I recently responded to an inquiry about how a company could get an unofficial fan page removed from a popular social networking site.
The query came at a great time. I’m completing the manuscript for my next book which is on internet law issues and was just working on the chapter that discusses what you can and cannot place on a fan site. Here's a preview:
Some Fan Site Do’s
A true fan site is a form of expression. You cannot use copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property laws to stop people from expressing themselves, from giving their opinions, and from otherwise exercising their First Amendment rights. That means fan sites can criticize, parody, and offer other forms of commentary concerning the object of their “fandom”.
Some Fan Site Don’ts
Activities that take fan sites beyond First Amendment parameters include
- referring to the fan site as the official site
- selling products or commercial advertising
- using a domain name that misleads consumers into thinking the fan site is an official or endorsed site
- posting copyrighted material in a manner that goes beyond fair use