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Using Footbal Clubs badges in Youtube Videos

Posted: Fri May 22, 2015 10:15 pm
by mrsir

I am a Liverpool FC fan in Africa and am wondering if it would be legal to create a youtube channel on which I will be posting videos with support messages. I will be creating motion graphics that may include 3d versions of the LFC badge or the Liverbird, however using the existing badges and logos as sources. My videos may also include images of the players and the Anfield grounds altered in some way, mostly 3d adaptations. I intend to monetize my videos in the long run. I am not sure if this will be considered an infringement especially considering the fact that the videos will be original and based on original scripts. The only part I am not clear about is the use of LFC's identity as well as colors in my videos.



Posted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:03 am
by AndyJ
Hi mrsir,
As you have identified, the main thing you need to watch out for is infringing the copyright and / or trade mark of Liverpool FC's badge and emblem. The club's colours and stadium are not protected, but photographs of the players and the stadium will be protected by copyright. In many cases LFC will not own the copyright in these photographs, so you may need to find the original owner for permission. It is most unlikely that there would be copyright problems just using the name of the club on your channel, since only trade mark protection applies to that, and a simple statement somewhere in the videos that it is not an official club video should resolve that. The fact that LFC has their own YouTube channel should further differentiate your content from theirs.
Although you are based in Africa, it would be sensible to consider the implications of UK law since as I suspect a large part of your potential audience could be based in the UK, and as YouTube can be accessed just about anywhere, if the club wanted to take legal action against you they could do that through the UK courts. Although the court would have no jurisdiction over you personally while you were in Africa, if your videos were found to infringe, it could order YouTube both to take down the channel and to pay any accrued advertising revenue you had earned to the club.
Liverpool FC have, over the years, registered 55 trade marks in the UK. You can see a list of them here. Not all of them are still active, but the large number concerning the current logo appear to be in force. Under UK law producing a 3D version of a 2D graphic work would still infringe:
Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 Section 17 (3)
(3) In relation to an artistic work copying includes the making of a copy in three dimensions of a two-dimensional work and the making of a copy in two dimensions of a three-dimensional work.
On that basis, I would advise you to get permission to use the logo and to explain what you want to do. I suggest you emphasise that your aim is to increase the club's fan base in Africa as this is likely to appeal to their marketing sense. Don't mention the idea of making money from your video channel to start with. That can come later once you have the basic permission, as this may avoid you having to pay a licensing fee initially.
Good luck with your venture.

Using Footbal Clubs badges in Youtube Videos

Posted: Sat May 23, 2015 8:30 am
by mrsir
Hi AndyJ

Thanks a lot for your reply. You guys are doing a great service to the public with this forum. Most people do not want to break the law or infringe on anybody's rights and it is usually out of ignorance that you end up doing. I will take your advice although I now have to carefully rethink my project model.

Many thanks