New York, NY asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for District of Columbia

Q: I would like to use the Spy vs. Spy characters - who and how can I contact for permission?

I am the SVP of Cyber Intelligence at the Institute of World Politics. We are a non-profit, accredited, graduate school offering 5 masters and a doctoral program. Our students are diplomats, soldiers, and spies.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: To use the Spy vs. Spy characters, you would need to obtain permission from the rights holder. These characters originated in MAD Magazine, which is owned by DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Therefore, Warner Bros. or its specific division that manages MAD Magazine's intellectual property would be the entity to contact for such permissions.

To initiate this process, you should visit the official Warner Bros. or DC Entertainment website to find contact information for their licensing or permissions department. It is recommended to prepare a detailed proposal outlining how you intend to use the Spy vs. Spy characters, the scope of your project, and how it aligns with their brand values. This will be crucial in their decision-making process regarding the granting of rights.

Given the unique nature of your institution and its educational focus, highlighting the non-commercial, educational aspect of your request might support your application. Be prepared for a formal licensing agreement process, which may include fees, usage terms, and specific conditions on how the characters can be used. If the process seems daunting or if you encounter difficulties, seeking legal advice or the assistance of a professional familiar with copyright and licensing negotiations could be beneficial.

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