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I'm wondering if anyone doing a media zine has ever had to deal with licensing issues.  I know that if you want to do a book about, say, a TV show, and don't want to go through the bother of getting permission that you can make x% of the book have content other than from that TV show, and it would be OK.  Does anyone know the specifics of this?

I know that one company, New Media, issued unlicensed books about TV shows etc.all the time and they never seemed to have any problems.

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I'm talking about a book. I always have wondered why some production companies are so stingy about their properties. It occurs to me that fan publications actually enrich them, because they keep their properties in the public eye.
Of course, the book(s) I'm talking about have print runs of 1000 copies. They're sold in bookstores, and usually just about break even. So I guess I'm talking of a hybrid between a book and a fanzine.
Thanks for your help. I remember reading a whole lot about the issue some years ago. Unfortunately, now I can't find anything about it on the web.
I woinder if the studios don't go after fanzines not so much because they tolerate them but because they figure they're all small potatoes and wouldn't be worth the cost of prosecuting.

I remember having a conversation with a friend who was going through law school. I asked him "Can you be sued for_____?"
"Sure. You can be sued for anything." His point was that the case wouldn't even have to have any merit. Which of course means that any jerk with the intent to annoy can make your life hell.

He and I figured out the only 100% certain way to avoid legal troubles: rent an apartment, don't pick up your mail, don't answer the door, don't leave the apartment, don't interact with anyone at any time.

What is interesting is that US government/military films are also public domain, which leads to an interesting story:

Some years ago this filmmaker claimed that he had real footage of an alien autopsy conducted by the military in 1947. He wanted to charge outrageous fees for using that footage.

The producrs of a paranormal TV show were aware of the fact I mentioned in the first sentence. So they showed the footage without paying any rights money.

They were quite open about it: they said that if it was a US military type film then it was in the public domain, and they couldn't be sued. If the filmmaker was claiming a copyright on it then he was essentially admitting that the film was a fake.

The filmmaker was in a nasty catch 22. In the end he did nothing.


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