Newsletter title

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  • I have a client for whom I am creating a one-off (one-issue) employee newsletter for 100 employees. They wanted the look and flavour of a well-known national tabloid, which I have done. I gave it a totally different title, however.

    Now they are telling me they don't just want to make their newsletter a kind of parody, they want to use the name of the well-known tabloid. I'm telling them they can't do that, even for an internal newsletter. This company does not necessarily respect ethics and copyright laws.

    If I name the newsletter and change one letter in the title, can they get away with this, or is that still infringement?

    They want the newsletter commercially reproduced at a fast-copy shop and I am not comfortable at all with this project.

    This situation is frustrating for me because I have always worked to ethics and they're respecting neither ethics nor copyright, but I am being paid to do this.

    I need some advice about changing the publication name ever so slightly, please.
  • Names aren't copyrightable, so you wouldn't be violating copyright by using the same name. However, names may be protected by trademark and other laws. "Look and feel" may be copyrightable. Parody may be non-infringing, but it depends on if the work is actually a parody. Different jurisdictions have treated parody differently.

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