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Paid membership fan club for popular book - Will it work?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by johnyz, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. johnyz

    johnyz Newbie Premium Member

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    Hi I'm a new Aussie chick that needs help. I've written a few ebooks, have 2 websites and made a couple of thousand dollars from them but want to move onto something entirely different and would like your opinion.

    I'm looking at opening a 'paid' membership site for a popular book. Lets say this book is Lord of the Rings.

    1. Are you allowed to profit from fan club membership fees for books, movies, celebrities etc? I intend calling the website something like www.LordOfTheRings-FanClub.com. I will charge a small amount for membership (say $10 or less).

    2. Can I use the name "Lord of the Rings" in my domain name?

    3. Can I write an ebook called "The A to Z of Lord of the Rings" and sell it for say $5 on the website?

    4. Can I make other products such as downloadable membership badge templates, printable iron on shirt transfers, printable stickers etc with the name "Lord of the Rings" on them and give them away to members. I don't intend on selling these types of products - just selling the membership and maybe an ebook.

    Any help or suggestions are appreciated.

    Susan
     
  2. digital

    digital Registered Member

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    In reply to No.2
    I believe you will have to get permission to use certain trademarks in your commercial domain name.
    I understand there was an issue with the estate that guards the estate of C.S. Lewis, the writer of the Narnia books, and some fans who had purchased domains with their trademarks in them, and there was not even a commercial slant with the domains at play.
    The domains were contested and confiscated from their registrants.

    But your search engine of choice should provide plenty of news on such matters. Search for trademarks, narnia domains etc.

    3. Unofficial fan books and anthologies are created all the time, once again however you may find that rights-holders will take issue with you using their trademark without permission. You may have to call it the Unofficial guide to LoTR or the A to Z of Middle Earth or something less direct.

    4. Once again use of the name commercially may lead to issues. If you want to license the name that is another issue entirely. If you want to make a LoTR like logo for your club and create your own branding with a similar inspired (but not ripped off vibe) then that is different.
     
  3. DrJekyll

    DrJekyll Senior Member Premium Member

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    Go with Ringbearer fan club, that way you can always switch it to a wedding theme if you have to. lol
     
  4. johnyz

    johnyz Newbie Premium Member

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    Once again digital, a big thanks!

    How would you go about licensing the name?
     
  5. digital

    digital Registered Member

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    Not a licensing expert, sorry.

    But I guarantee your search engine of choice can turn up plenty of info and resources from those that are, with experience of the particular area you are looking at.

    Be ready to forgo a sizeable chunk o' change for the priviledge however and to be ignored completely if you don't have a large enough offer to justify the costs of generating a contract for you.