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NFL and Major College Program Stance on Amateur Teams Using Their Logos


_RH_

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On vacation this weekend I saw a billboard for a local college that has an interesting variation of this logo:

lg_VikingHead.jpg

I wonder if there has ever been a copyright infringement case where the original owner of the logo decided to "evolve" into something new, but the new version was like a previously completed variation done by someone else, and so the original owner could be sued by the original copier.

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norseman-article-comp.jpg

On vacation this weekend I saw a billboard for a local college that has an interesting variation of this logo:

lg_VikingHead.jpg

I wonder if there has ever been a copyright infringement case where the original owner of the logo decided to "evolve" into something new, but the new version was like a previously completed variation done by someone else, and so the original owner could be sued by the original copier.

No, because regardless of any "evolution" by someone other than the original owner, the original owner still has the copyright on the logo. There is no derivation one can make to gain control of the logo.

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I thought the NFL allows schools to use their logos for teams. Unless thats just high school

And in any case, schools are not allowed to alter the logos in any way, including re-colors.

Well that's flat out untrue.

Keep in mind that many schools use (A.K.A. steal) logos without the NFL's consent, and thus, without the NFL's restrictions.

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I thought the NFL allows schools to use their logos for teams. Unless thats just high school

And in any case, schools are not allowed to alter the logos in any way, including re-colors.

Well that's flat out untrue.

Can ANYONE back up these statements with something other than 'I see it all the time'? I'm curious of the NFL's stance on this one way or the other. I've always assumed that the league didn't want their logos used period. However, there's no doubt that a large number of them are used, and that a large number of them are re-colored as well.

Is there a source on this? I'd even accept the word of some of the more connected members. Other people, not so much.

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I thought the NFL allows schools to use their logos for teams. Unless thats just high school

And in any case, schools are not allowed to alter the logos in any way, including re-colors.

Well that's flat out untrue.

Can ANYONE back up these statements with something other than 'I see it all the time'? I'm curious of the NFL's stance on this one way or the other. I've always assumed that the league didn't want their logos used period. However, there's no doubt that a large number of them are used, and that a large number of them are re-colored as well.

Is there a source on this? I'd even accept the word of some of the more connected members. Other people, not so much.

no, the NFL dosent allow anyone to use their logos. the reason you "see it all the time" is simply because the NFL dosent know about it. the NCAA has ben getting better about cracking down on it too, Florida a few years ago put a halt on a school or two for using their logo. the NFL has sued a model for taking pictures in a Giants jersey and selling them in a calender. you think they would allow a school to use one of their own properties? no way

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I thought the NFL allows schools to use their logos for teams. Unless thats just high school

And in any case, schools are not allowed to alter the logos in any way, including re-colors.

Well that's flat out untrue.

Can ANYONE back up these statements with something other than 'I see it all the time'? I'm curious of the NFL's stance on this one way or the other. I've always assumed that the league didn't want their logos used period. However, there's no doubt that a large number of them are used, and that a large number of them are re-colored as well.

Is there a source on this? I'd even accept the word of some of the more connected members. Other people, not so much.

no, the NFL dosent allow anyone to use their logos. the reason you "see it all the time" is simply because the NFL dosent know about it. the NCAA has ben getting better about cracking down on it too, Florida a few years ago put a halt on a school or two for using their logo. the NFL has sued a model for taking pictures in a Giants jersey and selling them in a calender. you think they would allow a school to use one of their own properties? no way

If guys like you and Gothamite say so, I wouldn't doubt your word. I have no particular knowledge of the NFL's stance on these things. But it is difficult to believe the NFL doesn't know about it. If the truly don't know, its because they travel around with blinders on. You literally see recolored NFL logo EVERYWHERE on the high school level. I believe you on what must be the NFL's official take, but they certainly seem to be turning a blind eye.

This school is a stones throw from my in-law's house in Cincinnati... I've been looking at these recolored logos for 15 years... they have them all over the place.

1-crest.png6262465727_e48707341a_z.jpg

Note, they've stolen the helmet horns, the norseman head, AND the wordmark! Gold isn't even one of the school colors (red/black/gray), but they use it on the horn, just like Minnesota! My favorite part of their "identity" is the two-tone hair on the norseman. I can't decide if they think his hair is two different colors, or if they think the hair in the back is, instead, some kind of helmet flap.

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I thought the NFL allows schools to use their logos for teams. Unless thats just high school

And in any case, schools are not allowed to alter the logos in any way, including re-colors.

Well that's flat out untrue.

Can ANYONE back up these statements with something other than 'I see it all the time'? I'm curious of the NFL's stance on this one way or the other. I've always assumed that the league didn't want their logos used period. However, there's no doubt that a large number of them are used, and that a large number of them are re-colored as well.

Is there a source on this? I'd even accept the word of some of the more connected members. Other people, not so much.

no, the NFL dosent allow anyone to use their logos. the reason you "see it all the time" is simply because the NFL dosent know about it. the NCAA has ben getting better about cracking down on it too, Florida a few years ago put a halt on a school or two for using their logo. the NFL has sued a model for taking pictures in a Giants jersey and selling them in a calender. you think they would allow a school to use one of their own properties? no way

If guys like you and Gothamite say so, I wouldn't doubt your word. I have no particular knowledge of the NFL's stance on these things. But it is difficult to believe the NFL doesn't know about it. If the truly don't know, its because they travel around with blinders on. You literally see recolored NFL logo EVERYWHERE on the high school level. I believe you on what must be the NFL's official take, but they certainly seem to be turning a blind eye.

This school is a stones throw from my in-law's house in Cincinnati... I've been looking at these recolored logos for 15 years... they have them all over the place.

1-crest.png6262465727_e48707341a_z.jpg

Note, they've stolen the helmet horns, the norseman head, AND the wordmark! Gold isn't even one of the school colors (red/black/gray), but they use it on the horn, just like Minnesota! My favorite part of their "identity" is the two-tone hair on the norseman. I can't decide if they think his hair is two different colors, or if they think the hair in the back is, instead, some kind of helmet flap.

I believe it's the latter, which makes sense in a odd way. But that is just wrong. My high uses clip-art as our main logo, which I do have to admit isn't great, but at least it's better than going ahead and ripping off a NFL team.

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I thought the NFL allows schools to use their logos for teams. Unless thats just high school

And in any case, schools are not allowed to alter the logos in any way, including re-colors.

Well that's flat out untrue.

Can ANYONE back up these statements with something other than 'I see it all the time'? I'm curious of the NFL's stance on this one way or the other. I've always assumed that the league didn't want their logos used period. However, there's no doubt that a large number of them are used, and that a large number of them are re-colored as well.

Is there a source on this? I'd even accept the word of some of the more connected members. Other people, not so much.

no, the NFL dosent allow anyone to use their logos. the reason you "see it all the time" is simply because the NFL dosent know about it. the NCAA has ben getting better about cracking down on it too, Florida a few years ago put a halt on a school or two for using their logo. the NFL has sued a model for taking pictures in a Giants jersey and selling them in a calender. you think they would allow a school to use one of their own properties? no way

This may be true but nothing would be gained for NFL to go after a high school team for using their logos.

Most high schools make no money off this stuff other than to pay for the expense of having a football team so I think the NFL just turns a blind eye instead of looking like some sort of villian.

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I don't remember who it was (Brian In Boston, slapshot, Gothamite, one of them cats), but I halfway remember one of them saying the NFL actually likes seeing some high schools using mimicking their logos/colors. I don't know about recoloring them, though—I'd imagine they don't like that too much.

Can anyone vet this?

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Daily News (suburban Chicago, November of 2010)

But while the NFL fiercely protects its copyrighted symbols and logos from those trying to make a quick buck off the sales of unauthorized merchandise, the organization has yet to take a tough stance against high school or youth teams that emulate professional teams.

"We support football on all levels and do not have an issue with high school and youth teams using NFL team logos," said Brian McCarthy, director of corporate communications for the NFL.

Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, October of 2010)

"From an NFL standpoint, hundreds of high school and youth programs use NFL nicknames or team logos and we think that's great," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "We support football wherever it's played. We do vigorously protect the trademarks of our teams, but when it comes to a youth team or a high school using a name or logo of a particular NFL team, that's not an issue with us."

Make of that what you will. I take it to mean that unless a high school or youth team is attempting to profit off of the trademarked logo(s) of a National Football League franchise by producing and selling souvenir merchandise, the NFL isn't likely to pursue legal action. Additionally, I've heard that NFL teams appreciate it when a high school or youth team seeks permission for using the logo(s) of an NFL-member franchise. The NFL club will then send said high school/youth team a formal letter granting permission.

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Daily News (suburban Chicago, November of 2010)

But while the NFL fiercely protects its copyrighted symbols and logos from those trying to make a quick buck off the sales of unauthorized merchandise, the organization has yet to take a tough stance against high school or youth teams that emulate professional teams.

"We support football on all levels and do not have an issue with high school and youth teams using NFL team logos," said Brian McCarthy, director of corporate communications for the NFL.

Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, October of 2010)

"From an NFL standpoint, hundreds of high school and youth programs use NFL nicknames or team logos and we think that's great," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. "We support football wherever it's played. We do vigorously protect the trademarks of our teams, but when it comes to a youth team or a high school using a name or logo of a particular NFL team, that's not an issue with us."

Make of that what you will. I take it to mean that unless a high school or youth team is attempting to profit off of the trademarked logo(s) of a National Football League franchise by producing and selling souvenir merchandise, the NFL isn't likely to pursue legal action. Additionally, I've heard that NFL teams appreciate it when a high school or youth team seeks permission for using the logo(s) of an NFL-member franchise. The NFL club will then send said high school/youth team a formal letter granting permission.

I thought so. Too many around. There are a few just in Jax.

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That's why I am surprised they allow it in high schools. My wife's home town has a recolored Eagles logo. One of the schools in St. Paul uses the Patriots logo. And I have seen both sold on T-shirts. Not uncommon for high schools.

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That's why I am surprised they allow it in high schools. My wife's home town has a recolored Eagles logo. One of the schools in St. Paul uses the Patriots logo. And I have seen both sold on T-shirts. Not uncommon for high schools.

yeah I have no issue with reproduction on uniforms/helmets but in no way is selling merch with another organization's proprietary logo cool.

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