To Harley or Not to Harley?

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Project by robbinscabin posted 06-02-2011 08:53 PM 3193 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

‘Tis the Season… Motorcycle Season! I’ve been getting many requests for Customized items featuring Harley stuff. I get very nervous about this because of trademark laws and such. I’ve heard Harley is very protective over their logo… Hubby says I worry too much. He says that you can’t go to a fair/field days without seeing this exact type of woodworking so it must be ok. Let’s just say we’ve agreed to disagree… But since these projects weren’t really for sale more for some family members I’ve decided to go ahead and post about them. Any ideas who is right…me or Hubby?

-- Robbinscabin,

13 comments so far

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 4094 days

#1 posted 06-02-2011 09:47 PM

I certainly would not know but I surely would not try it on any kind of a large scale. As to a few pieces at a craft fair, often what is strickly legal and what you can get away with are two intirely different critters.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 4944 days

#2 posted 06-02-2011 10:02 PM

Thanks Bob! I know I couldn’t produce that logo on any kind of large scale…to me (a non-motorcycle enthusiast) it’s a tedious carving. I like my wildlife, my leaf carvings, my non trademarked carvings. I’ve had suggestions that I could make Sports themed doors (Yankess, Red Sox, Notre Dame, etc) but we’re right back to that whole trademark thing…and I really don’t enjoy sports either. I know that a business is supposed to make what the customers want but I want to enjoy the carving process.

-- Robbinscabin,

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4726 days

#3 posted 06-02-2011 10:16 PM

Copywrite rules are very complex. A quick and dirty response on this is that you are correct….unless you have paid a license to HD, obtained permission or fall under one of the “fair use” exclusions …you would be violating the copywrite.

Most copywrite owners will not prosecute typically when they are getting commercial exposure (free advertising)....that is why lots of folks believe that as long as you are not selling it… are not violating the copywrite…not to mention it would be very expensive if you had to sue everyone that is imposing on your copywrite….so alot of small violations go unnoticed and unchallenged.

Sometimes, a purchaser of their product or products obtains the right to use a portion or the whole of the copywrite for a stated number of instances (such as a movie DVD where you can make 1 or 2 copies for backup (for yourself). This is one of the more widely known “fair use” exceptions….

If you are worried about possible legal issues….you can write to them, state what you are doing…and ask for permission….they can either grant, deny….or charge a fee…..otherwise…it would be up to the copywrite owner to determine whether they would bother to prosecute for such a minor infraction.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 4723 days

#4 posted 06-02-2011 10:17 PM

i wouldnt worry about it.

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 4944 days

#5 posted 06-02-2011 10:48 PM

Reggie ~ It sounds like you’ve looked into this quite a bit…or your a lawyer. I think I fear the law more than most because my first job was as a receptionist for the Assistant DA. Whew! He was a tough guy and he took EVERY law seriously!

Mike ~ Are you and my hubby related? Long lost brothers, maybe? LOL…I probably do worry too much but one things for sure…I will NOT advertise these items in my brochures. Just too risky for my taste!

-- Robbinscabin,

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4344 days

#6 posted 06-03-2011 02:36 AM

The only company more careful about the uses of its copyrighted stuff than Harley is Disney.

Use at your own risk. These companies sometimes decide to “make an example” of someone.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 4944 days

#7 posted 06-03-2011 02:41 AM

That’d be my luck, Big Tiny! I’m glad that I was able to do them for family but…I just would be too worried to try to sell them. Disney meaner than Harley? Yeah, I can see that! LOL

-- Robbinscabin,

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 4236 days

#8 posted 06-03-2011 02:08 PM

It was Disney that tried to copywrite “U.S, Navy Seals team 6” after Bin Ladin’s
takeout. They were looking at a tv show like J.A.G or such. The Navy stoped that quite quickly.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4629 days

#9 posted 06-03-2011 03:36 PM

I would think that you’d be okay, as long as you fly under radar, meaning … you know … don’t post it in a public forum … you know … like this one ;-)

It serves as a taunt for some companies … rather begging/daring them to take action.

Great job on the work, though !

-- -- Neil

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 4562 days

#10 posted 06-03-2011 04:01 PM

I have a cousin that is OCD on Harley-Davidson. There is not a open spot on the walls or ceiling that does not have an HD logo of some kind. I wonder if he has more than 1 problem? lol He and the wife ride. She has a Sportster and I’m not sure of the model of his.

View robbinscabin's profile


313 posts in 4944 days

#11 posted 06-03-2011 04:05 PM

See…I knew I had a right to be worried… So NO Harley or Disney Stuff. Shouldn’t really be a problem! LOL

-- Robbinscabin,

View rivergirl's profile


3201 posts in 4294 days

#12 posted 07-20-2011 02:24 PM

Sort of like that giant steeler sign hanging on my front porch. The neighbor makes those – and he makes them for the Pgh Pirates and Penguins too. Sells a ton of them- but doesn’t advertise- and just makes them and piles them in the garage. People come and buy them out of his garage- He sells them for a couple of hundred dollars each. I woke up one morning and found one hanging on my porch?

-- Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 4236 days

#13 posted 07-20-2011 04:41 PM

Aha ! The logo elves were trying to hide from the logo copyright police ?

Nice gift asuming you’re a Steelers fan.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

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