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Old August 31st, 2002, 11:10 AM   #1
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legality of name brand products in video

I'm going to be shooting two TWO projects in one!

The first is going to be a swimsuit calendar with my still camera, the second is going to be a video of "The Making of" said suimsuit calendar. They are going to be sports/action related and will have medium name brand sports products featured in them. No Nike or Reebok, more like Burton or Rossignol (snowboards). Not exclusively featured but definitely obvious in the picture, next to the girl in the bikini of course.

So my question is, do I have to ask permission of the company to use their products in a for-profit printed calendar and video? I'm thinking the answer is no, since magazines don't have to get permission to print picutres of people using said items. I'm pretty sure sports videos don't have to ask if they can show people using said products either. However, I'm only about 60% sure, since the girls won't be using them, only standing beside them, suggestively. So I thought I'd ask y'all and see what you think.

Well, what's the good word gentlemen?
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Old August 31st, 2002, 11:49 AM   #2
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I believe that you will need product clearance for both of your projects. However, it should be fairly easy to obtain permission to use the brand names, and if you are lucky you may end up being supplied with product! A letter to the respective marketing departments describing your project and intent should do it. Consider that this is free publicity for the brands in question and they usually pay for such consideration. As long as their products are being positively represented in an appropriate fashion, you should have no problem. The important thing is to go through the process and clear it first, otherwise you could end up "fuzzing" the logos down the line.
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Old August 31st, 2002, 12:22 PM   #3
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Charles is correct and his approach to get permission is very good. I do work for a major multi-national consumer products company. They take their brands very, very seriously and will, do pursue any and all violations of their trademarks. They would sue over a project like your suggesting. Magazines, newspapers and TV have several rights that they can stand on to avoid problems with name brands.

Jeff
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Old August 31st, 2002, 02:22 PM   #4
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This is a topic that always interestes and frustrates me.
How far do you have to go when getting permission for items? Do you need it only when showing a trademark? What if it's an object that is clearly identifiable to anyone, like a Porsche, but no logo is shown? Is it the logo that causes the problem, or is it the whole item itself? If so I will also need to get permission from the clothing, shoe, and sunglasses manufacturers, wouldn't I?

I'm sure I will have no problem getting permission to use everything I need. I wasn't planning on asking for free product, but if anyone offers... :)
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Old September 1st, 2002, 12:55 PM   #5
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The items that will give you problems are recognizable names (Trademarks). A car is fine, show the Mercedes Tri-star prominently and your asking for trouble. So, shoes and bathing suits are OK just don't have the Nike Swish occupying half the image. Also how the product is presented has a lot to do with corporate acceptance of the image. Most companies want good , wholesome, family type publicity. They don't want tot be associated (in most cases) with controversial subjects.

Jeff
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Old September 1st, 2002, 07:10 PM   #6
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I should probably be OK then. I don't think any trademarked logos will likely appear. However, I've already e-mailed most of the manufacturers I will be showing asking about who to talk to for permission anyway. Who knows, maybe someone will give me free stuff if I put their gear on the cover shot. :)
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Old September 21st, 2002, 12:32 AM   #7
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Just to update you guys on this, so far everyone I've contacted has given me the green light, except for one company I wasn't too interested in anyway, but asked just in case.

Most of them have taken quite a bit of time to get back to me though, and there are still one or two I haven't heard from. The duration has taken from the post just before this, until this post here, whatever length that is.
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Old September 24th, 2002, 04:02 AM   #8
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Around 20 days Dylan...
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