Licensing Question

 
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:46 pm    Post subject: Licensing Question Reply with quote

I would just like to get people's opinions on this. I made a still life shot of antique baseball equipment years ago and produced a poster from it. It was pretty good...the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown bought some and sold them in the HOF gift shop. I'm aware of the Licensing Agreement put out by Major League Baseball. Basically you can't use or reproduce anything identifiable including the likeness of any real player living or dead, team logos, emblems, banners, etc. of any major league, minor league, Negro League team that exists now or at any time.

My shot was 100% generic...a still life of an antique glove, bat, ball, and an American flag...not one thing that fell under the guidelines of the MLB licensing agreement. I got a call from the marketing director of one of the teams. His first question was "are you licensed by MLB"? I said "no, but I'm familiar with the license, and my shots don't fall under their guidelines". He said he won't even look at anything without it being licensed. He said he doubted if any other team would carry my posters for the same reason. I know in Cleveland, the main team shop is at the ball park which was 100% financed by tax dollars. I didn't pursue this any further, but if I did, would I have had any legal standing? Thanks.

Jon
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shanekislack
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I understand the question. What legal standing? Are you wanting to legally obligate him to carry the poster?
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A monopoly?, restraint of trade? Remember, it wasn't about quality, I had contacted the teams to find out who I should send a sample to. He called me back and said don't bother unless I'm licensed.

Jon
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I was thinking along the lines of the building being paid for by taxes. The company is a private company and therefore can choose which vendors it deals with. Sorry for asking such dumb questions...won't happen anymore.

Jon
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shanekislack
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not dumb, but you did answer it yourself.
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vjp
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon you are confusing the MLB usage restrictions with a Licencing Agreement. The Ball Club wants/needs to sell Official Licensed products so you need to get your poster in front of someone at MLB Licensing and see if they would be interested. You can use the interest in your poster from the Club/Park you are dealing with as part of your pitch to MLB.

Good Luck

vjp
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vjp wrote:
Jon you are confusing the MLB usage restrictions with a Licencing Agreement. The Ball Club wants/needs to sell Official Licensed products so you need to get your poster in front of someone at MLB Licensing and see if they would be interested. You can use the interest in your poster from the Club/Park you are dealing with as part of your pitch to MLB.

Good Luck

vjp


Victor, I was talking to my wife(she's in retail) and we're thinking the same thing. If I can afford the license, get one and send some samples my work to MLB instead of trying to contact all the different teams.

Jon
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vjp
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jon,

You don't always have to buy a license, the license is generally a percentage of the sales goes to them in exchange for them making your product "Official" and putting it into distribution. This is overly simplified, but I think your images are nice and I can see a market for them.

Good Luck

vjp
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davegilo
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without the official MLB license, it may be viewed as counterfeit, alot of that is in the clothing, but shops that sell "official MLB" want that license.
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Jon DeVaul
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

davegilo wrote:
Without the official MLB license, it may be viewed as counterfeit, alot of that is in the clothing, but shops that sell "official MLB" want that license.


I also got the impression that the teams don't want to have to make the decision whether it falls under MLB rules. If I get licensed, then they only have to decide if the item will sell in their market.

Jon
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vjp
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it has to be licensed. I said "you don't always have to BUY the license.
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