Old Retro football badges

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Old Retro football badges

Post by scottyccfc »

Hi all

Just a quick one, is there a website I can check for copyright images such as old retro football badges? For example Im asking about the Aston Villa crest up until 1992 or the Arsenal one up until 2000 etc. Would the clubs still own the copyright to this? Wasnt the reason they all changed badges due to loop holes in the law. Any help is greatly appreciated
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Re: Old Retro football badges

Post by AndyJ »

Hi scottyccfc,

No, there's no website where you can check if older images or logos are still protected by copyright. This is because copyright comes into being automatically when an artistic work is created and it doesn't require registration, such as with trade marks, in order to activate the protection. That said most of the better known football club badges and logos will also be registered as trade marks for added protection.

The law says that copyright exists for the lifetime of the author or artist plus 70 years after their death. Therefore in the two cases you mentioned, copyright will exist for many years to come. And in most cases the clubs will have ensured that when they commissioned the artwork for a new badge, they will also have purchased the copyright in it. The main reason football clubs change their logos is for branding reasons, to produce a more modern image for instance, rather than to refresh any copyright. If all of this causes you a problem, there's no harm in asking for permission to use the logo, say on a fansite or if you wanted to write about the history of a club or its badges etc.
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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