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BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience:  I am a business attorney. I represent individuals and companies with all business related matters.
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I am Building a college football website and i was wondering

Resolved Question:

I am Building a college football website and i was wondering if it is legal to use college team logo photos on my site. This is not a non-profit website. It has mainly college football schedules but does offer football merchandise and other items for sell. Nothing provoactive all decent.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  BizIPEsq. replied 1 year ago.

TheLegalistEsq :

Hello, I will be assisting you. Let me review the question

TheLegalistEsq :

Question: Basically the only use of team logos will be in connection with the schedules that you will post?

Customer:

The photos will just be used on blog post pages and in excel spreadshhet shedules they will not be altered or commented on or anything else. they will be used for on page optimization.

TheLegalistEsq :

You cannot use photos unless you purchased a license (essentially permission) to use these photos. You can purchase stock photos on various stock photo sites istockphoto.com, shutterstock.com etc.

TheLegalistEsq :

if you mean photos of logos as in just the logo itself then that is a different question.

Customer:

Yes but many are free stock but that is correct. yes i am talking about photos of the logos and also clip art

Customer:

I get them from shutterstock

TheLegalistEsq :

generally speaking, one cannot use a trademark without the owners permission. However there is an exception in trademark law that is known as trademark fair use. Under this exception, a non-owner (i.e. you) may also use a trademark "nominatively" to refer to the actual trademarked product or its source. In addition to protecting product criticism and analysis,

TheLegalistEsq :

The nominative use test essentially states that one party may use or refer to the trademark of another if:

1) The product or service cannot be readily identified without using the trademark (e.g. trademark is descriptive of a person, place, or product attribute).
2) The user only uses as much of the mark as is necessary for the identification (e.g. the words but not the font or symbol).
3) The user does nothing to suggest sponsorship or endorsement by the trademark holder. This applies even if the nominative use is commercial, and the same test applies for metatags. Basically you need a disclaimer that says that your site is not affiliated with these marks in any way.

If you just use the logos in a schedule like listing then you can claim in good faith that your use "nominative". Realistically though, you should know that this exception is not an absolute rather it is a defense in the event you get sued. This means that you could get sued even if at the end of the law uit it is determined that your use was nominative.

TheLegalistEsq :

BotXXXXX XXXXXne. There is a good chance that you will get the attention of the teams (the mark owners) and will likely get cease and desist letters. You will then have the option to fight those by asserting that your use is nominative.

Customer:

It sounds like the best option is really to try and get permission.

TheLegalistEsq :

if you can get permission then not only will this make your effort legal but it will increase the value of your site since getting permission from all those teams is hard work and you then would have done the hard leg work

TheLegalistEsq :

Please rate my answer positively. Good luck!

Customer:

The logos are owned by the NCAA and not the Teams. The Teams own the Mascot Logos

Customer:

OK Thanks

BizIPEsq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 996
Experience: I am a business attorney. I represent individuals and companies with all business related matters.
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