When Can You Use a Trademark Logo in Your Film? – IQBiTS


Hi John Hess from FilmmakerIQ.com. Recently Lindsay Ellis, a wonderful YouTube
analysis channel released a video called Product Placement and Fair Use. In this one though I feel Ellis might have
painted too bleak of a picture about what is allowed in the depiction of brands in narrative
filmmaking. Since this question does pop up a lot and
I have an obsession with the philosophy of IP laws, I felt compelled to make this short
IQBits. Now, I am not a lawyer. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express one
time and I took one summer class in Business Law with a professor that got me hooked on the subject matter… I’ll make this disclaimer again at the end,
but when it comes to intellectual properties, judgement is based on specific application
and it’s a matter of convincing a judge on the merits of the details of your specific
case. So the real answer to every legal question
on Intellectual Property is, “It depends” First – let’s clear up the definitions of
intellectual property of which there are three kinds: Copyright – which we did a whole history
of video. Copyright covers artistic expressions from
books to visual arts, music and motion picture. The duration of protection is currently life
plus 70 years or 90 years if commissioned as a work of hire in the US. Then there’s patents which cover industrial
processes – Design patents last for only 14 years after they are granted. Utility Patents can last a maximum of 20 years
if the maintenance fees are paid on time And finally there’s Trademark – the subject
of this video. As defined by the Lanham Act of 1946, a trademark
is “any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof’ used by a manufacturer
or seller “to identify and distinguish his or her goods, including a unique product,
from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even
if that source is unknown.” Think unique names, think graphic logos, sound
cues, even slogans like Think different. Trademarks unlike the other two categories
of IP do not have an expiration date so long as the company uses the trademark and protects it. Fair use is the defense that balances freedom
of speech with the interests of intellectual property rights holders. In patent law there is no such thing as fair
use, at least right now. In copyright fair use is reserved for commentary,
education, criticism and so forth. The vast majority of content online regarding
fair use is talking about Fair Use in Copyright – so let’s skip ahead. What we’re interested in is Trademark Fair
Use which is not talked about as Copyright Fair Use. Copyright protects expression – the power
of Congress to protect copyright and patents is directly stated in the Constitution. Trademark on the other hand stems from the
Commerce Clause. It’s to ensure that businesses can mark their
goods and services and that consumers can understand where their goods and services
are coming from. So trademark protection is less concerned
about granting exclusive right to trademark holders than it is about promoting efficient
markets by giving consumers truthful information. Now because trademark carries a lot of information
about a product essentially in shorthand, it’s also extremely useful in communications:
especially entertainment to bridge the gap between the real world and the fictional one. So if the use of a trademark, even unauthorized
use, does not interfere with the trademark’s function in the marketplace and there is a
public interest like first amendment freedom of speech issue at hand, the courts generally
favor public interest. But before diving into issues of first amendment
let’s look at the two kinds of fair use defenses regarding Trademark when dealing with commercial speech
– or advertising: Classic or Descriptive and Nominative. Classic or Descriptive Fair Use pops up when
when a trademark is being used for ordinary, descriptions of a product or service. In KP Permanent Make-up, Inc. v. Lasting Impression
Inc in 2004, a permanent makeup company advertised “Micro Colors” to describe their product
even though Micro Colors is a trademark of another product in the same category. That was ruled not infringing because micro
colors was used in a descriptive sense. Another example is Sunmark, Inc. v. Ocean
Spray Cranberries, Inc., from 1995. Ocean Spray labeled their products as Sweet-tart
which is descriptive of the product and not infringing on the Trademark of the Sweet Tart
Candies made by Sunmark. Nominative Fair use is when you use a trademark,
not to describe your product but to refer to the actual product or service associated
with that trademark. For Nominative Trademark fair use you need the following conditions. The use of the trademark must be accurate,
not misleading or defamatory The use must not imply any endorsement There is no easier way to identify the product And you use only the bare minimum that is
required to identify the other trademark. This often means you refer to it name and
not with a logo but not always. This allows forms of competitive advertising
where they actually mention the competitor brand instead of saying “the leading major
brand”. This also allows a car repair shop to use
the Volkswagen brand saying they are tooled to work on Volkswagens even if they are not
officially an authorized Volkswagens service shop. There is even a case involving a former Playboy
Playmate where the court ruled that she could use the trademark Playboy to describe herself
on her website. But these are the rules generally applied
to fair use in commercial speech. A film is not commercial speech, it is protected
speech under the first amendment since the Supreme Court Case Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v.
Wilson in 1952. And in a culture where brands are part of
daily life and carry so much meaning, the ability to mention brands by name is a necessity
for free speech. Since 1988 a test called the Rogers test has
begun formulating to determine if an unauthorized use of trademark is entitled to First Amendment
protection or if it is a Trademark Infringement. Although the Rogers test is still somewhat
confusingly applied and not all circuits adopt it the same way, it is at least a groundwork
for understanding this balance between protecting the rights of the Trademark holders and rights
of artists to their freedom of speech. The Rogers test comes from the case: Ginger
Rogers v. Alberto Grimaldi. Alberto Grimaldi and MGM distributed the 1986
Federico Fellini film Ginger and Fred, a movie about Pippo and Amelia, two Italian cabaret
performers who pretty much resembled Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Ginger Rogers claimed that the film violated
her Lanham Act trademark rights, her right of publicity, and was a “false light” defamation The courts decided with Grimaldi – noting
that the movie only tangentially related to Astaire and Rogers. And from that decision a two prong test began
to develop. The first test: Does the use of the trademark
in question have artistic merit? Truthfully this a pretty low bar to pass. In the case of Fred and Ginger – the title
has artistic merit because it is the nicknames of these cabaret singers – it lends the film
an air of sophistication and class – it has something to do with the story. If it had nothing to do with the story and
was only chosen to piggy back on the success of Astaire and Rogers – then it would fail
this test. The second test: does the use of the trademark
explicitly mislead the viewer as to the source of the product. Sure maybe someone might have thought that
“Fred and Ginger” was about the Astaire and Rogers, but that would be a real blow
to free artistic expression if you had to check every possible meaning and eliminate
all sources of confusion – Now if it was “The True Life Romance of Fred and Ginger” or
“Ginger Rogers presents: Fred and Me” those would be explicitly misleading and grounds
for Trademark infringement. Let’s take a look at how the Rogers test
played out in some real life cases starting in a genre that’s plagued with infringement
issues: Mockbusters: we talk more about the genre in our History of the Mockbuster video
– Warner Brothers Entertainment v. The Global
Asylum, Inc. Asylum if you don’t know, puts out cheap
movies with titles that sound a lot like Blockbusters hoping to catch a quick sale. This case involved their mockbuster “Age
of Hobbits” scheduled to catch the media blitz of “The Hobbit”. This is a failure of both prongs of the Rogers
test. First of all, Asylum’s use of the word “Hobbit”
to describe a prehistoric variety of Indonesian people held no special artistic merit. Even though the scientific community does
nickname this real-life human subspecies “Hobbits” it’s not the meaning originally created
by J.R.R Tolkien. Age of Hobbits fails the second prong of the
Rogers test because… well, I mean that’s the point of mockbusters – to ride the coat-tails
of a big productions to confuse the audience of their origins. The Age of Hobbits sounds like it would come
from the same producers as The Hobbit. That was an example of an issue of the title. Since the Rogers case, the courts have expanded
the application beyond the titles and into the actual content of the films themselves. In Louis Vuitton v. Warner Brothers 2012 – we
see an application of the Rogers test in regards to a prop. In the Hangover II, Zach Galifianakis’s
character chides his friend for handling his bag in this short scene: Mind if I sit? Wolfpack only! Find another chair. There’s no Wolfpack Allen. It’s no problem There’s no problem, Teddy, you’re sitting here. Careful that’s a Lewis… That is a Lewis Vuitton! Well Louis Vuitton wasn’t too happy about
that… considering the bag wasn’t even made by them, it was made by Chinese American
company Diophy. They argued that because the filmmakers used
a knock off bag, people would assume that Louis Vuitton approved and endorsed that bag
to be shown in the movie. In other words because the movie says it was
a Louis Vuitton bag, and it was actually a knockoff back, this is a false representation
of their trademark. If this was a commercial speech or advertisement
– this would fail to be nominative fair use because it misrepresents Louis Vuitton’s
trade mark. But this isn’t commercial speech so let’s
apply the Rogers test. First – was the use of the trade mark arbitrary
or did it have artistic merit? Well Teddy’s mispronunciation of the brand
demonstrates more of his character, he’s snobbish and stupid – he doesn’t even call
the high end bag by it’s real name – that’s artistic merit right there. For the second prong: does the Hangover explicitly
mislead people about the origin of the Louis Vuitton bag? Most people watching the film would probably
never know the bag is was a knock off in the first place. So this really does not meet the requirement of being explicitly misleading. So the court found in favor of Warner Bros. A more recent case can be found this time
in video games in the case of Mil-Spec Monkey, Inc. v. Activision Blizzard, Inc. over the
game Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2014. Mil Spec is a company that designs military
themed apparel and bags. Mil-Spec’s patches are quite popular, in
particular its “angry monkey” patches which the company uses as a trade mark. In Call of Duty you can customize your character
with patches – one of the available patches looks very similar to Mil-Spec’s trademark. The court ultimately decided in favor of Activision
again applying the Rogers test. First – because the game is a combat shooter
seeking to be as realistic as possible – there is artistic merit in using a visual that military
personnel would recognize. It doesn’t just randomly appear in a game
that has nothing to do with the military. The second prong, does the use of trademark
EXPLICITLY mislead the public into thinking that Mil-Spec created or sponsored the game. Despite the fact that there were people that
mistakenly believed that Mil-Tec was involved with the game, the court found it was not
explicit enough to warrant any infringement. Copyright however, is a different matter and
the last article I found on that says they’re still litigating that. So now that you know about Trademark Fair
use and First Amendment issues with the Rogers Test – why is it that shows still blur out
logos and use fake brands. Well there are two reasons – first is to avoid
a lawsuit. All the cases I just mentioned cost money
to litigate even if you win. So if you don’t have to to use a trademark
or it’s not important to the story, then why risk it – it’s just cheaper use a fake
brand plus the art department can actually control the look of the products and make
them fit your production. The second reason is: Advertising and Paid
Product Placement. Probably the most famous case of this was
the film E.T. – Knowing that Spielberg’s film would be
a huge success, the studio recognized a potential revenue stream in paid product placement. The fact that ET eats candy is an artistic
choice – but which candy could be sold off for some extra dough. Mars balked at the price tag so it was a no
go for M&Ms… but Hershey said yes and paid 1 million dollars to have their new product
Reeses Pieces featured and to incorporate the film character into their promotions – and
of course – the rest of that is Paid Product Placement history. So there is value in being part of a big hit
movie – so big time film producers are reluctant to just give that screen time away for nothing. These movies are good at getting eyeballs
and as the Joker says… If your good at something never do it for
free. With TV, the issue is complicated by fact
that a show’s production may not have any connection to the products ultimately advertised
on that show. Cooking shows are notorious for this kind
of thing – ever notice how the cans they use are all non-descript? That’s because if the chef uses a can of
Heinz tomato paste, the TV network will have a harder time selling advertising to the competing
tomato paste maker Hunts. To make sale of advertising as easy as possible
and to not stir the pot so to speak, TV shows avoid any use of trademarks when possible
to make the shows advertiser agnostic.. That’s not to say that shows don’t use
paid product placement… because they certainly do. There are cases of major brands actually supplying
“generic products” for use in tv shows. I’ve heard that Coke and Pepsi will make
cans and bottles for TV and film production that look generic but have a tinge of their
own branding. Sometimes this actually works better than
Paid Product Placement: – when a generic brand is just off enough it can make the viewer
subconsciously notice and think about the product. So that’s TV and Big Hollywood productions. What should the small production that won’t
have the pull to secure paid product placement take away from all of this? Well you could play it safe and make sure
that no brands are visible or mentioned in your movie – replace any branded product with
a generic look alike. That’s an appropriate and responsible line
of action – however it can be more costly in time and money to create or rent generic
products. You can even blend the real and generic if
creating a trademark free set is not entirely practical – Take this scene from Good Will
Hunting, a $10 million independent film from 1997 before Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were
household names. They shot this scene at the Bow and Arrow
Pub in Boston. Now obviously the reason you shoot on location
is so you don’t have to make a set but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up a bit
more. They stuck up some fake posters – like this
one for Brickhauser Beer – that’s a fake brand. But they did leave up a Guinness Draught sign
and this Burgers and Miller High Life Neon sign in the window. I doubt that those brands paid for their signs
to be in a small independent movie written and starring a couple nobodies. So even though the use of these trademarks
is unauthorized it would be protected by the first amendment. Of course specifics and details matter a lot. Every case is decided on the facts and must
be weighed – there is no blanket statement that says if you do this than that will happen
– if you use so much of this than that’s infringement. No. But hopefully you have a better understanding
of the basics of trademark use in your film, on more complex topics, please consult a lawyer
not take legal advice from some goofy pudgy guy on YouTube with glasses who talks about moviemaking. Remember even if you do everything right,
anyone can sue for any reason – that’s why movies have to carry Errors and Omissions
Insurance. If you liked this video thumbs up, subscribe
and ring that trademarked bell. Consider contributing on Patreon – every little
bit helps – thanks to our A-team contributors for hanging with us as we develop new content
at the end of the year. Check out our merch store in the description
below for official branded IQ gear. If you didn’t like the video, I can’t
think of a better way to express your displeasure then buying 100 shirts and burning them in
a ceremonial bonfire. Record it, post it to YouTube, It’s your
free speech! I’m John Hess, I’ll see you at Filmmaker
IQ.com

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100 thoughts on “When Can You Use a Trademark Logo in Your Film? – IQBiTS

  1. Interesting Joker Quote considering its a lie.

    The Joker has no interest in money. And he has no interest in killing Batman.

  2. I find the use of public trademarks like the one in Good Will Hunting, normal. The brands don’t have a case, if they don’t want their trademarks to be viewed by public, they should remove them from public view. If I’m shooting at a location, I’m shooting a public space, I shouldn’t have to pay to alter it in anyway I do not want.

    The same goes for bottles, cans, and al sort of packaging, if they exist and are for public consumption, they are made to appear in public! Why do u have to hide them??? It makes absolutely no sense.

  3. A nice tweak that we like to use is to show a product which is no longer available. It would be a lot harder for someone to argue that we screwed up their product marketing when it's for a product they don't sell anymore. Think things like old cars. Ford can't say we screwed up their ability to market the Pinto. Now, in context, it is important to note that we don't say/show/demonstrate anything bad about Ford though we do about the Pinto. Ford still exists and the Ford Pinto does not. If we disparaged Ford it would be a different argument entirely. Probably still fine but we would rather play it safe. — Something to keep in mind for those who want to push things … Companies are finally catching on that sometimes it's best not to draw attention to something that makes them look bad. A short film watched by a few thousand people is unlikely to impact anything. Making that short film newsworthy via a lawsuit brings attention from millions. Not to mention that, generally speaking, the populous hates when big companies are mean to the little guys. Putting the company in a further bad light. Do at your own risk.

  4. I always wondered how this plays into tangentially disparaging though. Think a VICE interview with a drug dealer while he is driving around. If they show the car companies logo on the steering wheel would they be tangentially disparaging the company? Think, "Drug dealers drive BMWs" type of thought process. The fact that they are in a car and driving is an artistic choice (or just plain necessary) and the type of vehicle gives nothing while not misleading. Thoughts?

  5. Alright … so I agree IN PRINCIPLE with your argument that it depends on the specifics of the CASE but like you say at the 14 minute mark … the problem for most of us is that we can;t afford for it to become a case in the first place.

    Even if we were to win a court case in a trademark claim, the cost in time, stress, actual costs … makes the use of real trademarked brands a no starter.

    Could a I use a can of coke as a prop in my bank heist short? Probably. If the company takes umbrage, how much time and money will I spend on defending my right to use their trademarked product? How does that compare to the time and cost of making a fictitious soda brand prop?

    So is B < A? Yes? then why in the heck would I ever use a real trademarked product unless it is a documentary?

    The corporations don't have to be legally correct to win, they just have to bury me in cost and effort, something they can do easily.

    The legal system, while on the surface equalatarian(sp?) is actually heavily rigged for the rich. Might makes right and in this modern world, money is might.

  6. Mac & Me is basically an advertisement for Coca-Cola and McDonald's. The movie was funded by Golden State Foods, McDonald's biggest supplier.

  7. I had already "liked" this video, but at the Joker reference I "unliked" it… so I could "like" it again on principle.

  8. I'm surprised Louis Vuitton's lawyers didn't tell corporate that a movie is protected free speech. The character might have known it's not really a "Lewis Vuitton" and said it anyway, or really thought it was one but didn't know any better, or the movie just "pretended" it was one. Odd lawsuit. Still, lawyers got paid. They're good at wasting everyone's time and don't do it for free.

  9. Recently, the Church of Satan sued Sabrina for using their idol's likeness. I am too risk adverse as any legal challenge (by a sue willing org) could eat your $ just through incidental legal fees. Although I disagree with copywriting any "diety", I doubt I could afford that arbitration. My advice is to not even waste your energy. Of course, this is US law where even the rightful use of public domain footage (vis a vis Hitchcock's silent films) are still protected by British copyright protection. Heck, archive.org even got a cease and desist letter. Granted I couldnt afford a Holiday Inn and settled for a Super 8.

    Do more on public domain footage!

  10. Thanks so much for this you make great content. A question if you don't mind and feel free to refer me to another video If you covered it there but, I am making a feature film and I have a few pieces of art that I got from canvas.com meaning they are canvas exact replicas of the artwork. They are for example a painting by Botticelli and some other lesser-known paintings but from over 300 years ago. I want them to play a significant enough role that They are meaningful to the story and even captured and looked at by the main character in detail. I am going under the assumption that I can use them because they are hundreds of years old and they are exact replicas. Can you weigh in on this even though I'm sure you'll say ultimately I should check with a lawyer, beyond that, what do you think? Really appreciate your response.

  11. I've often though how hard this is to avoid….Any street scene will have cars. Is it "product placement" or potential "trademark infringement" to have Fords, Buicks and Hyundias in a scene? Even if the logo is covered up, you still have Design Patents. Again, with cars, How about songs like "Hot Rod Lincoln"? – On a lighter, more personal note, I was enjoying "Reese's Pieces" for several years BEFORE the movie "E.T." made them famous, A benefit of being from Pennsylvania! (bought some for this video, as I knew THAT brand would be mentioned!).

  12. Interesting that you mentioned "ET: The Extraterrestrial", in their use of Reese's Pieces over m&m's.  The novelization that came out during the movie's release still had m&m's and Mars bar in its story.

  13. Love the videos but, I find it very hard to concentrate on your speaking with the shadow from your hat. Not entirely sure why, just a bit distracting. Thanks for the content!

  14. Always weird when one YouTube channel you're subscribed to talks about another one you're subscribed to and they aren't part of a group or one of the big guys. Fun.

  15. Good overview of trademark law. The only thing I'd add is that a trademark holder has a legal obligation to diligently protect its mark. Failure to make such an effort can result in loss of protection. This can lead to lawsuits even where the holder has a limited belief in the suit's viability, and as you note, such actions can be quite expensive to defend.

    As an aside, I'll note that there is a fourth kind of IP, which is seldom talked about: trade secrets.

    As a process photographer, I have to consider this regularly. The issue here is that I have to comply with the company's "reasonable steps" to keep such information secret. Most commonly, this involves careful attention to backgrounds in otherwise unexceptional shots.

  16. What about Pepsi VS Coke commercial(made by Pepsi,not sure what year)with delivery drivers in the diner. A fight is implied to happen at the end(a window gets broken out). How could Pepsi make that?

  17. I would say another advantage to making up generic brands for your movie, It also means you can treat the company however you like. I can imagine that using actual brands directly, You probably have to go over how it will be used with their legal department. Something you make up they can always end up being some evil megacorporation.

    But I can see the benefits of real brands, Like the PanAm Spaceliner in 2001. At the time it added an air of realism to an audience in an era when they were THE Airline(in the USA).

  18. Speaking of fake brands, have you thought about doing a video on movies that use recognizable fake brands such as those in Tarantino movies?

  19. Law is often considerd a some kind of vuduu magic, where big companys can hurt citizens. Thank you for shinging some light on that

  20. If you happen to visit a sitcom kitchen set in Paramount, the prop people photograph everything before their off-days. Except for the fridge, which is kept as is. Every item in the fridge is faced a certain way depending on what is endorsed, what is not, and what is generic. To count as endorsement, the item must be visible for a certain amount of time. So the cut to Chandler as the fridge door is closing doesn't count as a drink endorsement.

  21. Why is it Beavis and Butthead wear Metallica and ACDC shirts on the show and the movie but the names are replaced with generic lookalikes in other media?

  22. Thanks for this video! It certainly is a highly disputed topic (& not fully understood topic). This video clears up a lot.
    More: What about showing a mural in a film or web series that contributes to the story? (real world example; could not find the artist/ it was ultimately cut).
    And what about fan films in general? Or a fan film that does not use names of characters, but is similar in theme and style (and used in a non-parodic manner)?

  23. That was really fascinating! But I have a question: since you used Lindsay's name and video essay's name in the beginning of this video as a reference, under which statement does it fall? Is that fair use?

  24. My professor told me that it's probably fine to see a bottle of Jack Daniels in a bar scene, but that it's not ok to see someone drinking that bottle of Jack Daniels right before they go on a shooting spree

  25. I remember the commercials from when E.T. came out, and distinctly remember the candy that aliens requested by name was "Eefa Garamoofabets."

  26. I’d like to know about Cast Away. Zemeckis claims FedEx did not pay to be a part of the movie, but their trademark is used VERY explicitly throughout.

  27. Lesson in TM… Escalator was a trademarked brand name of a product. Because they did not enforce their TM it became synonymous with the invention and they lost their trademark. Their is no TM police. It is the 100% duty of the owner of the TM to enforce it. I have a TM for NW Weed Finder, It's Cannabliss! But it has to be Impact font with magenta and chartreuse color or it doesn't count. A dispensary in Portland is called Cannabliss!! I have no TM rights to that word, but if they said, It's Cannabliss!! I might have a TM case. That being said all I have to do is ask them to pull it and if they do not then I would sue, but you do not always have to sue as a first option.

  28. @12:09 Alan not Teddy. Other than that another very informative and interesting video as always. Keep up the excellent work.

  29. With product placement becoming so pervasive, I’ve often wondered at what point does a film’s or tv show’s artistic merits become secondary to its commercial agenda? TV commercials have long been lauded for their own artistic merits yet it’s well understood that these are ultimately secondary to the goal of the work. Film and shows even when relying on product placement are thought to be different and still ultimately higher art. Surely a continuum exists; we have all seen films where the product placement is utterly pervasive or starts to break the forth wall. Can art be so diminished by advertising it’s nothing more than commercial speech in film clothing?

  30. There's at least one other kind of IP, Trade Secrets. It came up in a big way fairly recently in the US with Google suing Uber over some driverless car tech. By their nature they are a bit weirder than the other three categories, but it's still something you can defend as IP in the US.

  31. I think this answers some of the questions that conspiracy theorists blame on the Mandela Effect. For example, the Ford logo with the curl or not; it seems that many logos may have been altered for legal reasons.
    #SearchMandelaEffectonYouTube and enjoy the humour,

    Now the real question is: Can you sing Happy Birthday in a film?

  32. It’s refreshing to come across somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about on this topic! So often people come up with incorrect information in their head and start spreading it around.

  33. Lmao I love that “if you don’t like us buy 100 tee shirts and burn them in a bon fire” 😂 I always find it funny when ppl want to lash out but end up supporting the very thing they hate lol

  34. i always thought that if someone litigates against you and you win, they are responsible to cover your defense and court costs?
    if they arent, it should be a law. it MIGHT cut down on a lot of baseless/frivolous lawsuits.

  35. Ben Aflac has been very famous even when he was 12. If you ever see him ask hiom, "How's Mimi?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvz1Ey2JipI&list=PL9666B29071E188E6

  36. what about things like coke? where i live, /most/ carbonated soda beverages are called a coke (as a generic), despite possibly being pepsi, RC, Double Cola. Dr pepper/Snapple, etc.

  37. I'm now wondering how long until more cases between different YouTubers come about where one YouTuber is pulling a "mockbuster" to ride the coattails of a trending video or a popular channel and fails both parts of the Rogers test. Of course, not many creators have implemented trademarks on their work.

  38. I recently watched Baby Driver and have been wanting to make a film that heavily incorporates pop music into it like it did, but I'm not sure if it would be protected. You mention brands and stuff, but not artistic works in this, so I don't know if it would apply in the same way.

  39. I would say it also has a lot to do with the specific usage/reference/etc.

    For example: If I do a video and the two lead characters go into a restaurant, and the waitress says, "Can I bring you something to drink?" and one of the lead characters says, "I only drink Pepsi!" I'm sure that nobody is going to take issue. However, if Lead character A comes to Lead Character B's home, and LCA says, "Want a beer?" and LCB says, "Hell yeah!" and LCA brings him a [Brand}] beer, and LCB says, "What the &#U! is this? This stuff tastes like warm goat urine on a hot summer day in Kabul!" there is more of a chance that the maker might take issue.

  40. I wonder if it would be viable to just ASK the company if they're ok with you using their logo. Might be the safest way. Like basically… you're not big enough to get paid for it and aren't asking money, just making sure they won't try to sue you for doing it… and I imagine a lot of companies would be fine with this because it's free advertising for them. As long as you don't make their product look bad in some way or otherwise misrepresent it.

  41. You probably need 3 lawyers.
    Lawyer 2 is to make shore that lawyer 1 dose not rip you off.
    Lawyer 3 is to make shore that lawyer 2 is not in cahoots with,
    lawyer1 when lawyer1 rips you off.

  42. So if you have a youtube channel that reviews products (vacuum cleaners, makeup, Spaghetti Sauce, whatever) can you show images of the product and the logo of the product (i.e., the package that it came in or the product itself if it has trade-marked logos on it)?

  43. I would think that a good suggestion would be to only put brands in a positive light or at worst neutral. If anyone in the film will dislike the product, or has any negative experience, fake the brand. Not only are they far less likely to sue, there is far less likely to be a finding of any loss to the company involved.

    Also don't put brands in a porn film.

  44. If you're not getting paid by the trademark beneficiary to include their trademark, thereby promoting their products in your film, why give them free advertising at the expense of your art?

  45. I don't watch much TV anymore, but I remember 80's sitcoms would always cover the label of household items with tape. It drove me crazy.

  46. At 13:10 none of the courts justification for siding with Blizzard made sense. 1) If the point of the patch and the game was to mimic reality as closely as possible, then what is "artistic" about it? Art by definition is a work of original creation, not a direct mirror of reality. Thus using the patch that players would recognize is undeniably non-artistic. 2) How does Mil-Spec, who wasnt involved in the game production, prove that their non-involvement was explicit? Why is the onus on the one who had no authorship of the game to prove or disprove the extremity of "explicitness" shown in the game? How could they have known the game makers intentions beforehand to compel them to make it more or less explicit? I just dont get it.

  47. The Patreon logo at the end is a low-resolution bitmap! You can download Patreon's brand kit from their website to get perfect quality!

  48. Red Cross symbol used in video games over seas tends to be removed from US releases. (in relation to Health Kits and Nurses)

  49. John Hess, I know I mentioned about "Movie's Magic" before but I'd be remiss if I didn't say that because of Filmmaker IQ, currently, this is the modern day version/continuation or in-depth equivalency…

    🤔… I'd believe that that mention would not fall under a litigious issue, but somewhere there may be someone who took that out of context, and may claim some odd citation. About anything "movie's" or "magic," but I don't believe so…

    But in reality, all I did was state a great comparison & how it takes me back to a time where some of us got our film inspirations from & excercising my right to free speech via nostalgia & overall a great experience… Because let's face it..

    Great experiences inspire always.

    Thanks for all that you do! 🍻

  50. I'd never heard of the sort of pseudo fake you mentioned at the end of the clip. Do you have any examples of that?

  51. Don't put up a paragraph of text and then continue to talk without saying what's in the text. That forces us to try to go back and pause so we can read the text. That's a pain.

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