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Can I make a website about how to navigate around Disney World?

Oswego, IL |

I want to make my own how to guide on the topic of Disney World vacations. I would be using my own pictures and writing my own articles. I see a lot of other sites on this topic but I want to make sure I do it right.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. You can do this but be sure to not use any Disney logos and to use the word "Unofficial" in the title.

    This answer is not legal advice nor should it be construed as such. I always attempt to provide factual information relevant to a question, but, in the end no attorney can properly advise a potential client based on the limited facts that can possibly be disclosed in a format such as this one.

  2. As my colleague noted, while you are free to comment on DW and you are not infringing if you are using your own images and writing all your own copy, you need to be very careful about making sure you do not mislead the market into thinking you are associated with them.

    In my opinion, I would not get involved with anything that concerned Disney without a proper license as they are notoriously aggressive. If they simply do not like what you are doing or saying they will pound on you and even if you have very good defenses this can cost you a bundle of money to fight in court.

    I'm not being an alarmist, just practical. You should discuss your plans with a lawyer in private before jumping in. Most of us here, including myself, offer a free phone consult.

    Best regards,
    Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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  3. Yes but you need to make it very clear on every page that your web-site is not officially associated with Disney World. Further, you should avoid using any trademarks belonging to Disney. And you should not use any photographs of Disney World except photographs that you took and/or that someone else took and licensed to you. Further, you should not use photographs that show Disney trademarks or Disney characters. Indeed, on reflection it might be better to avoid using any photographs because Disney World is private property, and any images you take from inside Disney World could be problematic because they might be deemed to reflect trademarks, trade dress, or characters belonging to Disney, or otherwise constitute unfair competition.

    If you are trying to sell Disney World vacations as a travel agent, you need to be especially careful because Disney actually issues licenses to specific travel agencies which allow them to use Disney trademarks and images to market Disney World vacations, This is a big profit center for both Disney and the licensed travel agents, and if you are not a licensed travel agent you may be asking for big trouble---if you are even a tiny bit successful Disney and its travel agents will be breathing down your neck with threats of law suits, etc.

  4. I think that the commenters above are all correct. In theory, if you don't use any of DW's intellectual property, you shouldn't incur infringement liability. However, you must also avoid saying anything that could be taken as a hint of an endorsement by, or association or affiliation with, DW. If you proceed with the project, you should definitely have the final guide reviewed by an attorney. Disney is a very large company, and is very protective of its brand,

    The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.

  5. Perhaps you best not confront Disney on something as dear to them as guide books. To do it right is likely to NOT do it at all. If your guide gets popular or has things in it Disney does not like, such as negative comments or recommendations to skip certain parts, you will likely hear from the Emporer's attorneys ( and Imperial battleships they can be if they choose.) If you do this you will surely have to have enough in it that they can make a reasonable case for copyright and/or trademark infringement if they want to stop you. You could easily end up losing much more than you make.

    I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.