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I am developing an application that will be used for computer security training, specifically for awareness of scams and phishing.

As part of this, I plan to use a series of well-known company brand names and trademarks (e.g. Stack Exchange) in order to create examples and demos that the user can relate to.

For example, I may demonstrate how a scammer can use a slightly altered domain name in order to create a convincing scam website, with the goal of educating users of this risk.

As far as I can tell, the use of company brand names and trademarks for this purpose is considered a transformative use, which would therefore be protected under copyright fair use.

However, there is a risk of causing user confusion or diluting brands, for example if a user doesn't understand that a particular demo is fictional, and not an actual scam. I understand that I can mitigate this with a clearly marked disclaimer and instructions.

What would be the legality of this, and are there any risks or mitigations that I haven't considered? For reference I am based in the UK, however the app will be globally accessible and may use trademarks registered in many different countries.

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    Will the application be freely accessible, (for the good of all, to raise awareness) or used in a product/service you are selling? – Smock Dec 10 '19 at 12:22
  • @Smock The application will be web-based with no access restrictions (free), and the source code will be publicly available. – jamieweb Dec 10 '19 at 22:29
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    Maybe a big watermark on each image like "Training Example" may help. Just a wild guess. And ensure the company logos are not high quality, or have a watermark on them! – Mark Stewart Dec 13 '19 at 19:27

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