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About MediocreGolfer

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  1. Thanks very much, pg1067. That really clears things up for me. And thank you for the excellent article on using trademarks in fiction. I really appreciate your help.
  2. I am a self-published author, and I have written a humorous parody novel about Navy SEALs. (And I plan to put a disclaimer on the copyright page of my novel that I am not a Navy SEAL, former Navy SEAL or associated with the Navy in any way.) My novel is titled NAVY SEAL RESCUE. I put the cover, which is clearly humorous, into a writers' forum asking for feedback on the cover's artistic merits, and a couple of people said I couldn't use "NAVY SEAL" in the title, and this one person said I couldn't even have Navy SEAL characters in the book without obtaining authorization and/or a license from the US Department of Navy. Other people said I had a first amendment to publish "NAVY SEAL" on the cover and within the book without contacting the US Department of Navy to obtain authorization/license. The post that troubles me (from a fellow self-published writer, who identified herself as not being an attorney) is as follows: Trademarks are not copyrights. There are no fair use clauses in trademark laws. A trademark cannot be used, without authorization of the mark owner, for satire, educational purposes, parody, or anything else. And a cease and desist letter is not required before a mark owner can drag a violator into court. Although not surprised by the number of excuses on why using a trademark without permission is OK, it is disappointing to see, here, writers who depend on the honesty and integrity of others to protect their intellectual property to spend so much time making excuses for breaking the law. The old question, "How would you feel if someone was stealing your stuff for profit?" may be appropriate to ask, too. Because I've done the song and dance (applied for and received various licenses for several projects) with the military over this issue, I strongly urge any one who isn't a licensed attorney to contact the Navy at the addresses and/or phone numbers listed below if you feel the information provided at http://www.navy.mil/trademarks/intro.html is incorrect. Basic questions are most quickly answered via email, and the application process is fairly simple. By Mail: Department of the Navy Office of Naval Research Office of Counsel 875 N. Randolph Street Suite W515A Arlington, VA 22203 From a previous post, the writer has clearly stated that I can not use "NAVY SEAL" on the cover or within the book itself without authorization/license from the Department of Navy. My questions: 1) Can I use "NAVY SEAL" in my title and on the book's cover without authorization/license from the Department of Navy? 2) Can my characters in the novel be Navy SEALs without authorization/license from the Department of Navy? 3) Since my Navy SEAL characters are bumblers (think "Stripes" or "Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C") and basically idiots doing idiotic things, will the Navy lawyers have a basis for suing me even though the novel is clearly fiction and clearly a parody? Thank you
  3. Thanks LegalwriterOne. I hear what you're saying. However, since I am writing fiction, the suspect not being interviewed holds very little drama. A way I see around this is perhaps to have an attorney, who doesn't specialize in criminal law, who is perhaps a friend of the family and say is a real estate attorney, (granted, ill-advisedly) accompany the suspect to an interview. (Perhaps because the suspect truly feels himself to be innocent and wants to do all he can to help law enforcement find the killer.) I am not a lawyer. So my information is very iffy at best. In my story I don't know yet if my suspect is only a "person of interest" or a "prime suspect" yet. I don't know if he's guilty or not. But let us say this interview comes off with the real estate attorney accompanying the suspect to an interview. How might that interview go? Thanks.
  4. Thanks pg1067. Yes, a face-to-face would be ideal. Lacking that, I was just hoping for a few specific things that would perhaps be said in such an interview. How limited or restrained the detective might be. The general tone it would have.
  5. Hi. I am writing a novel about a murder. In it the prime suspect is at first interviewed briefly at his apartment, and the police detective decides he does not have enough probable cause to arrest the suspect. The suspect then contacts a lawyer. Shortly thereafter, the police ask the suspect to come into the station for an interview. The suspect informs him he has an attorney. So, the suspect goes into the police station with his attorney for the interview. This is where I need information. There is tons of information out there about how a detective would interview a suspect. But I have found virtually nothing about how a detective would interview a suspect with a criminal defense attorney present. So that is what I would like. Perhaps even a link to a transcript of an actual interview. I would like to know the questions asked by the detective, the things the attorney would allow his client to answer and the things he would tell him not to. I would like to know how deeply the detective would probe and how vigorously the attorney would defend. And when the attorney would end the interview. Basically the ebb and flow of the process. And any specific things that would be said would very helpful. And things like, would the attorney worry that an arrest was looking imminent? Would the detective suggest an arrest was imminent if further compliance with the questioning was denied. Just how it would play out. I know it's a lot to ask. Thanks very much.
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