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Can i use movie quotes in my posters that i want to sell without permission?

New York, NY |

I will not use the original fonts or have the movie title at all included in my posters. All images will be hand made by me, there will be nothing that binds the poster to the actual movie except the quote or the illustration that i made.

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Attorney answers 3


Maybe. To get a definite answer, you would have to have each poster reviewed by an IP attorney.

I am not your attorney and any posts/messages or responses to posts/messages can not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should not rely upon free legal advice and I disclaim any liability for the results if you do.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick


Agreed, you should not be attempting to profit off a studio's creative work and marketing unless you do so after consultation with an IP attorney who might guide you through this minefield of copyright and trademark issues.


And the images will likely infringe copyright and the movie title is likely one that has been heavily merchandized and so you are likely toast if you do this and the studio catches you and deems you to be worth their time to pursue. Lots of people do these sorts of things and slide by unnoticed. Others get hammered. Are you feelin' lucky today? You will feel a lot luckier if you consult an IP attorney and get some advice from someone who knows the law and likely knows the studio involved.

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.


Typically, merely using quotes in a creative work like at the beginning of your book's chapters, is never going to be a problem. This is because no copyright interest is affixed in a small portion of text taken from a much larger whole work.

That said, the issues I have with what you propose is that your entire work is predicated on your market recognition of the movie from which these quotes were taken. I would also assume that the rest of the shirt, i.e., the illustrations will probably also infringe on the movie's trademark, trade dress and copyright interest as well.

As a general rule, if your product or service requires the use of another's intellectual property in order for it to be commercially viable you are likely asking for trouble as the other lawyers here also noted.

You should reach out to a lawyer in private and get some specific guidance before jumping in.

Best regards,

DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.

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