Legal Question in Intellectual Property in New Jersey

Copyright, trademark, and ''fair use'' considerations with a news magazine

I am trying to start a marketing magazine which would report on, critique, and contrast corporate advertisements and logos. It will generate revenue from subscription and advertising. The magazine will only comment on marketing elements of the ad or logo. Images will feature the entire ad or logo so an element is not taken out of context.

1) To be considered under ''fair use'', are there guidelines as to how much commentary must caption an image?

2) Do I need to cite the author or any other information?

3) Are there stipulations for reproducing a corporate logo that is compared or critiqued?

4) Are there steps I should take pre-publishing to protect against suit?

How do I find a lawyer who could advise on copyright issued as well as defend if infringement occurs? Are there qualifications or a background I should look for?

Asked on 3/02/09, 10:35 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Ken Feldman Feldman Law Group

Re: Copyright, trademark, and ''fair use'' considerations with a news magazine

You are going right at the heart of the intellectual property that businesses are trying to protect the most (their trademarks and logos), and you're critiquing them! I admisre your courage, but I agree you need to think it through with an Intellectual property lawyer.

You need to be aware of trademark, copyright, and defamation issues at minimum. Copyright and Trademark both have "fair use" statutory exclusions, and defamation also has openings, but they are easy to misread.

In theory, you should be able to identify and critique these symbols as long as you are not likely to confuse customers or defame these businesses.

In terms of qualifications for your legal ally, I would look for someone with long experience practicing Intellectual property law (decades at least), who is interested in working with a start up business like you, and who you communicate well with. good luck. you want a relationship as well as mere advice for a price.

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Answered on 3/03/09, 12:50 pm
Daniel Pepper Pepper Law Group, LLC

Re: Copyright, trademark, and ''fair use'' considerations with a news magazine

These are not questions that can be answered simply in this forum, as the issues of fair use are complex and very fact-specific. I would not suggest you venture in this business without a qualified lawyer giving you tailored advice.

If you'd like to discuss with me further, please feel free to contact me.

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Answered on 3/03/09, 9:24 am

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