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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2010-11-29, 9:58am
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Default Is ther a copyright lawyer in the house?

If I made a bead, with specific team colors, like the green & white beads I make for my Michigan State customers, can I use the Spartan team name in the listing? Does that imply that it is licensed by the school or club?

Can I list a witch bead and refer to Harry Potter? I am asking ethics as wel as legalities.

Input, please...
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  #2  
Old 2010-11-29, 9:59am
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I am aware that most vendors that sell beads that fit Pandora just state that fact. Can one say, for example, "Pandora-like"?
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  #3  
Old 2010-11-29, 10:03am
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you can say "harry potter inspired" or "Spartin inspired" and you will not have a problem. The law can not tell you where to get your inspiration from Its not like you are mass producing these.. I think you will be fine.
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  #4  
Old 2010-11-29, 10:11am
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Oh yeah! That response was just INSPIRED!! Love it!

How about a listing that starts out: "For all you Spartan fans...", "Or created in team Spartan colors"?
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  #5  
Old 2010-11-29, 10:16am
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I am pretty sure you can use the name in the description, but you can't sell a product with their name/logo on it without paying royalty.
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  #6  
Old 2010-11-29, 10:28am
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So avoid using the Pandora type font with the crown on it, or the Coca Cola red and white swash?
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  #7  
Old 2010-11-29, 1:15pm
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Well I am not sure where the fine lines are, it's probably a little different in each case.

A friend of mine works with polymer clay and makes earrings, pins etc. for Montana griz football fans. She went through the process to be able to sell griz stuff and can use any names/logos but has to pay royalty.

As far as I remember, before she was approved she was allowed to make a little football helmet charm for example in their colors and a common grizzly paw, but was not allowed to add "go griz", "grizzlies" or "University of Montana" on it.

I don't think you have to worry about using the word spartan in your description. But I wouldn't paint their logo on a green and white bead and start selling them by the hundreds.

I like your title description idea of "For all you Spartan fans"
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  #8  
Old 2010-11-29, 3:28pm
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Only the copyright/trademark holders can answer a definite yes or no...
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  #9  
Old 2010-11-29, 3:40pm
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Or a copyright attorney
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  #10  
Old 2010-11-29, 4:15pm
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Even they don't know most of the time. The courts keep going back and forth unless it's blatant.
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  #11  
Old 2010-11-29, 9:14pm
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Some copyright holders are more aggressive about policing stuff made in their image. One of the most aggressive (and vindictive) is Disney. They aren't happy till you are bleeding. A friend did some stained glass panels (at their request) and they pronounced them not good enough. When she came to collect them back every one of them had multiple broken pieces. She could claim nothing because of the 18 page release she had to sign to submit her work for consideration for the new resort. I think your phrase about for all the fans should keep you safe. They can have a copyright on their logo, but they can't have a copyright on colors. I make orange and black jewelry for Harley enthusiasts all the time, but nowhere is the name on any of it. I have a stained glass panel of their logo hanging in my studio, but no way will it ever be for sale.
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Old 2010-11-30, 8:11am
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soooooo interesting dreamsincolor.... Got me thinking, its like the resale of concert tickets in states that do not allow you to resale for more than the ticketed price. The reseller of the ticket sells something like a coffee mug, for an outrageous price, and throws in the tickets for free... hummm SO based on this conversation here, you could gift a theme item, thereby no royalties are had to be given, and be totally safe??? If this is the case, then all the knock offs in the world can be gifted as often as willed, as long as there i no monetary collection, ergo no royalties??

not that I have any evil plans to mass produce anything and start giving it away like that, just wondering.
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  #13  
Old 2010-11-30, 1:39pm
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I know there is alot of thematic designs out in the world that are not licensed. You can usually tell based on the price. I think if you want to make a Mickey Mouse and sell it, no one will bother to complain. If you make 500 Mickey Mouses, and build a website to sell them retail, then disney may get up in arms. I would too! My idea is only to use the team colors, but without the tags using the team names, how would customers find me, see? so my tag has to say Cleveland Browns, see? But I wouldn't be using their copyrighted logo or anything.
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  #14  
Old 2010-11-30, 4:16pm
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You can say "Spartan fans or Harry Potter fans might be interested in....." However, I would not create a Harry Potter likeness or the Spartan mascot....
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  #15  
Old 2010-11-30, 5:49pm
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Since you're unclear on the difference between 'trademark' and 'copyright', I would suggest you talk to a real lawyer.
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  #16  
Old 2010-11-30, 9:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurieBSmith View Post
You can say "Spartan fans or Harry Potter fans might be interested in....." However, I would not create a Harry Potter likeness or the Spartan mascot....
I don't think that will be a problem since my alma mater has a really homely cartoon Spartan guy for its logo!! LOL
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  #17  
Old 2010-12-04, 7:32am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesterGlass View Post
Since you're unclear on the difference between 'trademark' and 'copyright', I would suggest you talk to a real lawyer.
Yeah, I am a real lawyer and I was thinking the same thing. And trust me Disney will go after you for one Mickey Mouse. Just depends on if they see it.
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Old 2010-12-04, 8:08am
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Yep. I was managing editor of a publishing company for a number of years, and dealt regularly with trademark issues from both sides (including a nasty spat with Disney).
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Old 2010-12-05, 2:39pm
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So, a Mickey-type rat, with a handlebar mustache...might loose your audience!
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  #20  
Old 2010-12-05, 3:19pm
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I made these earrings for my daughter & I to wear to a Bama game. A lady in one of the Bama shops loved them. I started talking with her about how to market them. She said you have to be licensed with the NCAA and they even have reps that walk around before the games & make sure the vendors aren't selling anything they're not supposed to. She said every design has to be approved by them first. If I were to sell my earring, I would have to go through all that first. Or, I could let her buy them and get the design approved & she could sell them in her stores.

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