Bear Hunt Trail

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Bearhunter
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Bear Hunt Trail

Post by Bearhunter »

We’d like to hold a trail through our local park (permission has been given from the land owner) for charity funds themed on the “We’re going on a bear hunt” book. There would be certain obstacles based on the book eg long grass “swishy swashy” and a bear mascot at the end with a picnic. Obviously I don’t want to get the charity in trouble/ fined.
How much can I use the theme? Can I use the tag line “we’re are going on a bear hunt” please join us [here] at [this time] and use the words for each obstacle like “Hoo woo” for the snowstorm? Any help would be much appreciated before I attempt too much planning!
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AndyJ
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Re: Bear Hunt Trail

Post by AndyJ »

Hi bearhunter,

This is not really something where we can provide detailed guidance on how much is too much. The various words you want to use are all quoting from a literary work and so provided that you don't do more than is strictly necessary to evoke the spirit of the book, that might just be covered by the exception for quotation* (see section 30(1ZA) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988). My main concern involves the way you advertise the event since this is most likely to be the way that Michael Rosen or more likely his publishers, would get to know about it. What you call things or how the children react to the obstacles during the event is much less problematic because the references are likely to be verbal and thus ephemeral. Copyright protects the author's expression of an idea or ideas, but it doesn't protect the underlying ideas themselves, so basing your trail on the idea of a bear hunt alone is unlikely to be seen as infringing, but the more specific the terminology (swishy swashy, for instance) which is Michael Rosen's own creatiion, the more cautious you need to be. Mr Rosen has admitted that he took the basic idea for the book from an American folk song so the idea of a bear hunt itself is not his.

If you want to be ultra cautious I would suggest you approach the publishers Walker Books for their blessing - I doubt if they will raise any objections as it is for charity, but at least that way you will know with some certainty where the boundaries lie.

*Technically speaking in order to rely on this exception you need to credit the source of the words being quoted, but since this is probably going to go on a poster or the like, it would be permissible to just put something like 'based on the well-known book by Michael Rosen" in fairly small print at the bottom to comply with this requirement.
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
Bearhunter
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Re: Bear Hunt Trail

Post by Bearhunter »

Thank you so much. That’s really useful to know. I think I may approach the publishers and at least then I can rest assured there will be no adverse consequences. Thank you for your time and such a useful reply.
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