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Thread: Legal Question

  1. #1
    Legal Question
    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    Legal Question
    If any of you know a good legal forum please point me there since I know a legal question is pretty much a shot in the dark on a computer forum.

    I want to use the name "Cinderella" in a company name, I know that Cinderella is a name copy written by Disney. Is there a channel to go through to get permission from Disney to use this name for the company or is there some sort of "fair use" when it comes to sharing names of characters?
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    WakeCarver's Avatar
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    IMO you should send a certified letter to Disney and ask for permission to use the name. Explain what the company's mission statement will be and why you wish to use the name. The worst that can happen is they say no. Good luck!
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    Legal Question
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    On one hand, it's just a name. Nobody can really hold right to a name. (There's a small chance that Disney made the name up and owns rights to it.) On the other hand, I once read a case in my law class where a guy owned a store called "Victor's Little Secret" and lost a lawsuit brought by "Victoria's Secret". If I had paid more attention, I could tell you exactly why he lost, but I've forgotten and felt he shouldn't have lost.

    Regardless of the true legality, if you write to Disney, they'll say they own it.
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  4. #4
    Legal Question

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    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    On one hand, it's just a name. Nobody can really hold right to a name. On the other hand, I once read a case in my law class where a guy owned a store called "Victor's Little Secret" and lost a lawsuit brought by "Victoria's Secret". If I had paid more attention, I could tell you exactly why he lost, but I've forgotten and felt he shouldn't have lost.
    I think the judge was sexist!

  5. #5
    Legal Question
    iKitten's Avatar
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    I think "Cinderella" originated with Grimm's Fairy Tales. I don't imagine Disney has sole proprietary ownership.

    I haven't used it but thelegalforum.com looks good.
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  6. #6
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    D3v1L80Y's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iKitten View Post
    I think "Cinderella" originated with Grimm's Fairy Tales. I don't imagine Disney has sole proprietary ownership.
    Exactly.
    Disney didn't write it, they can't do anything to prevent use of the name.

    Now, if you wanted to use the character likeness they created... that is a different story.
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  7. #7
    Legal Question
    PowerBookG4's Avatar
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    ok thanks guys for some of the info and thanks iKitten for the link.
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  8. #8
    Legal Question

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    Quote Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y View Post
    Exactly.
    Disney didn't write it, they can't do anything to prevent use of the name.
    Yup, Cinderella is in the public domain now.

    Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...ain_characters

  9. #9
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    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iKitten View Post
    I think "Cinderella" originated with Grimm's Fairy Tales. I don't imagine Disney has sole proprietary ownership.

    I haven't used it but thelegalforum.com looks good.
    +1

    I thought that was kind of funny that PBG$ thought Disney created it.
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    vicariousgeorge's Avatar
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    nevermind

  11. #11
    Legal Question
    Ghostshadow's Avatar
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    It's a wishy washy subject. Some big corps will do the most hanus acts over a name. There was the case with Toyota and this guy that owns www.toyota.com He owned the company and domain before the car company was on the internet, and they tried suing him and his name is toyota. He can't advertise or anything.

    There has been other cases by microsoft over a guy named Mike Roe and he had a software company Mike roe soft ware and microsoft sued the snot out of the poor guy for copyright infringement and trying to use the same name as a marketing tool.

    So it might do good to ask, but then again, they might be stubborn and won't even reply or they will try to hop on you for trying to use a "trade marked" name.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
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    fleurya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mynameis View Post
    Yup, Cinderella is in the public domain now.

    Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Categor...ain_characters
    Regardless, Disney could still sue and win. In the case I mentioned, the only true similarity between the two names was "secret" and two merely similar names "Victor" and "Victoria", none of which are trademarked, yet the guy lost the case.
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  13. #13
    Legal Question
    marley's Avatar
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    Yes, the U.S. is very sue-happy, obviously by all these examples stated.

    Here is a new one!

    A woman posted a video on YouTube of her son (who is 4 or so) dancing to a Prince song. The video was only viewed by family and friends, although, Universal contacted YouTube to take the video down for copyright infringement! The woman sued YouTube saying the video is of her son dancing to a song in the background, not copyrightm and YouTube posted it back up for her. The woman didn't stop there, she also sued Universal (counter-suit), I don't remember exactly on what charges.....

  14. #14
    Legal Question

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    Disney are notorious for 'protecting' their property.

    The question will be whether you are either profiting from their intellectual property (not copyrighted property), or causing prejudice to them in the use of same - ie, if you use the word for a porn site or something.

    If you are somehow associating with Disneys version of Cinderella, expect trouble, regardless of who may or may not own the rights to the name.

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