Trademark and Copyright Issues

Guest post
by Curtis Edmonds

The main character in my book, RAIN ON YOUR WEDDING DAY, used to work at Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta. He has a smallish collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia. And, not to put too fine a point on it, he drinks a whale of a lot of Coca-Cola. The bubbly drink is mentioned by name multiple times in the manuscript.

Am I about to get sued?

I don’t think so, but it’s not impossible. It almost happened to author Patrick Wensink, who wrote a book called “Broken Piano for President.” The cover of that book was designed as a homage to the Jack Daniels whiskey label – enough so that lawyers at Brown-Forsman, the parent company of Jack Daniels, wrote him an extremely polite letter asking him to change the cover art. That particular situation worked out well for both parties—Jack Daniels got goodwill points for handling the situation in a gentlemanly way, and Wensink got a small-but-welcome bump in sales. But it could have turned out in a much more negative way. Continue reading “Trademark and Copyright Issues”

Copyright and a Case for Why We Should

Copyrights are always something in the forefront of our collective indie publisher minds. Should we or shouldn’t we, do we have to take special steps? This overview will focus on U.S. copyright laws but I would imagine that they are similar in other countries. Toward the end of this post we’ll look at a possible copyright infringement that hits a little too close to home. Continue reading “Copyright and a Case for Why We Should”