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Referring to Copyrighted Media in a Trivia Game by Name

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Anonymous

I know there are tons of legal questions on here, but I couldn't find a post that answered my question, so someone please humor me!

I'd like to develop a trivia game with a lot of entertainment/pop culture questions. Can someone tell me what legal issues I might run into with questions that refer to a TV show, movie title, etc, by name. If it's something trademarked, like StarWars, do I need to include an (R) after it every time? What about products? Can I publish something like, "What comedian did commercials for American Express in 2004?" without showing some mark after American Express?

Also, is there any way to quote lines from movies or tv shows (as part of a trivia question) without getting permission from the copyright holders?

Finally, are there any other weird legal considerations I should keep in mind before writing trivia questions? Can I get in trouble for referring to celebrities by name or some other crazy thing most people never think about? Thanks in advance!

braincog
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Referring to Copyrighted Media in a Trivia Game by Name

(disclaimer) I'm not a lawer, but I understand IP law reasonably well...

You can refer to a trademark term, so long as you do not use it so blatently as to attempt to leverage it as a means of promoting your own product or to confuse consumers. So using the title "Star Wars" in your questions will not result in George Lucas or whoever coming after you. Same applies for short quotes.

This is a pretty good reference: http://www.legalzoom.com/law_library/trademarks/faq-faq-faq_can_I_use.html

If you search further on "trademarks and fair / appropriate use doctrine" you'll get more info.

Cheers,
Bill

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