Use of costume - Spider-man

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Expialidocio
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Use of costume - Spider-man

Post by Expialidocio » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:44 pm

Hello. I would like to use a Spider-man costume without crossing the intellectual property of Marvel. Here are the circumstances I Intend to use it under, I wonder if you could tell me if this is legally correct? The circumstances goes...
In Denmark we have a little festival that goes by the name "Vordingborg Festuge", it is a festival with music at night and during the day there is a lot of entertainment from different organisations. It's a free-to-enter festival, and it takes up all the space of my town. I would like to contribute to this festival, and I would love to do so by dressing up as Spider-man; that brings me the opportunity to put a smile on a lot of childrens' faces. For me and everyone else this is non-profit, I do not seek to earn anything on this, my only reason for doing this is simple: to spread joy.
When it comes to infringement claims, I am not sure whether this is legal or not. "unapproved commercial use of Marvel's characters or trademarks" - My goal is not to advertise, the only one who is getting something out of this is Marvel (since I would be running around in a Spider-suit) and the kids throughout the street.

Is that legal to do so under my written circumstances?

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Expialidocio[/list]

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:26 pm

Hi Expialidocio,
I don't know enough about Danish copyright and trade mark law to be able to give you a definitive answer on this, but assuming that you have either bought or hired the Spiderman costume from a supplier who in turn has been authorised to sell/hire out the costume, then I think there must be an implied licence for you to wear the costume at an event like a party or carnival etc without infringing either copyright or trade mark law.

Certainly from the perspective of EU trade mark law, just wearing the costume does not constitute infringement and since you are not doing this to earn money, it is not 'in the course of trade', so the trade mark protection does not apply - see Article 5 of the EU Trade Mark Directive (that link allows you to open the directive in any of the main EU languages).

I hope you have a good time at the festival.
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

Expialidocio
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Post by Expialidocio » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:50 pm

Hello AndyJ, and thank you for your response.
The costume itself is bought at a Toys"R"us, and inside the costume I am able to find a little lap with Marvel's logo on it. Thereby it has got to be a costume within legal matters. Don't you think?
I have now read Article 5, and you are certainly correct; and for that I am glad.
Thank you AndyJ, I certainly will :)

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