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Mark A. Baker

Mark A. Baker

Mark A. Baker Law, LLC
  • Business Law, Entertainment & Sports Law, Intellectual Property
  • Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media

A lawyer for over 30 years, Mark's extensive legal background representing large corporate entities and artists both established and emerging, as well as his work as a gigging musician, make him equally comfortable navigating the halls of Corporate America and the mustiest of music halls. Licensed to practice law in all the federal and state courts of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama, as well as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Mark is an alumnus of the University of Alabama (B.A.) and Cumberland School of Law (J.D.), and served two years as judicial law clerk to a federal judge. In addition to representing artists, Mark has represented many of the country’s largest financial institutions, most recently as a partner at Johnson & Freedman, LLC, a mid-size firm serving clients in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2016, he married a professor of art at Florida State University and moved to Tallahassee, where he continues to represent clients nationwide (in matters of federal law, such as trademark and copyright) within his principal practice areas.

Cumberland School of Law, Samford University
J.D. (1982)
Cumberland School of Law, Samford University Logo
University of Alabama School of Law
B.A. (1979) | English Literature
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Professional Experience
Mark A. Baker Law, LLC
- Current
Managing Partner, Bankruptcy Department
Johnson & Freedman, L.L.C., Atlanta, GA
Associate Attorney, Manager, Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Departments
Law Offices of Mark Weber, P.C., Atlanta, GA
Associate Attorney
Gingold, Kaufman & Chaiken, Atlanta, GA
Associate Attorney
Schwall, Ruff & Goodman, Atlanta, GA
Judicial Law Clerk
Honorable L. Chandler Watson, Jr., U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Alabama
Staff Attorney
Legal Services Corporation of Alabama, Anniston, AL
Articles & Publications
David Bowie: Star Man
Paste Magazine
Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True
Paste Magazine
Eyemazing: The New Collectible Photography
Paste Magazine
King of Queens by George O'Dowd
Paste Magazine
Quit Your Job
Esquire Magazine
Salvador Dali: The Making of an Artist
Paste Magazine
The Street Photographer's Manual
Paste Magazine
Avoiding Traps That Snag the Unwary
Servicing Management Magazine
Speaking Engagements
Chapter 7 and 13 Bankruptcy practice
WGUN?AM Radio, CBS Affiliate
Careers in Entertainment Law
Emory Law School
Debtor/Creditor Law, Continuing Legal Education
Georgia State University, College of Law
Music & the Law
Emory Law School
Panel Participant
Copyright for Artists
Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Opportunities for the Sole Practitioner in Entertainment Law
Emory Law Student Sports and Entertainment Law Section
Money Matters: Keys to Advising Clients During Foreclosure and Repossession Actions in Georgia
National Business Institute
Professional Associations
Tennessee State Bar
- Current
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North Carolina State Bar
- Current
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Georgia State Bar
- Current
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Atlanta Bar Association
- Current
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Alabama State Bar
- Current
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Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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North Carolina
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4th Circuit
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  • Free Consultation
    Free initial consultation of approximately 30 minutes.
  • Contingent Fees
    I occasionally enter contingent fee arrangements, depending upon the subject matter.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    I also perform certain services for a flat fee, such as routine contract preparation and review, copyright and trademark registrations, and corporate formations.
Practice Areas
Business Law
Business Contracts, Business Dissolution, Business Finance, Business Formation, Business Litigation, Franchising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Partnership & Shareholder Disputes
Entertainment & Sports Law
Intellectual Property
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • French: Written
Legal Answers
Q. An illustrator is interested in purchasing a license to my photograph for reference purposes, how does this work?
A: As the creator of the work, and therefore the owner of the copyright (assuming you have not otherwise transferred the copyright or made the work as a work-for-hire), you have the exclusive right, among other rights, to create derivative works. An illustrator who creates illustrations from your original (copyrighted) work is creating a derivative work (subject to issues regarding "fair use," which I will not discuss here), and it's up to you whether, and under what terms, to permit this use.

If you are interested in allowing the illustrator to use your work for the purpose of making derivative works, consider the following possible licensing arrangements:

- a written licensing agreement, describing the permitted use, with a one-time licensing fee that will pay you in full for the illustrator's uses. The downside is that if the illustration(s) makes significant money, you won't be entitled to any additional sums; on the other hand, if the illustration(s) doesn't make any money, then at least you were paid for the use.

- a written licensing agreement, describing the permitted use, with a royalty-only scheme, such as 30% of gross sales. In this context, if the illustration(s) doesn't sell, you won't see any money.

- a written licensing agreement, describing the permitted use, with a hybrid financial arrangement: upfront fee (maybe a small sum) plus a royalty payment, such as 30-40% of gross sales. In this context, if the illustration(s) doesn't sell, at least you got some upfront money.

If you want to license the work, try to determine how badly the illustrator wants it, and what his financial wherewithal is - this can allow you determine the best option that works for you and the illustrator and allows you to set a fair fee for you work. Bear in mind the difficulty in determining exactly what sales or other income illustrator has on account of the illustrations - this means it may be difficult to determine whether there have been sales, and what you are owed. Any license agreement that is based upon a royalty should also have provisions requiring the illustrator to account to you periodically for sales/royalties.
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Q. copyright a song - to record the song on a cassette, mail it to yourself, make sure it's never opened or seal broken.
A: You have described a "poor man's copyright." It's worth about as much as the piece of paper it's written on, but not after you add postage. Under U.S. law, a copyright comes into existence the moment the original idea is "fixed in a tangible medium" - when you record the original song on a cassette tape, you have fixed it in a tangible medium. However, under U.S. law, the only way to enforce the copyright is through the federal courts, and that requires registration of the copyright with the Copyright Office. So why not spend the $55 filing fee (for which you may register as many tracks as you please, provided they have common authorship) and have the peace of mind that you can deal with any infringement through the courts. By the way - if you wait to register until after you learn of an infringement, you may be giving up important rights to claim certain damages. ... Read More
Q. I filed for Ch. 7 in the middle of a month. At the beginning of that month, I got a $2000/year raise, but filed
A: I agree with your attorney's assessment, assuming, of course, that you make this disclosure at the 341 meeting. Following the meeting, there may be other matters to address by amendment, so it makes sense to address them all in a single amendment.
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Contact & Map
Mark A. Baker Law, LLC
1804 Old Fort Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Telephone: (678) 999-3944
Mark A. Baker Law, LLC
Of Counsel - McMichael Taylor Gray, LLC
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30342
Telephone: (404) 474-7149