Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is it Legal?

I was watching TV the other day.

Don’t look at me like that.

Fine! You caught me. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t watch TV in the true sense. I was watching a TV show online the other day. (There. Is that better?) No, this wasn’t an illegal download. This was legit. CBS puts some of its shows up for people like me who have stopped turning on the TV and started booting up their machines.

Anyways…

I was watching CSI and I noticed that the drink machines were the “cola” brand. A lot of shows do this: generic cola, nondescript beer, etc, etc. Name brands tend to not be used unless it’s something unavoidable like a car model.

This made me wonder. Am I allowed to refer to McDonalds or Coke/Pepsi in a story? I’m not talking about defaming the companies or anything. I’m just wondering what the legalities are of having a character enjoy a Big Mac.

Can anyone clarify?

2 comments:

MissWrite said...

No. Well that's the short answer anyway. For the long answer read here on my blog from early December

http://tamiparrington.blogspot.com/2006/12/brand-names-and-you-author.html

IM Cupnjava said...

Hmm, in one piece I make a McDonald's joke. I'd better change that to some kind of parody word.

Thanks for the info, Tami!