"Is that...legal?" (Question about advertising on a site)

Discussion in 'Fan Sites' started by Calvinthejedi, Aug 8, 2008.

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  1. Calvinthejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2004
    star 2
    Ok, moving quickly past the line from TPM...

    Is it legal for someone to place advertisements that generate revenue on a fan film site?

    I know the old saying 'if you think it's illegal, then it no doubt is', but I am really not sure.

    Does it matter what the revenue is speant on (i.e. the site itself)?

    Your thoughts, masters of the interwebs?

    (P.s. Thank you in advance for advice)
  2. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Hmm...that is a good question. My first thought was No. I mean, it's not the fact that you're selling your fan film that is giving you profit, but the fact that you have advertisements. But, then again, Star Wars is copyrighted and all.

    So, I am going to say, as long as you have it clearly stated that Star Wars is copyrighted and what not, I think you will be fine.

    Like, as an example, I am running a message board system based on phpBB (which by a license, is legally free). I have ads on my site, and I have yet to be sued. :p So, not sure if that is the same or not, but hopefully it clears something up for you.
  3. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Hmm, this is an interesting question. While you are not specifically making profit off of a trademarked franchise, that being Star Wars, you?re still using it as a means to an end and that end is a profit.

    Tl;dr version: I don?t know. :p
  4. kuatengineer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2008
    star 2
    I have to say that I've wondered that myself. I think I would have to clarify your question (is it two different questions)? The first question, to me, is if you can generate revenue through ads. The second is whether you can profit from it.

    The way I have interpreted it is that revenue would probably be OK (to maintain the site, etc.), but that profit would not be OK. It brings up a whole string of weird questions. For example, the site I have is hosted on freewebs. It's free to me, etc., but freewebs has ads on there, and I'm sure those generate revenue, and profit. The thing there is probably that the host provider isn't setting out to exploit the Star Wars franchise, even though they benefit. Interesting....

    In your situation, I would guess that you would be fine to generate revenue with ads, and then put those fund back into maintaining your site, and for producing the series. Just not for profit. That's my opinion from what I've read.
  5. Calvinthejedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 22, 2004
    star 2
    I think I've found a loop hole (just in case it isn't legal), I can just put ads on the pages that feature content that I own i.e. the about us, F. A. Q. page and the bios page, respectively.

    Thank you all for your advice.

    If anyone else has any thoughts as well, please post them, thank you. :)
  6. Brandon Rhea Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2004
    star 5
    Well, first, you should never try to exploit loopholes without first talking to an attorney. Just because you think it's a loophole doesn't necessary mean that the law will see it that way. I'm no lawyer, but I believe that such a loophole wouldn't work. Just because it's an FAQ or About Us site does not change the fact that it's a Star Wars website, and therefore your question still remains.
  7. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Yeah, but we don't even know if it's illegal.
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