is it illegal to upload and post a restaurants menu on your website. So is the only way getting around this is getting written permission? I dont want to do a plain style of text, so I am
ruling that out. What options am I looking at? And if it does have to be written consent, how complex does the permission statement need to be to protect myself. Can managers sign this type of thing or only the owners? Also, what if I had members of a site such a yelp, uploading the menus? Am i still liable? Thank and I appreciate the help!
To the extent that the menus had any trademark or proprietary information or intellectual property, the answer is yes. A manager probably would not be sufficient. The contents of the consent are beyond the scope of an Avvo answer. Using a third party would not be a help if the actions are wrongful - it only means you would both be sued.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Restaurant menus are protected under copyright law and trademark law. Without written permission from the owners of the intellectual property rights contained in the menu (and there may be several owners), you could be liable for copyright infringement if you post the menu on your web-site. A menu may consist of several original works----the description of the food, the biographical information about the restaurant, the restaurant's logo and trademark, and photographs and/or images shown in the may may be deemed separate works. Note that it may not be sufficient for you to obtain permission from the restaurant owner----if the menu contains photographs you may also need to obtain permission from the photographer.
Finally, you need to obtain permission from the owners of the copyrights and trademarks----you cannot assume that a manager at a restaurant has authority to give you such permission. Rather, you need to find out who actually owns the copyrights and then obtain written permissions (or licenses) from that person.
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