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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I posted a message on the boards a while back about having music bands photo/image/trademarked material on t-shirts. Now that I know that I need their authorization, I have other questions:
- how much does the trademarks use cost ? i.e. what is the fee for having the authorization to use bands trademarked material on t-shirts ? (I see a lot of small websites with rock t-shirts, so I guess it's not that expensive... or is it?)
- Do the bands provide the photos/material you want to use ?
- Is it a one-time fee or a recurring fee (such as monthly or yearly) ?

Appreciate the help from the community ! :)
 

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how much does the trademarks use cost ? i.e. what is the fee for having the authorization to use bands trademarked material on t-shirts ? (I see a lot of small websites with rock t-shirts, so I guess it's not that expensive... or is it?)
It depends on the band. Some could be $500. Some could be $10,000.

Don't base it on other websites. Some of that stuff is unlicensed. And some is bought through licensed distributors... meaning... the site is not licensed to create their own designs, they are simply purchasing existing licensed goods.

Do the bands provide the photos/material you want to use ?
Usually yes.

Is it a one-time fee or a recurring fee (such as monthly or yearly) ?
It depends on the specific licensing agreement. Licensing fees are usually paid yearly. And royalties are usually paid monthly or quarterly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the clarification !

And when I approach the bands, can I first casually ask them about possible "arrangements" (fees and royalties) or does my first email have to be fully "legal-proof" i.e. a formal demand written by a lawyer (the bands I want to approach are from the 70s so the band members are pretty old today... I thought a "casual" approach would be better than a formal/all-business 1st approach, what do you think ?)

Also, in general, will I need a lawyer to sign the licencing agreements ?
 

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I think a casual approach is ok to start. Just contact the band's reps and ask about licensing opportunities. If they have been around a while and have licensed their property before, they will be prepared and will probably elect to dictate most of the terms (such as fees, royalty percentages, volume, distribution, etc).

It's not mandatory to have an attorney. But it's probably a good idea. I'm sure the band will have one to look out for their best interest. So it's good business practice to have an attorney on your side as well. Also, it will make you look more professional and give the band a good feeling that you are prepared to live up to your end of the responsibilities within the licensing agreement.
 

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...or does my first email have to be fully "legal-proof"
As a general rule you want the legal stuff to be last in the conversation. Start with the friendly request, the casual hey I've got this cool idea kind of stuff and then work towards the stuff that needs legal review and signatures.

Always start simple. That way you don't back either side into a corner or wind up committing either side to something neither wants or desires.
 
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