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Will Blackton

Will Blackton

Blackton Law PLLC
  • Business Law, Intellectual Property, Estate Planning
  • North Carolina
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Raleigh-based attorney who focuses on the legal needs of entrepreneurs, artists, developers, and builders. From business formation; financing; operation; fixing online templates and DIY legal work; on-boarding partners and key employees; resolving disputes between companies and exiting partners and key employees; to mergers and acquisitions, Blackton Law will provide prompt and responsive service.

Industry experience with:
Artist/design firms, including:
- artists,
- interior designers,
- photographers,
- stage designers,
- web designers;
Commercial real estate;
Hospitality businesses, including:
- bars,
- restaurants;
Residential real estate for investment/profit;
Software developers; and
Staffing firms.

Practice Areas
  • Business Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Estate Planning
Additional Practice Area
  • Copyright
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
North Carolina
4th Circuit
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Attorney, owner
Blackton Law PLLC
- Current
Law Clerk
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Professional Associations
State Bar of North Carolina
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
235 Questions Answered

Q. Uncle died left no will. Has 2 living siblings but we are heirs thru our deceased dad what are our rights.
A: North Carolina's Intestate Succession Act (describing how an estate is divided if someone doesn't have a will) is available at:
Q. If the beneficiary has passed, who is entitled to the devise, the children or the surviving spouse?
A: How your father's share will be distributed should be described in your Grandfather's Will. Did your father pass before or after your grandfather? If after your grandfather, more than five days after? If your father passed after your grandfather, your father's estate will receive his one-third share in your grandfather's estate. How that one-third share will be divided amongst his heirs will be described in his will or, if he didn't have a will, through the intestate succession laws of the state in which his estate is administered. If your father passed before your grandfather: Generally, there are two ways to leave your estate to your beneficiaries: "Per Capita" or "Per Stirpes." Here, your grandfather is the Grantor, your father is the Beneficiary. Let's assume that Grandmother predeceased Grandfather and Grandfather wants his only children, conveniently named Son and Daughter, to each receive 50% of his estate. Before Grandfather's passing, Son has a child (Son, Jr.). Before Grandfather passed, Son died, survived by Son, Jr. If Grandfather wants Son's share to be inherited by Son, Jr., then he wants his estate to pass Per Stirpes. If Grandfather wants Son's share to be inherited by Daughter, then he wants his estate to pass Per Capita.
Q. Are photographers owners of their photos if there is no written contract?
A: Who owns the photographs? It depends. Could you be considered an employee? Any copyrightable work created by an employee acting within the scope of his or her employment is a “work made for hire.” The parties do not need to address works made for hire in their employment agreement, negotiations, or any other written agreement. If it’s an employee-employer relationship, and there is no written agreement to the contrary, the default is that the employer owns the copyright to the employee's creative works produced in the scope of their employment. However, any copyrightable work created by an independent contractor for the employer who hired them, is not a “work for hire” without an express written agreement. So, if someone is considered an independent contractor, and there is no written agreement assigning you ownership, the default is that the independent contractor owns the copyright interest. Coauthorship Many valuable copyrighted works result from creative collaborations. U.S. copyright law allows for two or more parties to own the copyright in a work as joint authors. Section 101 of 17 U.S.C. (U.S. copyright law) defines a “joint work” as “a work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole.” The authors do not need to work together at the same time, but they must intend, at the time of contributing to the work, that they work be merged with another author’s into a unitary whole. For example, Jonathan has an idea for a screenplay about a resource-depleted Earth in the near future. His brother, Christopher, wants to write a screenplay where a good looking everyman is sent into space to save Earth, but encounters wormholes and black holes. Jonathan and Christopher both begin writing a single screenplay together which incorporates both ideas; they are coauthoring a joint work. If joint authorship is disputed in a lawsuit, the court will look to (1) the nature of each person’s contribution and (2) whether each collaborator had the requisite intent to create a joint work. In looking at the nature of the contribution, a court might look to the degree of creativity in the contribution and whether the author contributed only abstract ideas or and actual copyrightable expression of the work. In examining the coauthor’s requisite intent to create a joint work, the coauthors don’t necessarily need to intend to share credit for the work or to share any of the legal rights of authorship; they must intend to combine their contributions into a single work. Each of joint owner in a copyright has the right to fully exploit the work, even without the consent of the other owners. But, they must account for the profits of that exploitation by splitting them equally among all of the joint owners. Equal ownership is presumed under the law, even where the authors' respective contributions are unequal. Going back to our example, Jonathan cannot deprive Christopher of his ability to exploit the work, without Christopher’s permission. So, a coauthor’s exploitation right only applies to nonexclusive licenses. One joint owner cannot assign the exclusive license (that is prohibit anyone else from doing anything with the work) without the consent of all copyright owners. Publicity Rights Are the photographs/videos of people? If so, do you have a signed model release? In many jurisdictions, people have a right to control how their name or likeness is used commercially. If you exploit someone's name or likeness without their permission, then you can potentially be sued. The lesson here is: Don’t start work without a contract. Determining ownership rights after a project is completed is like putting a helmet on while you’re on the way to the hospital after crashing your bike. You have already lost the preventative benefits.
Q. Fan Made Video Game
A: Contact the video game company and tell them about the infringement if it's bothering you. It's up to the rights holder (video game company) to pursue copyright infringement claims.
Q. Hello I am an International student and I have been scammed $ 4700 by somebody, how could I sue him?
A: Do you know this person's real identity and are they located in North Carolina, or at least in the US? If so, you may have a chance at suing them to recover your money. You can contact the North Carolina Secretary of State's Securities Division to file a complaint if this person committed broker fraud. Filing a complaint will give you a bit more information; but the NC SoS will not get your money back for you; you'll have to hire an attorney.
Q. I received a Civil Summons for cc debt with Wells Fargo. What should my 1st step regarding the paperwork? it is $6330.00
A: Once a lawsuit has been commenced against you, if you fail to respond appropriately - you lose the lawsuit. Your first step should be contacting an attorney. If you're unsure of how to find an attorney or would like an attorney to only assist you in answering a limited set of questions about the process and procedure of a civil suit, contact the NC Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service at 800 662 7660
Q. How can we protect ancestral journals and letters?
A: A will does not have to specifically bequest intellectual property rights for those rights to pass to heirs. If, for example, father gives everything he owns to son, his son inherits the intellectual property rights in his letters and journals. Son could apply for copyright protection from the U.S. Copyright office as the claimant, describing how he acquired the rights in the transfer statement.
Q. How can I stop the sell of Property that was supposed to signed over to me. Not sure if INC. or persons name
A: North Carolina General Statute § 22-2. Contract for sale of land; leases. All contracts to sell or convey any lands, ... or any interest in or concerning them, ... shall be void unless said contract, or some memorandum or note thereof, be put in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith, or by some other person by him thereto lawfully authorized. Is that agreement in writing signed by the president or a representative of the company? Contact an attorney in the county where the property is located. That attorney will be able to tell you if filing suit or filing a notice of lis pendens is appropriate to stop the sale of property in which you have an interest. I do not recommend that you do this without the assistance of an attorney, if you improperly file a notice of lis pendens, you could open yourself up to a lawsuit for slander of title, also called “title disparagement of property” or “injurious falsehood.”
Q. Question about owner financing
A: The answers to those questions will depend on what's in the written agreement between you and the interested buyer. Contact an attorney directly to assist drafting or reviewing any lending agreement that exchanges $350,000.00 of value. You have valid concerns which should be addressed in the lending agreement you'll sign. The attorney who drafts that agreement will be in the best position to answer your questions and address your concerns.
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PO Box 10469
Raleigh, NC 27605
Telephone: (919) 636-5979