Skip to main content

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.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5

Posted

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.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

You are not required to use "Unofficial" in the title, but that is a good legal suggestion. That may be overkill that kills sales for you, so you should see a trademark attorney for how to disclaim any official status.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

You can not necessarily do "this" depending on how you do "this" as use of logos and trademarks even with "Unofficial" in the title is problematic and may draw fire from Disney. Guides are a big income source for Disney, so you are tweaking a giant to try this.

Gene Bolmarcich

Gene Bolmarcich

Posted

I have seen many such guides (specifically for DisneyWorld) that use "Unofficial" in their titles. I am not smart enough to have just made that up myself.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

So what, it is dangerous to assume everything you see many of is legal. Speeders? Driving while texting? Shoplifting? File sharing? Porn?

Gene Bolmarcich

Gene Bolmarcich

Posted

You are smart enough to know that is not a good analogy. I never said that NOT using "Unofficial" was illegal. I'm starting to get the feeling that our families were involved a some kind of feud back in the 1300s or something like that. I'll just assume that you don't like my tie (by the way I don't think I've worn one since that picture...I'm just saying)

Posted

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,
Frank
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
(see Disclaimer)

The law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC (Home of Lantern Legal Services) offers our flat-rate legal services in the areas of business law and intellectual property to entrepreneurs, small-to-medium size businesses, independent inventors and artists across the nation and abroad. Feel free to call for a free phone consultation; your inquiries are always welcome: CONTACT: 866-871-8655 Support@LanternLegal.com DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed on the basis of this posting.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Yes, Disney makes too much money on guidebooks to let you slide if you are impacting their sales. If they come after you, they have the clout to steamroll you into submission, so think carefully before proceeding with this risky business model.

Posted

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.

Terry Lynn Thomas

Terry Lynn Thomas

Posted

Agree. Regarding your caveat on photo use, I'll just add that the terms of the ticket "license" that DW grants visitors to enter the park MIGHT in fact prohibit commercial use of photos taken on the property, even if the copyright resides with the photographer. Not sure if such a license restriction actually exists on DL/DW tickets, but I would not be at all surprised. Also not sure whether such a restriction would stand up in court if litigated. Nevertheless, this could be of additional concern.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Ditto. You are playing with fire and tweaking a giant to try this. Go ahead, make their day. They may ruin your day.

Posted

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.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Think why you want to do this. To make money by diverting customers who would otherwise by a guidebook from Disney. Now if you were AAA or Expedia or Travelocity, it might go down differently as Disney wants to encourage travel booking concerns to book Disney trips. You, however, are likely just a negative free-rider in Disney's mind and Disney now owns "The Force".

Posted

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.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

Weird. The Chrome spellchecker let "Emporer's" through. Or maybe I just did not notice a red underline. Anyway, if the Emperor's attorney come after you, spelling will be the least of the concern.

Trademark infringement topics

Recommended articles about Trademark infringement

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer