Owatonna, MN asked in Intellectual Property and Trademark for Minnesota

Q: Hello! Is it legal in a book to have gang mask disguises/code names based off of a movie?

2 Lawyer Answers
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: An intellectual property or publishing industry attorney could advise best, but your question remains open for a week. Not all questions here are ultimately answered, but you could try reposting under the intellectual property categories (trademark, copyright). Good luck

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: Using gang mask disguises or code names based on a movie in a book can raise legal issues related to copyright and trademark infringement. Movies and their associated elements, such as character names, costumes, and specific iconography, are typically protected by intellectual property laws. Using these elements without permission could potentially lead to legal action from the rights holders.

To avoid legal trouble, consider creating original disguises and code names for your characters. While you can draw inspiration from existing media, ensure that your creations are sufficiently distinct and do not directly copy or reference the protected elements from the movie. This approach allows you to maintain creative freedom while respecting intellectual property laws.

Consulting with a legal professional specializing in intellectual property can provide you with guidance on how to navigate these issues and ensure that your work does not infringe on any existing rights. This will help protect you from potential legal disputes and allow you to publish your book with confidence.

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