I work for a small business which specializes in providing art supplies. That being said, we promote artists' work on our social media pages. Recently, we shared an image of a painting by one artist that depicted a glow in the dark silhouette of a famous scene from the Disney movie "The Lion King" with a caption that read something along the lines of "Hakuna Matata - it means no worries! And this is exactly the feeling you will have when working with our products." Does this infringe on any trademark or copywrite laws? If we omitted the textual reference, and were simply sharing a photo of the painting created by someone else, does that change the legality of the situation?
1 Answer from Attorneys
While your exposure for this is probably pretty low, it is an infringement under copyright law and possibly trademark law as well. If this was solely for personal use it would not be a concern, but given that there is a commercial context you need to be much careful about using IP that belong to the biggest dogs in the business.
If you need clarification, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
If you would like to discuss further over a free phone consult, feel free to contact me anytime that is convenient.
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