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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Using the Name of a Website in a Book Title


    I have written a book that includes content that is relevant to a very prominent website. I have contacted the website's CEO, who told me that I'd have to send them my manuscript for their approval in order to use their name (and screenshots from the website). I'd really like to reference them in both the title and the text of the book, but I'm unsure as to whether or not they'll approve of my book. If I had to bet, I'd say they'd turn me down.

    Is this proper? Do I need their approval? For example, if the book was about eBay (which it is not), and I wanted the title to be "Exploring eBay: The New Online Marketplace", would I need their approval?

    If I was to use the name "eBay" in the introduction and subsequent chapters of the book, would I need their approval?

    Would it be illegal for me to include screenshots from their website without their approval?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. I'm very confused.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Using the Name of a Website in a Book Title

    To use copyrighted material (such as the screen captures) you would have to stay within "fair use". To use their trademark, you would have to avoid infringing on their mark. You have likely seen a lot of documents (whether or not you have noticed this) which are peppered with the symbol after each reference to a Mark, and which are footnoted with a disclaimer about ownership of the referenced Mark and that they make no claim to the Mark. Holding a trademark does not give a company the right to avoid negative reference to them or to their products by name. As I'm sure you understand, unless you are so authorized, you cannot use somebody else's Mark to suggest an affiliation with the product or that your use of the Mark is authorized. Here's a nice overview of the law governing use of a competitor's trademark.

    If you find a publishing house willing to publish your work, their legal department will review the manuscript for compliance with trademark and copyright laws.

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