Idea/format for a book - would I be breaching copyright

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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sobekhotep
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Idea/format for a book - would I be breaching copyright

Post by sobekhotep » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:58 pm

I've been asked to write a book based in a particular county in which the best local hotels/spas are featured. Each business would have a description and several pages devoted to their top treatments / restaurant specialities etc. A sort of gastronomic travel guide for the area. I don't know if anyone has done a similar type of book, but if they have, is there a problem? Clearly the book would not be a copy - but could the idea of taking a local area and featuring a group of businesses in this way be protected? Thanks in advance for any help.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:22 pm

Hi sobekhotep,
I don't think there are any intellectual property implications in what you propose. Even if someone else has had a similar idea, that would not be protected, only their expression of the idea, that is to say their text or photographs etc, would be subject to copyright.
Trade mark law should not be engaged because, while you need to use certain terms which are registered trade marks (such as the names of larger chains of hotels, breweries or pubs etc), it would not be in a way which could confuse the public as to the origin of your product.
A potential problem, although it is very slight one, is that of defamation. If your reviews were judged to be unfairly and disproportionately disparaging about any establishment, this could lead to problems either of libel or more feasibly, malicious falsehood. However I suspect that it is not your intention to be critical to this extent and so you are not likely to encounter such issues. I'm sure you will be scrupulous in checking your facts, so unintentional misrepresentations should not occur.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

sobekhotep
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Post by sobekhotep » Thu Aug 08, 2013 10:10 am

Thank you AndyJ - very helpful.
In fact I intend to involve the various businesses very closely at every stage so defamation shouldn't be an issue.
Thanks again

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