Review of Clubs and Their Logos

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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JamesLondon
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Review of Clubs and Their Logos

Post by JamesLondon » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:59 am

I am considering making videos on Youtube about the story of clubs. I would start with Premier League clubs, talking about their origins, famous moments, glories and anything else interesting. I want to stay away from using footage or photos of players, and I might use my own graphics to symbolise them. I imagine fact-checking would be important, and stipulation that what I produce is in no way linked to the clubs themselves. However, would their be any other issues with the videos themselves?

A second issue is a review of their logos. I understand that using logos of the major clubs is dangerous territory, but what about if I were reviewing them - stating what symbols could mean, where they might come from and comparing them to other logos. Of course, this would mean showing the logos and I am wondering if the review of them would make this acceptable.

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AndyJ
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Re: Review of Clubs and Their Logos

Post by AndyJ » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:16 pm

Hi James,

You have certainly highlighted what is likely to be the most contentious subject matter for your videos, namely the logos, having made the decision to exclude any footage or photographs, other than that which you have authored yourself.

The logos and badges will be subject to copyright and most if not all will also be registered as trade marks. Although there is an exception to copyright for the purposes of criticism* or review, this must be done within the fair dealing 'rules', that is to say, no more of the copyright work is used than is strictly necessary for the purpose. In the case of your video, it will be important to limit the length of time any one logo is on the screen. So, say, you were doing a bit on the history of Tottenham Hotspur, it might be acceptable to show a version of the club's badge from say, the early part of the twentieth century while discussing the development of the badge through to the present day, but it might not be seen as fair dealing to have the same early twentieth century badge on screen while you are dicussing the club's general history from that period.

The second matter regarding trade marks shouldn't be a problem so long as you don't feature any registered marks in the advertising or external credits for the video, as this could constitute use of the logo in the course of trade, ie it could be suggested that you were trying to attract interest in the video by appealing to the fans' obvious recognition their club's emblem.


* Criticism here means critical appraisal, and not just negative criticism.
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

JamesLondon
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Re: Review of Clubs and Their Logos

Post by JamesLondon » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:43 am

Thank you very much for your assistance with this. I am currently producing the aforementioned videos and only use the badges at one specific time. Following your advice, I have given critical reviews of badges. Firstly, I describe the details of the badge, then I give my opinion of it.

However, I am uncertain whether or not the way I represent them would still be considered fair use under the 1988 Act for the following reason:

I have edited the badges so that first I show the shape of the shield and its background colour. I then add each element of the badge one by one, explaining what every part means, until the whole badge is reconstructed. The badge is reconstructed over 25 seconds and then appears in full for a further 15 seconds for my critique.

I don’t know if it would be safer to use arrows to point out these things instead of using the editing I have done myself, if the critique is long enough and if the badge is on the screen for too long.

Many thanks,

James

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AndyJ
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Re: Review of Clubs and Their Logos

Post by AndyJ » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:35 pm

Hi James,

It is obviously difficult to be sure based just on your description, but the build-up approach sounds fine, and certainly meets the criterion of review. On that basis I think your project should be able to rely on the fair dealing exceptions.
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

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Re: Review of Clubs and Their Logos

Post by JamesLondon » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:56 pm

Hi,

I have made this video about Manchester United's crest. It is a history and review. I have taken care to note on the video that the crest and older crests are the property of the club and mentioned fair use, referring to the 1988 Act at the end. I just wanted to check that I have done all of the above reasonably and that this could not be challenged.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMK1fUyzoPw

Many thanks,

James

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Re: Review of Clubs and Their Logos

Post by AndyJ » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Hi James,

Yes I think you should be well within the fair dealing (rather than 'fair use' which is a US doctrine which uses different criteria not found in UK and EU law) exception for criticism and review. Unfortunately I can't guarantee you won't be challenged since that is down to the amount of common sense residing in the club and their legal advisors!
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

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