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unauthorized use of logos

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BB Bobcat, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    I started a blog and in my banner I have some unauthorized logos of the teams I'm covering. Is that bad?

    I know they are copyrighted and all, but newspapers use logos all the time, right?

    What are the rules on that sort of thing?

    To be honest, my goal should be to make the blog so big that MLB has to sue me :)
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Fair use.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Generally, I agree that it's fair use ... especially since your blog is unlikely to ever make any money.
  4. writestuff1

    writestuff1 Member

    Some of these fair use issues confuse me. If I create a sports Web site and want to use, let's say, the Green Bay Packers logo on it, it that OK? What if I wrote a book about the Packers and wanted to put the Packers logo on that?
  5. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    The real issue besides fair use is one of copyright and trademarks.

    By using a logo of the Packers in a book, it's a matter of whether anyone would confuse the book with an official Green Bay Packers product. The Packers don't have an exclusive right to tell their history, so there is fair use to use the logo when talking about the team.
  6. bp6316

    bp6316 Member

    If you are making money off the use of any logo for non-editorial purposes, they'd have a case against you. That being said, aside from the NCAA, you'd likely never hear a word about it.

    We had this issue come up when we wanted to do these little paper folding dolls for one of the big schools around us. One of the Denver papers did em for the Rockies during their World Series run (with Colorado's permission) and we wanted to do the same kind of thing. We wouldn't be selling them, they'd just be available to download off our site. But since we were using them as a "draw" to the site and therefore "making money" off of the use of the school logo, the school objected. We decided not to do it, figuring it wasn't worth burning any bridges for something that would just be a fan-friendly kind of feature.

    It's not quite the same as including the logos in your site banner, but if you're making direct money because you are using the logos, and you wouldn't be if you didn't use the logos, it's a violation of that fair use policy.
  7. BB Bobcat

    BB Bobcat Active Member

    Sadly, I can't argue with that.
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