View Full Version : Regarding Product/Franchise usage in fanfics

January 25th, 2008, 8:48 AM
This has been on my mind for a while, and I was just wondering, is there a policy against using or refering to brand and franchise names in fanfics? It's just, in a lot of published works, I've seen people using the names of well known products like pepsi and Mcdonalds and this kind of got me wondering if I could do the same in fanfics, or would have to have some type of disclaimer stating the fact that I don't own those things, even though they're commonplace?

January 25th, 2008, 10:40 AM
WHo would use PEPSI of all drinks in their fic *shudders*

But I think you'd be allowed to use brand name products in the fic (I have used Coca Cola and Dial and have yet to be sued)

Miss Raichu
January 25th, 2008, 11:34 AM
As long as everyone knows that you don't think you're the owner of said brand, and you never make any money off the fic you should be fine. Just make a disclaimer saying Pepsi is owned by Pepsi. That's all you need ;3

January 26th, 2008, 6:54 PM
you are aware that you're writing fanfiction in the first place, aren't you? If Nintendo hasn't gotten on your ass already, what're the odds that Coca-Cola or someone will care, especially over one little line hidden within pages and pages of writing?

January 26th, 2008, 7:04 PM
I don't think it matters. It's not like you're selling your fanfic XD.

January 28th, 2008, 1:39 PM
Whoa, Yamato-san, I just wasn't sure! Don't need to bite my head off, man!

I'll just stick with a disclaimer, then...

February 2nd, 2008, 1:28 PM
Whatever happened to American's right to free press? Nothing bad will happen, people wrote stories with brand names and sold them.

Like some pepsi head will be going on pokecommunity. :p

JX Valentine
February 3rd, 2008, 1:05 PM
Whatever happened to American's right to free press?

It never actually existed. XD If you look up the list of banned books on Wikipedia, you'll find that there's a number of texts that are banned in various parts of the US, even today. Really, the word "right" just refers to the fact that you can print whatever you want but can't expect it to be on the shelves for very long if it contains anything potentially offensive. That is, the government won't storm the publisher if you decide to print something like the Anarchist's Cookbook, but they will forbid it to be sold or put in libraries.

But to go back to the subject of the thread, I'll again agree with what's already been said and add a further note: No, you don't need a disclaimer. Think of it like this: you're already using copyrighted material. Pokemon is a trademark of Nintendo, as are each individual species and all related items. So, chances are, if you so much as mention Pikachu, you're already doing product placement anyway. Ergo, it really doesn't make much sense if you put up a disclaimer to mention that you're using a brand name (such as Pepsi) if you don't do the same with Pokemon. Additionally, with fanfiction, it's usually a given that you're going to be dipping into a franchise or other copyrighted work, so even then, a disclaimer isn't necessary.

In other words, do what you want. You don't even really need to state that you don't own those products (unless you do it for the fandom as well, at which point, it's really up to you).

But you could avoid this altogether if you just mention the item that's being used. For example, instead of using Pepsi, you could just say that your character drank soda. That sort of thing. I personally think that it's a less tacky if you don't mention franchise names if you don't need to, but if you want a sense of realism, you could. *shrug*

February 4th, 2008, 12:51 PM
About the last thing you mentioned, Jax... That's the whole reason I was going to use/make reference to real world stuff to begin with, so I could add to the realism of the fic. But, I guess I could just drop the disclaimer, or at least reduce it to something that's not so bulky and impersonal like the six-sentence one I've currently got for it.

Also, firemaker, it's really not that uncommon for certain types of books to be banned from being sold in US stores. I mean, really, there are some things that you're just best of not reading or even knowing about (and, by that, I mean the really negative type of things).