How Long Does A High School Football Game Usually Last Can You Copyright a Fight Song or a School Motto?

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Can You Copyright a Fight Song or a School Motto?

The other day, I was having a conversation about copyright law, you see, I’m an author of online articles and I produced several e-books, and before my writing stint, I was quite concerned with protecting the operations manual of our business. from falling into the hands of competitors. I have been moderately successful in all of the above and therefore have quite a few experiences both positive and negative when it comes to copyright law.

Now, during our conversation we touched on the topic of writing quotes, slogans, poems, and even school fight songs that are often used in football, basketball, and other athletic competitions. Obviously, if you have a good fight song, let’s say you’re a university or college, someone could hijack it and use it in their high school in some small town somewhere in the United States. Now, as a big university, you probably don’t care if a high school uses it at their football game.

However, it is his trademark and his school’s fight song, and he needs to protect it. A very short quote or school motto could be a trademark. However, it is difficult to register something that you have not used in interstate commerce. However, if you are a college student traveling to other states for athletics that would suffice, then you could register it. If you do, you legally have more teeth if someone uses it without your permission.

Of course, if your school motto is multiple sentences long and your fight song is multiple verses long, then obviously a trademark is completely the wrong place, and you won’t be able to get that from the USPTO. Therefore, can a copyright be enough? In other words, if you put a little “c” at the bottom that alerts everyone that you claim copyright, and they can’t use it without your permission, and of course you would grant them permission sometime, then it’s safe, TRUE?

Hardly anyone would still try to take it, you can even use it on your blog or modify the words to make your school look bad. In that case, they are violating your copyright in many ways, but you still have to defend that. They could claim that they added significant new value by changing the words and trashing the school fight song, so is that okay? Well, legally they could have a good defense in that case under the principle of “fair use”; however, that does not make you or your school very happy.

And if you think that won’t or can’t happen, think again, it happens all the time. The problem with trademarks, patents, copyrights, and other things of this nature is that even if you claim copyright, have a trademark, or have filed a patent for something, that’s where the fun begins, of course. thereafter you still have to defend it. That costs money, takes time, and the Internet is rampant with the hijacking of copyrighted material. In fact, I hope you will please consider all this and think about it. In the meantime, good luck.

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