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Some questions have been asked of late about the use of logos in our articles and encyclopedia entries. I took a journey through Wikipedia, a collaborative online encyclopedia, this evening and found that it answered many intellectual property questions regarding the use of franchise logos on Blue MauMau.
The First Amendment allows for the fair use of logos when it is obvious that they are used in news commentary and criticism. Wikipedia has this to say about its own guidelines on the use of company logos with articles:
U.S. law protects the use of trademarks by non-owners for purposes of criticism and commentary. First Amendment considerations override any expressive, noncommercial use of trademarks by corporations. (see L.L. Bean, Inc. v. Drake Pubs., Inc., 811 F.2d 26, 31, 33 (1st Cir. 1987.)
...The only limit on this right is whether someone might think that the commentary was produced by the trademark owner. "[A]n author certainly would have a First Amendment right to write about the subject of the Boy Scouts and/or Girl Scouts. However, this right is diluted by trademark law insofar as that author cannot present her subject in a manner that confuses or misleads the public into believing, through the use of one or more trademarks, that those organizations have produced or sponsored the work in question." See Girl Scouts of the United States v. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 808 F. Supp. 1112 at 1121, n. 12 (S.D.N.Y. 1992.)
There are four conditions that a blogger should avoid using logos. Again, these guidelines are drawn from Wikipedia.
If there is an objection on the part of the logo's owner, Blue MauMau reserves the right to take the logo off.
Editor's note: OK you attorneys out there. Please share your thoughts about reasonable and safe guidelines for the use of franchise logos on Blue MauMau.