I'm applying for grant money: https://genesis.re/wiki#CaaS:_Civilisation_as_a_Service

Some time ago I've received a brochure from a vendor that is copyrighted material.

This document, all text and images used within it as well as the company logo is copyright BLAH BLAH BLAH LTD. 2018


A copyright is subject to limitations based on public interest considerations, such as the fair use doctrine in the United States.

Puzzled with a dilemma

  1. When applying for grant money, it is helpful to evidence there is a vendor that has the experience and can deliver

  2. It is copyrighted material. Cannot use their product brochure.

Or maybe I can? There is an assumption that if a vendor shares their product brochure, it is totally logical and acceptable to share it widely - after all they want to have more clients.

Or maybe not? Each brochure is different, customized, I publish the old one from 2018, it will make their business mode difficult and I will be responsible for their losses.

For the purpose of this question assume 🇬🇧UK jurisdiction.

2 Answers 2


You can use the brochure

That is, the actual physical brochure that you got from the vendor. It’s physically your property and you can give it to whoever you like, make a paper plane out of it, clean up cat vomit with it - whatever.

You can’t copy it

See, they have the right to copy it, and you don’t - copyright. They also have the right to make derivative works from it, and you don’t.

There is no fair use in the UK

There is fair dealing among other exemptions.


There's such a thing as Nominal Use for trademarks, and you can always use a specific item number - Part or manufacturer numbers are not copyrightable as those are information very much akin to telephone numbers. For the US, you'd look at Feist v Rural.

For example, I want to reference a socket hex screw, M3, 0.5mm pitch, stainless steel, 20mm long. That's a specification, it's not copyrightable (but for the shape I wrote it down), and with that spec, everybody could go and order a bolt that should fit into that application. I could also say that I used "McMaster-Carr Part# 91292A123" for one specific brand and make that fits these specifications. That's nominative use and a clear reference.

You could of course give the catalog away with your application, or a part of it, like a page ripped from it. Because you have the right to dispose of your property as you see fit.

What you can't do is copy the page from the catalog, that would be infringing the copyright.Some Exceptions that make it allowable apply

UK Fair Dealing

Your (partial) copy could be seen as a substitute for the whole catalog for this instance, which is a point against fair dealing while the amount being only what is needed would count for it. It is unclear.

Just quoting which catalog lists the item and the number/page in it would make the recipient have to acquire the catalog, and you copy only as much as you really need (the number which identifies the product), so you'd be clearly in the fair dealing, even if the number could be copyrighted at all.

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