I didn’t! 😮
Last week, I uploaded the trailer for my book to a website called “Book Trailers.” I was in for a surprise and a big lesson.
At the “Book Trailers” site, you upload your video for review, streaming from YouTube. After it has been approved, you are welcome to manage your page, add tags, post articles or add more videos. You could also browse other people’s posts and clips. I thought, why not? This was another way to promote my book.
Hours after I posted my first article on their website “How to create your Book Trailer “, I got a comment. I was happy I was getting traffic already. The person leaving the comment praised the article, but also told me that the word “Book Trailer” was a registered trademark and that I should mention that on my blog. This person also informed me that if I was selling a product under that term, my video could be removed from sites like You Tube (I am paraphrasing here). I thought it was very kind of him/her to give me this information.
However, seconds later I was in awe!
“Say what? ‘Book Trailer’ is a registered trademark. What are you talking about? This is like saying, you want to trademark ‘hot dog’ or ‘book review’, isn’t it?” 😕
Since I didn’t understand how that could be possible, more so, knowing that there were hundreds of sites using this term to describe their book videos, I decided to investigate further. I did my online research on “Book Trailer a registered trademark.” I got my answer.
I found out that COS Productions (short for “Circle of Seven Productions”) trademarked the term “Book Trailer” a few years ago, when the phrase didn’t actually existed. I also learned that they are the owners of the site (Book Trailers) were I uploaded my video. The funny part was that I didn’t realize until later that the person providing the information about this term, was in fact COS Production 😦 I am a little absent-minded sometimes.
I spent a few more hours doing research, but after reading about Trademark on Wikipedia, stating that “The owner of a trademark may initiate legal proceedings for trademark infringement to prevent unauthorized use of that trademark” I was convinced that I rather be safe than sorry.
Consequently, based on the new information, I decided to change the title of my blog post. It is now called “How to create a Trailer for your Book” 😉 I also had to revise all the posts and videos I had already uploaded.
The good news is that this person from COS Production replied to me explaining that I could ask for permission to use the term. I am not sure yet how to do this or how much it will cost. I promise I will keep you post it.
I didn’t have to wait long to hear back from COS Production. Sheila, the owner of the company was the one to reply. I was surprised by her disposition and generosity.
As we now know, “Book Trailer” is a registered trademark, owned by COS Production. Sheila, the owner, could be charging a fee to use this term or enforcing her ownership rights. Instead, the only thing she requests is for people to ask permission to use the term and if you are providing a service, to include the statement above, about the term being a registered trademark. You may contact her here COS Production Contact
I must admit that I was surprised when I first found out that “Book Trailer” was a registered trademark, but I have to give it to her… that was clever. The term has become so popular that I wouldn’t be surprised, that someday, the definition will be found in the dictionary. (is not yet listed… I checked ;))