SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Fair Image Use

Discussion started on

Poster
  • **
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region losangeles
Multi-part question here:

1) Can you use pictures of branded products in your book? [with the brand name showing] (i.e. Crayola boxes & crayons)

2) Can you use pictures of non-branded products? [maker not showing] (For example, Crayola crayons with the name side turned away or erased, or toy products like action figures, Power Ranger dolls, etc).

And I suppose also, if it makes any difference whether you actually own that product/toy or are taking the picture from the public domain or a store. Thank you! 😃
#1 - January 16, 2020, 09:29 AM

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
I am not an intellectual property lawyer, so please take these comments with a grain of salt.... But IMO, I would not use branded products in illustrations in a book. Don't even use products with distinctive designs, because the *designs* themselves can be trademarked. Did you know the wavy band at both end of a Crayola crayon is trademarked, for example? Create your own products. Of course, that gets tricky to do if you are using photographs rather than art as your illustrations, but it's the safe way to do it.

If you have good reasons for using such products, and you are working with a publisher, you can ask for advice from their legal department. If you are working on your own, really the only safe thing to do is hire an intellectual property attorney.
#2 - January 16, 2020, 10:22 AM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
Our own lawyer answered a similar question here: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=89081.0.

You may want to scroll through other Ask A Lawyer posts for more info. It is also always a good idea to make sure your specific circumstance is legal by double checking with an attorney.
#3 - January 16, 2020, 09:03 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Children's Book Editor
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Our own lawyer answered a similar question here: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=89081.0.

You may want to scroll through other Ask A Lawyer posts for more info. It is also always a good idea to make sure your specific circumstance is legal by double checking with an attorney.

Interesting. So that suggests there are circumstances in which it would be OK. I think the safe way to go, without legal support, is to avoid use of recognizable trademarks, but it's good to know there is a fair use area here.
#4 - January 17, 2020, 06:10 AM
Harold Underdown

The Purple Crayon, a children's book editor's site: http://www.underdown.org/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/HUnderdown

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region florida
Yes, agreed, avoid them. FYI - This is why many writers will make up their own "brands" or come up with variances of famous brands. Even in movies, such as MISS CONGENIALITY, the character played by William Shatner is named Fields. This name subtly suggests Burt Parks, who was the host of the Miss America pageant for years. You'll notice this type of thing going on in lots of movies. The same type of thing can also go on elsewhere.

In my MG, OOPS-A-DAISY, I wanted to hint at certain individuals. So, I went with "Knowprah" and "Dr. Jill". People know who I am spoofing, but there are no legal issues. Also, my publisher would not have allowed the use of "real" people or brands.
#5 - January 21, 2020, 10:14 AM
ROYALLY ENTITLED (inspirational/historical YA) and OOPS-A-DAISY (humorous MG) out now.  http://www.melodydelgado.com/

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
Quote
William Shatner is named Fields

Melody, I never would of thought of the "Parks"/"Fields" connection. I think I was always too busy chuckling over his name, "STAN Fields" being that of a men's underwear manufacture  :lol5

Debbie, that's a great link, I never would of thought that would be the answer.


#6 - January 22, 2020, 03:29 AM
"Penelope and the Humongous Burp"
"Penelope and the Monsters"
"Penelope and the Preposterous Birthday Party"

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.