Hi, Me and a friend are currently developping a boardgame based on the Hollywood movie studios system of the early 20th century. We'd like to know if it is legally possible to use actor's and director's pictures and names from that time, as well as logos and names of the different movie studios and movie names.
We are developping the game in Canada but need to know if its ok here and in the USA.
I am ok with that, thanks!
Thank you for your patience. We will continue the search for a Professional for you.
Thank you for your question. Using an actor/director's picture and name for commercial benefit violates the actor/director's right to publicity. In other words, the actor/director must give their consent to the use of their photograph and name. This applies for most actor/directors even if they are dead, as California state law grants protection for 70 years after death. Thus, in that circumstance, you must obtain authorization from the estate of the deceased actor/director. Authorization is not free and may require payment by you of a royalty.
Further, the photographs you intend on using are also protected by US copyright laws. You must obtain a license for the use of these photographs from the person who owns the photographs before you can use it on a board game.
Please let me know if you have further questions regarding this matter.
What about logos and names of the different movie studios and movie names?
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).