Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Using Sports Teams in Kids Book

Dear Rich: I have written a children's book that I want to publish. Central to the story is the main character's use of professional sports team names. Will it first be necessary for me to seek permission from the leagues (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL)? The short and long answer is, 'No,' permission is not required for mentioning sports franchises in a work of fiction. Permission may be required if the name (or logo) of a sports franchise is used in the title or on the cover of the book. (The Dear Rich Staff is unsure of whether you'd prevail in a dispute over book illustrations that use team names and logo imagery so it's probably best to avoid that, as well.) As noted in previous posts, the two difficult-to-predict factors that matter are whether the league learns of your use and whether they consider it worth litigating over .