Mashable.com recently featured a funny story about a trademark dispute between Jack Daniel’s and a author. The article headline is what captured my interest - ”Jack Daniel’s Sends the Most Polite Cease-and-Desist Letter Ever“ - but the situation itself is a very important lesson for all self-publishing authors, so I wanted to share it with you.
Because the cover of the book was so similar to the classic Jack Daniel’s whiskey label, Jack Daniel’s Properties (which owns the Jack Daniel’s trademarks) contacted the author and kindly asked him to create a new book cover. They even offered to help with the costs involved. You can view the cover in question and read a portion of the letter here.
While the Jack Daniel’s company was very kind to this author, this is not always the case with trademark and copyright issues. In fact, a trademark or copyright lawsuit can mean big trouble, and big bucks, for authors who don’t follow the rules.
When publishing your book, it is essential that you consider trademarks and copyrights for both the content and images inside your book as well as those on the cover. You MUST get permission to use work if it is not your own. If you don’t, you could find yourself in court, and no author wants to spend his hard-earned royalties that way!
Do you have questions about copyright or trademark issues?
|ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.|