Saturday, November 13, 2010

FSU Comes to Agreement with Florida High School

It's a scenario that will have copywright lawyers debating for years: do high schools have the right to "borrow" logos from college teams?

One brouhaha that recently brewed over in Bradenton, Fla. came to a peaceful end Friday when Southeast High School and Florida St. came to terms on a five-year agreement that allows the high school Seminoles to continue to use the FSU-like logo for free. In August, FSU and the Collegiate Licensing Company threatened legal action if Southeast didn't change its logo, uniforms, scoreboards, etc.

The deal wasn't unexpected, but the last few months haven't been kind to FSU on the playing field of public opinion. I expect this episode to blow over quickly, but what about all the other teams with similar logos, color schemes, uniform templates, and fight songs to colleges? Will the Collegiate Licensing Company and/or NCAA force thousands of high schools across the country to sign similar contracts? Surely, they won't all be as peaceful as the Southeast/FSU deal.

Tougher question: if you're a superintendent of a district with some of these possible copyright conflicts, do you make plans now to phase out the "borrowed" logos to avoid problems down the road?

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