Just had a light-bulb moment - but no idea if the idea is legal.

Discussion in 'Legal and HR' started by Ben007, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. Ben007

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    Mar 18, 2010
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    I've just had a business idea light bulb moment but have no idea if it is legal or not, hope you can help.

    The idea is that english languages schools and learners abroad love to use authentic materials (such as cinema guides, timetables, menus, leaflets, posters, etc.) but these aren't readily available abroad (although a lot is available online). But, here in the UK they're all over the place and mostly free. My idea is to collect a series of these materials together into a comprehensive pack and sell them to schools and learners abroad for a small fee.

    Would this be breaking the copyright of the material's producers or something like that? Because I would be taking something they have made and trying to make a profit (however small) out of it.

    What to you think?

    Many thanks, Ben.
  2. Fergal

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    Nov 18, 2007
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    Hi Ben, welcome to Business Advice Forum, that's a great idea, well done with coming up with it.

    The easiest way to ensure that you operate this within the law, would be to ask for permission to use the materials and guides. For example, cinema guides go out of date very quickly, ask you local cinema if they can provide you with copies of their old guides and explain to them what you are going to use them for. I'd imagine that most of them would be happy to provide you with the guides, it is a form of recycling so they can help the environment and the distribution of the guides will help publicise their cinema. The same would apply to the other types of business that you mention.

    Ask a few of them and see if they give you permission and some of their guides. If they don't agree, think about how you can change your approach to them or if you should be approaching different types of businesses.

    If you find the right business they might even be prepared to pay you a small fee in return for the promotion they receive. I'd imagine that UK tourism based businesses, such as hotels, tour operators, tourist attractions and tourism websites would be delighted to have their guides sent to their target market and may pay something for the privilege. After all those students are learning English for a reason and many of them will travel to the UK at some time in the future.

    Good luck with it and please keep us posted.

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