Football Copyright

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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Droog79
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Football Copyright

Post by Droog79 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:29 pm

I am currently looking into a football related business-venture which will require me to use the names of numerous football clubs. I will not be using any of their images, fonts or logos. I will also be writing a disclaimer outlining the fact that we are not affiliated to any of the clubs.
Do you think there are any other copyright issues that could arise?
Thanks in advance

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:55 pm

There would be no general objection to you using the names of clubs, players etc as these would not ordinarily be subject to copyright. The main problem would lie in using images which featured copyright material (such as club or league logos, or sponsor's trade marks) and by quoting extensively from literature produced by the clubs or others. As you say you do not intend to to do the former, there should not be a problem with copyright. If you do feel it necessary to quote from other sources which are copyright, make sure you clearly mark these passages as quotes and name the source, and you should be OK so long as you don't over do it.

BOB
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Post by BOB » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:27 pm

I am also planning football related business-venture which will require me to use the names of numerous football clubs, their crests and sponsorships.


What would I need to do to solve any copyright issues?

Thank you for your help

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:33 pm

Hi Bob,
As I mentioned in response to the OP, using clubs and players names does not cause a problem, as names cannot be protected by copyright. Similarly using sponsors' names (although they may be trade marks, eg Carling League), shouldn't be a problem because you would not be using them in a way that the public could be confused that you are selling lager, and in any case since sponsorship is all about advertising, sponsors expect their name to be used in connection with clubs, leagues, trophies etc.
The main area of difficulty lies with the individual clubs' own logos/crests, and those of the Premier League etc. These are usually both copyright (as works of art) and registered trademarks. In a recent case, a manufacturer of collector's cards featuring photographs of players in their club strip was found to have infringed the copyright in the Premier League logo on the player's shirts, because the manufacturer had not sought permission from the Football Association Premier League Ltd which owned the copyright.
I would suggest that where it is necessary for you to use such logos, you should seek permission from the various owners beforehand. It may be necessary to pay a licence fee, and if so you should include this provision in your business plan.

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