Legal Question in Entertainment Law in Georgia

I'm producing a catalog for a company and would like to use quotes from industry and motorsports greats to create interest. The quotes would not be sold in any way. Are there legal issues?

Asked on 5/09/11, 1:18 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glen Ashman Ashman Law Office also dba Glen Ashman Attorney

There are huge ones. You could spend years in jail and face civil fines of up to $150,000 for EACH infringement.

In a civil suit, an infringer may be liable for a copyright owner's actual damages plus any profits made from the infringement. Alternatively, the copyright owner may avoid proving actual damage by electing a statutory damage recovery of up to $30,000 or, where the court determines that the infringement occurred willfully, up to $150,000. The actual amount will be based upon what the court in its discretion considers just. (17 U.S.C. 504)

Violation of copyright law is also considered a federal crime when done willfully with an intent to profit. Criminal penalties include up to ten years imprisonment depending on the nature of the violation. (No Electronic Theft Act, 18 U.S.C. 2319) (Using quotes in a catalog would constitute an intent to profit).

Additionally, the use of the name implies that they endorse your product. So you also could be sued for punitive damages on that basis.

In other words, don't. (You should not be engaging in a business without a lawyer anyway, as there are other legal issues you also want to address with a catalog business).

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Answered on 5/09/11, 6:04 pm

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