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Thread: Copyright

  1. #1
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    There really isnt a fourm for this so ill just post it in here. I have the domain name kobe.net. I was wondering about the copyright laws. Since it is the first name of NBA all star Kobe Bryant I was wondering if I were making money on the site which is about Kobe if I could get in to some trouble. Does anybody know anything about this. I was just wondering because it is his first name and I would be making money, I guess you could say from his name??? Thanks.
    ICEE

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    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Yes...that would be copyright infringement as you are benefitting from someone elses name. It is not necessarily "illegal" as it would be his (or more likely his lawyers choice) to act upon it. Some celebrities might not mind as long as the site was not defamatory.

    If the site was about another subject, then it would be no big deal, but since you said the site was about Kobe Bryant...
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    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    Hmm...you site domain is kobe.net, and it is about kobe, and you are going to profit from it?

    baically, you're making money from him. so in this case, there might be some copyright infridgement, as to the extent of your content/success of the site and more.

    i'm speaking from a general view. i would strongly suggest you consult some people in greater knowledge in your country's laws ,......

    certainly not a good idea to proceed as you are.
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    SitePoint Enthusiast smirk's Avatar
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    If you are making money off of Kobe Bryant, then technically you are using his copyright (his name) so you could be held legally liable for that one.

    Just my two bits.. I work for a sports related site, so we have to be really careful in what we use to prevent cease and desist orders from leagues (I think the NBA might own Kobe's copyright there actually if hes in uniform)

    Probably do want to enquire, but I think the key thing is whether or not you are taking money away from him that could spark a civil case

  5. #5
    The Hiding One lynlimz's Avatar
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    yeah
    they might not come after you now, but who knows about the future.
    "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
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    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Ok as far as I know, this is not a breach of copyright, and the legal problems are not "copyright" problems.

    If all of the information on the site is yours, or you have the right to include it on your site, then there is no copyright problem.

    If you offered all of it as free information, or in a non-profit, manner, it is fine.

    If any information is defammatory then he could sue.

    If you are seen to be making a profit he could try and take some sort of legal action.

    There may also be problems including photographs of him - I really don't know the law in your country.

    If he's a millionaire then he's got lots to spend on legal expenses - he may try to sue you for just about any reason, even if he thinks he will lose.

    Maybe you should have a talk to his lawyer if you want to make money from this site.

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    junkyrddog's Other Half emmester's Avatar
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    If you're still confused, go to www.whatiscopyright.org. They explain copyright pretty well.

    I hope this helps 'ya.

  8. #8
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    The problem with copyright is that because the Internet is global it is still not clear which rules should be followed as they vary from country to country.

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    Say WHA?! goober's Avatar
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    if only politics did not "infringe" upon progress (pardon the stupid pun), we would have a World Copyright Treaty.

    Or maybe not. Countries always disagree for personal/political reasons, which we know will take many years (if not forever) to change.

    *sigh* just makes life seem a little hopeless, doesn't it?

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    SitePoint Enthusiast smirk's Avatar
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    Copyright.. yah.. its true that it varies from Country to country..

    thing is with someone like Kobe Bryant.. he's American, plays for American league etc.. probably fall under American rules then..

    But then again, you could say.. "yeah, but I'm in Venezuela (for example)... so sod off.."

    But then again, your ISP might end up being on the hook for it and cut you off..

    I work in an industry that deals with these issues on a daily basis.. amazing what you can do with renegade marketing and the internet

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    Copyright laws are pretty standard from country to country, and they are usually governed by the Berne Convention. The use of another person's name does not constitute copyright infringement. It may, however, infringe upon "the right of publicity."

    The right of publicity is the right of a person to control the commercial value and exploitation of his or her name and likeness. Because right-of-publicity laws promote artistic pursuits, they are included in intellectual property law. These laws are usually reserved for celebrities and other public figures whose name and image are important to their career. By allowing celebrities the right to control the commercial use of their name and image, right-of-publicity laws protect the commercial potential of entertainers.

    NOTE: Nothing in this post should be construed as a legal opinion or as legal advice.
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    What if the money I was making was just from banner hits and so fourth. Would that still be a problem or is the problem I have a site with his name and its about him. Thanks for all your help so far.
    ICEE

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    Originally posted by ICEE
    What if the money I was making was just from banner hits and so fourth. Would that still be a problem or is the problem I have a site with his name and its about him. Thanks for all your help so far.
    See generally Legal Information Institute - Law about . . . the Right of Publicity/Privacy.

    (Edited to fix VBB codes.)
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    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
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    How about you contact either him or the NBA, preferably both. And ask, since they are the people which will give you a definite answer either way.

    And it'll look better on you if you are pro-active about it. The worst they can say is that you are in breech of copyright, but if you went to them first and your site is popular they might offer to buy it (since hostile website takeovers tend to render that website 'un-visitable' due to the dislike of such practices among people on the internet generally, and any self proclaimed e-strategist can see the benefits).

    I'm normally an IP evangelist, with a bit of knowledge (non-professional) about it, but in this case i'd say having a quick word is the best option. Some large companies may 'let it slide' for ages, but this is not because they haven't noticed you, it's because they currently have bigger fish to fry.

    Take the recent spate of UK ISP 24/7 customer offloading, they knew people used the connection 24/7 and this went on for ages (they have the server logs). We (the people i live with at uni) were with plus.net and thier AUP plus.net AUP clearly states that 2 hours and 30 minutes per day is acceptable use for a 24/7 subscription. However this was not the case when we signed up, they just retrospecitvely implemented thier shiny new AUP.

    This is not intended as an ISP bashing (there are far too many forums dedicated to it). But as an illustration of "because it's all sunshine now, doesn't mean it won't be cloudy later".
    Last edited by Drinky; Mar 26, 2001 at 18:03.
    Drinky

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    Originally posted by Drinky
    How about you contact either him or the NBA, preferably both. And ask, since they are the people which will give you a definite answer either way.

    And it'll look better on you if you are pro-active about it. The worst they can say is that you are in breech of copyright, but if you went to them first and your site is popular they might offer to buy it (since hostile website takeovers tend to render that website 'un-visitable' due to the dislike of such practices among people on the internet generally, and any self proclaimed e-strategist can see the benefits).
    I, personally, would not contact the player, nor would I contact the NBA. What I would do, if I were concerned about potential legal liability, is contact a competent attorney, licensed to practice in my jurisdiction and retain his or her professional services. Alternatively, I would research the law myself and figure out whether I had any legal exposure.

    Once again, nothing narrated in the initial inquiry posted here (and/or the followups) indicates that there are any copyright issues arising from this situation. However, there is very clearly an issue of whether the Web site in question violates someone's "right to publicity," and there is no way that anyone can know whether that is actually the case without conducting a more thorough investigation.
    David F. Prenatt, Jr.
    Chief Evangelist, Wherewithal Search

  16. #16
    SitePoint Addict Drinky's Avatar
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    There is one other thing... Kobe is a city in Japan which was around long before Kobe Bryant was born. :O)
    Drinky


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