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Legal Advice


MilTownMVP

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Aight, here's the deal.

I was planning on making t-shirts for my IFL team since I already do for my IBL team (Milwaukee Hops is the name me & my guys use when we do 3 on 3 tournaments). But someone informed me that might not be such a good idea because of copyright law.

I know there's some kind of 7 year rule when it comes to copyright rules, but the NFL was still able to give all kinds of hell to the CFL for using the name Baltimore Colts.

So the odds that the NFL would somehow hunt me down and sue me for the tens of dollars in my bank account aside, would I be better off not making the t-shirts and/or coming up with another name?

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Well, it's not a 7 year rule, it's a 70 year rule.

This is from the U.S. Copyright Office's website (http://www.copyright.gov):

A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire," the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Technically, in this situation, since I would venture to say that the name and logo was a "work for hire," it would actually be a 95 year rule.

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Aren't you on an extended hiatus? Not that I'm complaining to see you here, of course, but, ya know, we had a going away party and all. It's kinda like Cast Away at the end where Tom Hanks' lady friend says "We had a funeral for you." As for the t-shirts, I don't think the NFL would care all that much about ten guys playing flag ball in matching shirts every saturday, eh?

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Aren't you on an extended hiatus? Not that I'm complaining to see you here, of course, but, ya know, we had a going away party and all. It's kinda like Cast Away at the end where Tom Hanks' lady friend says "We had a funeral for you." As for the t-shirts, I don't think the NFL would care all that much about ten guys playing flag ball in matching shirts every saturday, eh?

Well, since you asked, and to quote myself...

Good luck to you guys in the near future, and I'll be back around on occasions.

...this is one of those occasions. But I'm only here briefly, so, I'm not "back" yet, so to speak.

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Well, it's not a 7 year rule, it's a 70 year rule.

This is from the U.S. Copyright Office's website (http://www.copyright.gov):

A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire," the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Technically, in this situation, since I would venture to say that the name and logo was a "work for hire," it would actually be a 95 year rule.

WOW! 70 years! Patents (for products etc.) take 14 years don't they?

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