Legal and Political Issues
Section 3.5.
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Use of TLRC Trademarks in a Fictional Setting

Here's the word from our laywers: Using Moonbase ArtemisTM in a story isn't the same as using a TRW building in the setting.

We have to protect the mark as a literary property, the same way folks protect "Jurassic Park" and "Tatooine" and "Starship Enterprise", because the trademarks are really what we have to sell. If we let someone publish a story using our marks without raising a stink, then we open the door for piracy.

Remember that selling the trademark is the whole idea behind the Project. When someone buys something with one of the Artemis Project trademarks on it, the buyer knows that part of the proceeds are being invested in development of our future in space. If we're not really strict about that, we'll lose public trust. As the popularity of the Project grows, there will be lots of me-too entrepreneurs hawking moon stuff and moon stories, so we need to keep those marks protected so people will know which stuff is really helping finance the lunar base.

Now the good news: Accommodating souls that we be, it's easy to get a letter permitting the use of the mark in stories. The catch is that the publisher has to include a notice that "Moonbase Artemis [or whatever] is a trademark of The Lunar Resources Company." (If they leave it out, WSM is happily poised to do what lawyers do, so make sure to tell the publisher.) Of course, the best way to get permission to use the Artemis Project marks is to submit great stories to Ian at Artemis Magazine.

It looks like we'll end up with several different shared-universe settings for the project, so we'll need to come up with a name to distinguish between them. If you saw a blurb saying "an Artemis Project story" on the cover of a book, you wouldn't know whether it's the daring exploits of the "Lunar Rangers vs. the Evil Invading Robots" or another thrilling "Lovers in the Lava Tubes" adventure.

If Sears were marketing the name "Sears" as a setting for fiction stories, then it would be a violation of their copyright for you to use that setting. But they're not in that business, so if you have dragons chasing damsels through the downtown Irvine Sears store, there will be no confusion in the reader's mind.

Most companies would actually enjoy a marketing advantage if you use their brand name in a story, and sometimes they even pay people to do it. If your hero is going to grab a beer after a hard day of dragon-slaying, Budweiser would like him to open a Bud rather than a can of Miller Light.

In our case, however, the setting is one of the things we're marketing, so someone using that setting in a story without our permission would reduce its market value.

Legal and Political Issues

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