Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Legal rights for Batman app

Dear Rich: I'm creating an application for the iPhone and was planning to place it in the appstore. Its a 'video ringer'. Instead of only hearing a dull sound when someone receives a call, I replaced it with a video. The thing is that, I made a 'Batwave' sort of video. Do you think I will have a problem? Yes, we think you may have a problem. If DC Comics learns that you're using the logo they may request that Apple remove the app. That's what the owners of Tetris did with an application called TRIS back in 2008. As we mentioned last week, DC Comics, the owner of rights, broadly asserts its Bat-rights. Obviously, the company has the right to make a similar app and your unauthorized use would compete and create confusion. So, initially, you may be able to get it past the AppStore gatekeepers but the Dear Rich Staff advises that if your app becomes popular (and your app store screenshots will likely attract some unwanted attention), you'll eventually find yourself in some deep Bat guano.