Cookies   I display ads to cover the expenses. See the privacy policy for more information. You can keep or reject the ads.

Video thumbnail
Welcome to the United States, welcome to Los Angeles,
and welcome to the world-famous [BLEEP].
Trademark rights are an interesting thing.
You may already know about copyright, about it's been extended in the US and Europe many,
many times, and always -- strangely enough -- just before the early Mickey Mouse cartoons
were about to become public domain. But that's copyright, not trademarking. Separately to
those cartoons, the name and basic design of Mickey Mouse is also trademarked. It's
something that Disney use to sell... well, many, many, many things. So even if those
early cartoons were to go out of copyright, I couldn't start selling my own Mickey Mouse
merchandise, the same way I can't just set up a store called Wal-Mart or start selling
my own drink called Coca-Cola. The rights to the names and designs don't have an expiry
date, as long as they're being used and defended.
The distinction is about commercial purpose. Which is why I've blurred the [BLEEP] behind
me. You already know what it is and what it looks like, it's one of the most recognisable
landmarks in America. You can easily find photos and videos of it all over the web,
even videos of people climbing it and being chased off by the police. But am I using it
for a commercial purpose by making this video about it? I don't think so, I'm using it nominatively,
to describe the thing itself, which is legal. But am I willing to risk it when there are
lawsuits from the trademark owner and out-of-court settlements going back decades?
Now, could I have gotten permission if I'd made a couple of phone calls? Yeah, maybe,
but they'd have probably have charged me a fee and wanted me to sign a lot of paperwork,
and frankly, I'm on vacation. Am I likely to get sued if I actually show you it? Probably not.
But am I absolutely, 100% sure that the trademark owners wouldn't go after me if I
showed you one of the most recognisable landmarks in America? And that I wouldn't have to settle
out of court or risk the cost of defending a very expensive lawsuit?
No. I'm not 100% sure.
That's the reason that there's just a blur of pixels behind me.
I'm out here in LA for another few days. If any YouTube types want to collaborate on something
on November 6th or 7th, send me an email, details are on screen now. I don't have much
time but it'd be great to do something, so do get in touch.
Oh my god, it's bright out here.
[Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]