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Using Lego to illustrate a printed book...?

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Using Lego to illustrate a printed book...?

Postby ottoatm » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:35 pm

I've written a few books in my day, but never a book using Lego pictures as the illustrations... do you think there would be any legal mumbo-jumbo to face if I did that?

I know the "Brick Bible" (https://squareup.com/market/thebrickbib ... aphed-copy) uses Lego for illustrations, so it would seem it IS possible... I just wonder if anyone has any experience/expertise in this area?
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Re: Using Lego to illustrate a printed book...?

Postby Bruce N H » Wed Sep 16, 2015 10:12 pm

Hey,

I actually was recently sent a link to this video by Martin Hüdepohl on the guidelines for the fair use of LEGO in publishing. He's not from LEGO legal, but he is the author of some AFOL-driven books. Watch the video, and access the documents form TLG that he mentions, but it essentially comes down to these main points:

-You can't use the LEGO logo and some other images unless you are licensed by TLG (e.g. DK has a business relationship with TLG).
-There are restrictions on the proper way to use the word LEGO or other trademarked terms (e.g. Duplo, Ninjago, etc). Things like all-caps, never say "Legos" etc. Sometimes (but not all?) you're supposed to use the little registered trademark symbol.
-There is some restriction on how the word LEGO is used in the title.
-There is a specified disclaimer saying that this work is not supported or endorsed by TLG.

Aside from those things, it seems that you are free to have a book with LEGO illustrations, write a book with instructions to build your own custom models, write a reference book about LEGO, etc.

BTW, if you are going to publish such a book, I would try to do it through a publisher that has a proven AFOL track record - i.e. NoStarch or Skyhorse (there are some others based in Europe as well). They would both already know and be able to advise you on legal mumbo-jumbo, and also they have a record of marketing to the LEGO market.
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Re: Using Lego to illustrate a printed book...?

Postby ottoatm » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:13 am

Many thanks Bruce! I'm sorry I didn't see your reply sooner, but the information you gave is perfect and hits the spot.

BTW, if you are going to publish such a book, I would try to do it through a publisher that has a proven AFOL track record - i.e. NoStarch or Skyhorse (there are some others based in Europe as well). They would both already know and be able to advise you on legal mumbo-jumbo, and also they have a record of marketing to the LEGO market.


I hadn't heard of these folks before - I'll check them out!
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1.A member of an order of knights founded about 1118 to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Second Crusade.

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