbane, yet the original images contained on the site where stored by a server in Canada, which has been downloaded by someone in the United States, the situation becomes complex.

It is for cases such as this that you should seek the advice of a specialist ip solicitor. Specialist solicitors on the Sunshine Coast can professionally advise you on the actions you can take against the alleged violation. Your solicitor can explain how to have your original works protected by the copyright symbol ©: they can also provide insight into domestic and international copy right laws.

The Internet is a constantly expanding and evolving platform. People are becoming more and more dependent upon the net: whether for business, pleasure, or for the sharing of original content. The rules of copy right on the net are changing as the Internet continues to expand and evolve. Don’t be afraid to ask your specialist solicitor questions about the Internet. New laws come into practice on a regular basis and are a continual learning experience for everyone.

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Sunshine Coast Lawyers

The Difference Between Copyright and Trademark

copyrightCopyright law covers various parties, whether individuals, SMEs (small to medium enterprises), or large corporations, are involved with and rely upon trademark law and copyright law.

The laws concerning copyright and trademark can be complex: if you were to find yourself with an issue in copyright or trademark, speak to a specialist lawyer to gain a better understanding of the problem, or to discover a solution.

Copyright Law

Copyright law entered common law with the 1709 Statute of Anne. It later became statutory when the Copyright Act was passed. Most modern cases come under the even later Copyright, Designs and Patents Act’s.

Designs and Copyright on the InternetCopy right law covers many different areas. The Copyrights Act state that as the creator of material, you have the essential right to decide upon how that material is used. For example, if you write a book or other literature.  Create dramatic, artistic or musical works.  Or make a broadcast, film or sound recording, you are covered by the Act.

Should someone other than you use your work without consent, they could be in violation of this Act. In cases of uncertainty, you need to consult with a specialist lawyer for further information.

Your rights allow you to be identified as the creator of a piece of work. Copyright also covers issues of:

  • Broadcasting
  • Public performances
  • Copying
  • Lending
  • Renting
  • Adapting original material

Should you be the creator of works in the above stated areas and if you have concerns about your rights being breached in relation to your original material.  This is known as copyright infringement.  A lawyer specialising in copy right law can advise you on the steps that you can take to rectify this infringement.

Copy right does not, however, cover ideas: rather, it refers to tangible pieces of work. If you have spoken about the plot of a novel that you have not yet written and someone uses your idea for their own book, they are not in breach of rights.

However, should someone replica the text of a novel that you have already written, they have infringed upon your IP rights. Consider, too, that for work to be covered by IP rights it must be original, and to have required a certain amount of judgment and skill.

Copyrights can be incredibly complex, given the nature of the intellectual property that it covers. Most people lack an understanding of which types of intellectual property fall under copyright law and which under trademark law. A copyright lawyer can differentiate these two separate areas for you, but for the purpose of basic understanding, here is a brief overview of the two.

The main difference between copyright and trademark law is the types of intellectual property that each area of the law covers. Copyright concerns content that has been recorded or created in some way. This could include:

  • audio recordings
  • films and other broadcasts
  • works of art
  • works of literature
  • corporate literature
  • computer programmes and more

Trademark Law

It does not, however, include titles or names of works, because these are seen to be too general. Neither does copy right cover ideas; it only covers physical content.

Comparatively, trademarks cover names, slogans, designs, and symbols: all items that identify a specific organisation or product. Trademarks require registration and tend to apply only to a specific nation or territory, whereas copyright is an automatic right without physical boundary.

trademarks in Sunshine CoastWhen you create a trademark, you are permitted to use the ‘TM’ sign to signify it as a trademark. If your trademark is then registered, you are able to use the ® sign: however use of this symbol without registration is illegal. Processing time for trademark registration can be as long as 18 months, but it is usually much faster.

registered trademarkA lawyer specialising in copyright law can advise you on whether you should protect specific parts of your work with a trademark, or if asserting your automatic right to copyright is enough. This will depend on which parts of your work you are looking to protect, and the contents of those parts. You might, for example, be entitled to place a trademark on a specific part of a larger copyrighted work. Your intellectual property lawyer will inform you if this is so.

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Sunshine Coast Lawyers

A 10 Step Guide to Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

Conveyancing Sunshine CoastThe Conveyancing Sunshine Coast process is a long road of paperwork, confusing legal terminology and legal intricacies. While a reliable solicitor can guide you through the Queensland conveyancing stages, you should have an idea of how it all works before you begin your property transaction.

A 10 Step Guide to Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

Every property transaction is different. Generally, though, the conveyancing process involves ten stages:

  1. Draft contract – The seller’s Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor begins to draft a contract to outline the particulars and conditions of the transaction.
  2. Preliminary enquiries – The buyer’s solicitor conducts investigations of the property and the vendor.
  3. Land charge and registry searches – The buyer’s solicitor will obtain the title deed and Registry certificate. These ensure that the vendor is aware of the specifics of the property they are buying, and also proves that the seller is the legal owner: the solicitor will also carry out a background search on the vendor to ensure that they are not bankrupt.
  4. Survey and local authority checks – The property in question will be surveyed: checks will be made to determine that state of water drainage systems; whether there are developmental sites nearby; and whether the property has any building restrictions.
  5. Approval of draft contract – While the property is undergoing checks, both the vendor’s and the buyer’s solicitors will continually negotiate the details of the contract. Once both solicitors are satisfied, the contract is official and must be signed.
  6. Formal mortgage offer – If the buyer is taking out a mortgage, a formal mortgage offer will be required at this stage, and the buyer will have to sign a mortgage deed.
  7. Exchange of contracts – When the contract is signed, then paperwork must be exchanged. The buyer must place a deposit on the property and arrange a date for the completion of sale. This date is included within the contract.
  8. Outstanding payments – Any outstanding payments should then be settled before the date of completion. These payments include stamp duty, legal fees and Land Registry fees.
  9. Date of Completion – On the specified date, the buyer’s mortgage company will transfer the money to the individual’s solicitor, who will then send it to the seller’s solicitor. The buyer will be given the keys to the property and allowed to move in.
  10. Registration of property transfer – The buyer’s Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor will register the title deed with the Land Registry, finalising a transfer of ownership.

Searching For The Right Property – Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

While moving house is reputedly stressful, some planning from the outset can lessen the demand of the move.

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast Research

It is important that you carefully research the area that you want to live in. Visit Conveyancing Sunshine Coast police websites to uncover the crime rates in the area; look up information on local educational facilities; and find out whether or not you can commute easily to your place of work. Everybody’s needs and expectations are different. Decide what is important to you and ensure that you have access to those things from the area in which you are looking to buy.

Plan your finances

Be realistic about the size of the mortgage you can afford. You should speak to an independent financial adviser in order to find the best mortgage deal for you. Make a list of your day-to-day expenses so you understand the amount of monthly repayments you can comfortably afford.

Selling first?

It is advisable to have accepted an offer on your own property before deciding upon a new home. This can put you in a much stronger bargaining position. You may be favoured by the vendor over someone who has placed a higher bid, particularly if the vendor is eager to move as soon as possible. However, if there are very few properties on the market, you may want to decide upon what you want to buy before you sell. Otherwise, you may have to be prepared to move into temporary accommodation, such as a rental property or a hotel, during the period of transition between homes.

Avoid leaving small concerns such as the payment of utility bills or booking a removalist until the last minute. It is important that you contact your utility company prior to your move so that you have such things as your electricity operational once you move into your new home: and so that you are not left with the bills that the previous owners incurred. Book your removalist – preferably someone reputable as well as reliable – as soon as you know the date of your move.

Packing – Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

Pack strategically: do not park things that you will need immediately at the bottom on an unlabelled box. Label your boxes and keep essential items in easily accessible places. This is a simple step that can lessen the stress of your move.

Choosing a Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor

Your Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor should be someone whom you can trust and whom you feel comfortable communicating with. Make sure you instruct someone who specialises in Conveyancing Sunshine Coast and who will keep you regularly updated on the progression of your transaction.

Don’t let the stress of your move spoil what should be a new beginning. Begin planning as soon as you decide to move and try to keep a handle of all of the small things that go into moving home. Make sure that you are always aware of the next step you need to take, and at what stage you are at in the conveyancing process. The lines of communication should be kept open between everyone involved in the transaction: those being your Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor, estate agent, your mortgage company, and the bank.

You are relying on your Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor to guide you through the transaction process: you need them to stick to deadlines and to keep you informed as much as possible. Should you be unhappy with the way that your solicitor is managing the transaction, you have several options available to you.

You are not obliged to use a specific Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor in any legal matter. For instance, you do not have to select from any of the solicitors recommended by, or linked to, your estate agent. You are in fact able to choose any Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor that you want.

Should you find that you are dissatisfied with the service you are receiving from your current Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor, you should first contact the person responsible for your matter at the solicitor’s firm. Discuss your concerns with them and specify what you are not happy with. You may feel that there is a breakdown in the communication process; that the deadlines are not being met; or that you are being left out of the loop during the transaction process.

If that is unsuccessful, you could try contacting the partner in charge of the department or, if you are truly unhappy with the service, follow the firm’s complaints procedure. You do not have to remain with the firm of the solicitor you have selected. Research other firms in order to find the right solicitor to take over your conveyancing matter. You will be required to pay the costs sustained by the work of your initial solicitor, but most Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitors will consent to withhold payment until your conveyancing transaction is complete.

To find that perfect Conveyancing Sunshine Coast solicitor, ensure that you choose from a firm that specialises in conveyancing. Going upon a recommendation can help your decision. The solicitor you choose must have experience and should be communicative – they should have a range of contact options available to you – with you about concerns such as the costs involved in hire.

Moving into a new home is not an essentially stressful procedure. Aid yourself throughout the move by researching as much as possible. Should things not go as planned, ensure that you are receiving the service that you are entitled to: if need be, change solicitors, as you are not obliged to remain with a solicitor who is not working to satisfactory standards.

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What Does a Conveyancing Lawyer Do?

Have you ever wondered what a conveyancing lawyer actually does?  When you decide to move house, you find a new home; make an offer; negotiate the price; and eventually agree to buy. Once this is done, you have to choose a conveyancing lawyer and go through a process known as conveyancing. This may seem to be an unnecessary delay when all you want to do is move into your new home, but it is actually vitally important. So why is it so important and what does your conveyancing lawyer do?

What Does a Conveyancing Lawyer Do?

Firstly, it is your conveyancing lawyer‘s job is to check that the title of the property is in order and that your seller can legally sell the property to you. Your conveyancing lawyer ensures that the seller owns the land they are selling, and also that the legal rights required come with the property.

Next, your conveyancing lawyers Brisbane undertakes a number of searches against the property. This is to ensure that, amongst many other things, there are no legal concerns with the property.  For instance, if a loft or garage conversion has been carried out, your conveyancing lawyer will check to ensure this was carried out in accordance with the planning rules and building regulations. Similarly, if new windows have been installed, your solicitor will check that these were carried out in accordance with all necessary regulations.

Your Queensland conveyancing lawyer will also ask the seller to answer questions from their knowledge of the property to ensure that you have all the relevant and crucial information that you need. Examples of this include enquiries about property flooding to boundary maintenance and access concerns.

What Does a Conveyancing Lawyer Do?

Your conveyancing lawyer will then carefully check any formal legally binding contracts to ensure that all of the necessary terms are included. These terms include many important legal provisions for what will occur should your seller try to pull out of the deal after contracts are exchanged.

Once all of the legal formalities are taken care of, your solicitor will report to you about the property and ensure that you are aware of any issues that may affect your decision to proceed with the transaction. These issues include any defects in the title that may need insurance or a concern that could affect the value of the property. Your solicitor will also provide you with a breakdown showing how much will be needed for your deposit, fees and stamp duty land tax to buy the property.

When everything is finalised then your solicitor, in agreement with everyone else in the chain, will fix a moving date and then exchange the legal contracts. Once this has occurred, everybody is bound to complete their part of the deal on the specified completion date. Your solicitor will then prepare all of the documents necessary to transfer legal ownership of the property to you on the completion date and will ensure that either you, or your mortgage company, have sent sufficient monies to complete your purchase. Stamp duty and land tax must also be paid at this date.

On the completion date, the purchase monies will be sent to your seller’s solicitor and you will then receive the keys to your new home. Your solicitor will then conclude your purchase by ensuring that your stamp duty is paid and the transfer documents are submitted to the Land Registry in order to change the legal title into your name.

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Conveyancing Lawyer in Queensland

Buying Property At Auction

buying property at auction

buying property at auctionThe ‘traditional’ way of buying property in Queensland – i.e. signing up to an estate agent’s mailing list; making appointments to visit properties you like the look of; putting in an offer and waiting to see whether it is accepted; hoping the chain you are in does not fall apart before you have exchanged contracts – is no longer the only way to go about purchasing the home you desire.

Television programs such as ‘Homes Under the Hammer‘ have raised the public’s awareness of being able to buy a property at auction. But beware; it is not always as simple as it is made to look on television. The following article identifies how a property auction works and how you can prepare for bidding at an auction.

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

There are several things you can do to make sure you are prepared for the auction. You should view and research the property you are considering bidding on; just as you would if following the conventional conveyancing route. Instruct a Sunshine Coast conveyancing solicitor to look over the Auction Pack and ensure that all the paperwork is in order. Every property that is going under auction will have an Auction Pack associated with it. This pack includes the title deeds, searches, and a Property Information Questionnaire. You should make sure to acquire an Auction Pack and to familiarise yourself with the information before attending the auction. The time and date of the auction will be set and advertised in the auctioneers’ mailing lists and information packs.

You should also attend a couple of auctions prior to the one at which you intend to bid, so that you have a feel for how auctions work in reality and therefore know what to expect. You also have the option of entering a pre-auction bid but, to be successful, these are usually pitched quite high.

Conveyancing Sunshine Coast

The property will usually have a specified reserve price. This is the lowest price that the vendor is obliged to sell the property at. If, on the day of auction, the bidding does not reach the reserve price, it is at the vendor’s discretion whether the reserve is then lowered: though the vendor cannot, at any point during the auction, raise the reserve price.

The highest bidder at the time the hammer comes down will be the new owner of the property and will be legally obligated to carry through the transaction. The successful bidder will be required to pay a deposit at the auction and will be legally obliged to produce at least two forms of identification.

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Creating Certainty For Copyright Users

copyright bit torrent format shifting time shifting

copyright bit torrent format shifting time shiftingCopyright law in Australia makes it arguable that the provisions regarding time shifting and format shifting under are unclear. This article proposes and justifies changes to the Copyright Act that would create certainty for copyright users.

Identifying The Issues

The personal use provisions outline time shifting and format shifting exceptions to copyright infringement. Section 111 of the Copyright Act (Act) is the provision which deals with “time shifting” or the recording of a broadcast for replaying at a convenient time. Section 43C of the Act deals with reproducing works in books, newspapers and periodical publications into a different format. Section 47J of the Act deals with copying of photographs into a different format. Section 110AA of the Act covers the copying cinematograph film in a different format. Section 109A of the Act deals with the copying of sound recordings.

Identifying problems with the current legislation

The Copyright Act was amended in 2006 to include format shifting and time shifting provisions. In hindsight, copyright law is considered “a buggers muddle” and there have been some notable problems with the legislation in the digital age, including;

  • The complexity of the personal use provisions and the language used;
  • The prescriptive language used to define the provisions; and
  • The one-sidedness of the provisions in favour of copyright holders.

This paper will outline the problems, compare and contrast the Australian Copyright Act with worldwide copyright instruments and suggest ways in which the personal use provisions could be amended to better suit the copyright users.

Second Reading Speech on Copyright Amendment Bill

copyright image Sunshine CoastIn the Second Reading Speech of the Senate on the Copyright Amendment Bill, senator Trish Crossin says;

Popular attention on one aspect of format shifting … overlooked the real question of whether the format-shifting provisions generally work adequately for consumers. For example, you can have one copy on an MP3 player but not one to store on the computer. There are odd inconsistencies that allow copying from one format—say, VHS to DVD— but not between others, such as DVD and DVD, that do not seem to have any logic and indicate a lack of understanding of current and emerging technology. Nevertheless, copyright owners are very nervous about the extent of flexibility given to an individual consumer and how multiple copies may be abused.

Sound Recording – Section 109A

The provision at section 109A of the Act is the easiest to understand. It states that a person is allowed to make a copy of a sound recording for private and domestic use, with a device that they own, provided that the original copy is not an infringing copy, that neither the original, nor the copy is sold, leased, traded, distributed, played in public or broadcast.

There are some common factors in this paragraph which can be applied throughout the Act making it simpler to understand and less prescriptive. These factors include;

  • Private and domestic use;
  • The original is not an illegal nor infringing copy (or they legally own);
  • Not sold, leased, traded, distributed, played in public or broadcast.

What is outlined above is a basic principle in which the elements of time or format shifting could be reduced down to. What this paper suggests is that if you:

  1. have paid consideration for an product in good faith; and
  2. you wish to make copies for your own private and domestic use, for example a copy on mp3 player, phone, tablet and a copy on your pc; then
  3. you should be allowed to, providing the original or the copies are not;
  4. sold, leased, traded, distributed, played in public or broadcast or used in a commercial way which benefits the user.

creating certainty for copyright technology lawyersSection 109A(1)(b)(ii) provides that the recording must be made on a device that he or she owns. This is an example of a prescriptive, confusing, muddled part of the legislation. If the articles outlined above at 1 – 4 are adhered to, then it shouldn’t matter who owns the device. Sections (2), (3)(d) and (4) provide the family or household exception to the distribution exemption of the Act. Distribution is taken to have not happened if it is a member of the copyright users family or household. So this section essentially says that a brother can listen to a song, that he owns on CD, with his family, from his family’s PC, but can’t make a copy from that PC on his phone. This is confusing and contradictory.

Time Shifting – Sections 111

Section 111 of the Act is practically identical to section 109A. It essentially outlines the provision for recording a film or broadcast, for private and domestic use to be replayed at a more convenient time, providing the copy is not sold, leased, traded, distributed, played in public or broadcast. The time shifting provision can be treated in the same way as section 109A above, and the underlying principals suggested are also the same.

Books, Newspapers and Periodicals – Section 43C

Section 43C provides the ability to make a copy in a different format from a work within a book, newspaper or periodical publication for private or domestic use. Section 43C is very prescriptive, convoluted, difficult to understand and has some strange subsections. Ss 1(c) says that the copy must be in a different format, so no pdf to pdf copying from pc to tablet is allowed under this section. Ss 1(e) says that there can only be one main copy made from the original.

Analysis of 43C

These inconsistencies can be seen clearly in the 43C provisions when the legislation only allows one main copy, and only in a different format, and any intermediate copies be destroyed. These provisions do very little to promote the fair use of books, newspapers and periodical publications and heavily favour the copyright owners.

Creating Certainty for Copyright Users

The right to make copies of books, periodicals and newspapers that you have paid consideration for in good faith, and the copies are for your own private and domestic use, should be allowed, providing the original or the copies are not sold, hired, offered or exposed for sale or hire or distributed for the purpose of trade or otherwise. In her speech, senator Crossin suggests that copyright owners are afraid of how multiple copies might be abused, but if a fair amount of copies are made, for legitimate purpose and no commercial gains are made, then it would be difficult to see what the difference would be. The law should go to the intention of the parties and their conduct. If someone is going to make copies of a book to sell, they are committing a criminal act and it is doubtful whether a 43C provision is going to matter to them anyway.

Copyright Fair Use Type Provisions

The general principals this paper outlined above go more to the intention of the parties, similar to the Fair Use provisions of the U.S. legislation, which says;

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Copying of Photographs – Section 47J

The 47J provisions are identical to the provisions at 43C above. Only one main copy is to be made, in a different format. S47J does not allow copyright users to make a digital copy of their digital photos, whereas the provision at 109A allows users to take digital music and copy it onto their pc or phone. It would seem like a logical step that copyright users should also be able to copy photos that they have in a digital form onto their computers or others devices they own such as phones and MP3 players. Again, this is a mixed up section which seemingly looks like the copyright owners begrudgingly relinquished the absolute minimum allowable.

Copying Cinematograph Film – Section 110AA

As previously mentioned in Senator Crossin’s speech, s110AA provides only that analogue be shifted into digital, and not digital to digital. This anomaly comes about because of the technological protection measures (TPM) placed on digital films and because it is infringing conduct to circumvent TPM. All of the other provisions are the same as the aforementioned provisions, namely, you must only make one main copy, the original must not be an infringing copy, the main copy must not be sold, leased, traded, distributed, played in public or broadcast, the original videotape must not be given away and temporary copies must be destroyed.

Analysis of 110AA

Warning copyright infringement AustraliaThis paper would like to suggest that less than 1% of copyright users will copy videotape to digital, and in the modern technological age this is almost certainly not what format shifting provisions are supposed to be used for. Format shifting is predominately used today for use of the work on different digital devices. The provisions at 110AA are grossly inadequate for the modern day, and getting more and more dated every day. The TPM excuse is a smokescreen for the fact that the movie lobby are extremely powerful and they do not want to relinquish any of their rights to the user, unless they absolutely have to. The 110AA provision is certainly not striking the right balance between the user and the owner.

Copying in the Cloud

National Rugby League Investments v Singtel Optus is currently the law in Australia regarding both time shifting and format shifting in a cloud based storage platform. The full Federal Court said that the practice constituted infringing conduct because Optus had a commercial advantage which was not what the personal use provisions were set up for.

This decision implies that if it were a non commercial cloud storage, for a household or family to store works, in keeping with the provisions, then it might be ok. There are perfectly legitimate, technological safeguards to counteract the practice of illegal file sharing. Optus intend to appeal the decision, so the future is still uncertain.

Conclusion

Under all of these provisions, if a person uses a format-shifted copy for commercial gain then the exceptions no longer apply, and their actions could constitute infringing conduct. Because of these control measures, there seems no reason why the format shifting provisions could not be broadened without having a detrimental effect on copyright owners.

The broadening of the provisions could resemble the provisions that have been outlined above, namely;

  1. You have paid consideration for a works in good faith
  2. You can make copies for your own private and domestic use.
  3. You can shift any format to any format, to watch at any time.
  4. The original or the copies are not sold, leased, traded, distributed, played in public or broadcast or in any way utilised for commercial gain.

Infringing conduct is still criminal conduct, even with the broader provisions suggested. The march of technology vastly outpaces the shuffling of legislation and with the lobbying power behind copyright owners, this drama will probably unfold in the judiciary rather than the legislature.

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  1. National Rugby League Investments Pty Limited v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 59
  2. Copyright Act 1968 (CTH)
  3. Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107
  4. Copyright Amendment Act 2006 (CTH)
  5. Australia–US Free Trade Agreement, signed 18 May 2004, [2005] ATS 1
  6. Commonwealth, Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 1 November 2006, 39 (Duncan Kerr)
  7. There’s nothing worse than a muddle in all the world” Copyright complexity and law reform in Australia, Catherine Bond.
  8. Rebecca Giblin, “Stranded in the technological dark ages: implications of the Full Federal Court’s decision in NRL v Optus” (2012) 35 European Intellectual Property Review 632-641.
  9. Josh Taylor, Optus to seek TV Now High Court appeal (2012) <http://www.zdnet.com.au/optus-to-seek-tv-now-high-court-appeal-339337603.htm>
  10. THE SENATE COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT BILL 2006 Second Reading SPEECH Wednesday, 29 November 2006

The Beginning of Copyright Law

copyright

As far as copyright law is concerned, the invention of the printing press really was ‘up there’ with revolutionary, earth-shattering events.

Carl Sagan in Cosmos has observed that by around 1440:

there were no more than a few tens of thousands of books in all of Europe, all handwritten…“.

With the invention of the printing press in 1440, taken up by Caxton in England in 1476 and others around Europe, a new force was unleashed on the world evidenced by the fact that, by about year 1500, there were 10 million printed books in existence.

Copyright Law

copyrightFor various reasons, the power of the printing press became heavily concentrated in the hands of a few and was contained, through legal inducements from the monarch (in the form of highly profitable monopoly rights) and a very big stick (through the Star Chamber, which, though notionally a “court”, had a penchant for inflicting torture to extract confessions of illegal printing and sedition). A rough analogy might be drawn between moving illegal books around the place in those days and trafficking in illicit drugs today. Indeed, as late as the 1750’s “the French book police infiltrated the book trade to an extraordinary extent.  They kept detailed records of the location of printing presses, carried out regular inspections of printing shops and restricted the entry of books into France to certain designated points such as Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux. People receiving packages of books had to report to local authorities… Large numbers of people connected with the book trade went to jail. The statistics seem incredible to the modern eye, but during the 1750’s 40 per cent of those in the Bastille were there because of offences related to the book trade.” Peter Drahos, Information Feudalism (2002).
 It was from these shady origins that copyright law was born.

What is Copyright Law?

copyright bit torrent format shifting time shiftingWhat is copyright law? First of all, it is just one branch of intellectual property law.  Second, copyright concerns the right to reproduce, copy, perform, broadcast, publish or adapt an original expression of an idea.
Read that definition carefully – copyright protects the expression of the idea, not the idea itself. I am tempted to say that again, and I think I will – copyright protects the expression of the idea, not the idea itself.  It is a (the?) fundamental feature of copyright law.  The key authority for this proposition is Autodesk Inc v Dyason (No 1 (1992) 173 CLR 330:
…it is true that it is often difficult to separate an idea from its expression, but it is nevertheless fundamental that copyright protection is given only to the form in which ideas are expressed, not to the ideas themselves (at 344 per Dawson J)
For recent judicial discussion on the topic, you might like to look up some articles on the Da Vinci Code case. See, for example, Jon Silverman, ‘No surprise in Da Vinci judgement’ BBC News.

The Purpose Of Copyright Law

And the purpose of copyright? Well, according to the Attorney General of the day when introducing the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) into Parliament:
It is a prime purpose of copyright law to protect creative works so that authors, composers, artists and sculptors may during the continuance of copyright protection, control the uses to which their works are put and get some return for the exploitation of their works. 
Copyright LawThis view will suffice for our present purposes. Note, though, that it is neither a novel or modern view. At least since 1709 (when the Statute of Anne was enacted), there has been some recognition of author’s rights as justification for copyright. Equally, note, too, that even since those times, any romantic notions of the creative genius finding just recognition and reward through copyright law has been tempered by the reality that such rights have long (and routinely) been signed over to publishers.

How to view Copyright

When reading through this blog and any extrinsic associated material, you should ask yourself these questions:
  • Are the original justifications for copyright still valid today?
  • Are there new justifications which apply?
  • To what extent is historical baggage being carried into our brave new “high tech” world?
You might also like to consider this from Peter Drahos (footnotes omitted):
Copyright protection matters to the publishing, recording and motion picture industries. During the 1980s it also came to matter to the software industry.  When these industries came together for the purposes of the TRIPS campaign they publicly argued that:  lack of effective enforcement of copyright threatens industries, such as the motion picture and publishing industries, manufacturers of computers, computer programs and communication systems, and the broadcasting and music and recording industries. … [T]he threat was not so much to entire industries as to individual players who did not want to lose their position of dominance. These players turned to copyright law in the hope of finding immunity from competition and the uncertainties of technological change. Copyright law became a battleground as copyright users began to find their rights being whittled away. Giant technology companies such as IBM, Microsoft, EMI, Polygram, Sony and Disney pushed what might be termed the ‘private interest perspective’ of copyright law. The public interest perspective was put forward by public libraries, educational institutions and the consumer movement. The outcome of these unequal struggles is a copyright law that probably has never been more distant from its true goal of serving the public welfare – SOURCE