Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Can I Be A Disney Party Princess Impersonator?
Dear Rich: I want to be a princess party entertainer for kids. If I make a costume (not licensed) and NOT call the princess by its "Disney" name, can I charge for my party entertainment services? Is there a loophole on the whole copyright thing? What about celebrity impersonators? Can't I be the blue princess celebrity impersonator? (Dress blue and white, not licensed). Sorry, I'm not trying to get you in trouble with "The Mouse." We're not sure what you mean about being a celebrity impersonator princess ... is it something like this. As for a copyright loophole, we assume you're seeking a legal means of escaping liability for infringement. We doubt whether you would qualify for any of the existing methods -- for example, fair use, the first sale doctrine, etc. Under copyright law, Disney can go after anyone who reproduces or exploits a substantially similar version of one of their proprietary princesses. Even so, we believe most "liability evasion" occurs because Disney hasn't learned about the infringement or is so booked up with legal matters that it cannot act on princess rip-offs. As usual, the lower your profile -- don't book a show on Buena Vista Street in Burbank -- the better your odds of evading detection. Also, you might want to check out our past entry on Disney princesses