I'm working on a project that will compile some of the most iconic elements of the United States of America (e.g. Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Navy, the Air Force, the Liberty Bell, the White House, etc) into an illustrated book (illustrations done by me) with some brief descriptions of each icon/element. Are there any restrictions to selling a book containing this type of content? So far, I've discovered that some of the military branches have copyrighted logos, but I am still looking for information on monuments and locations. I would also be curious to know if I can portray the Navy with an aircraft carrier, for example, instead of the copyrighted logo without infringing on copyright laws. Thanks!

  • You're asking about two different things: illustrations of places and monuments that you will do, and copies of the seals/logos of departments of the govt. You are not using photographs? And: is this a self-published book? Or through a commercial publisher? – BlueDogRanch Mar 14 '16 at 3:58
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    Can you provide an example of a military logo for which copyright is claimed? In general, works of the US government are in the public domain. The Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the Liberty Bell, and the White House are all too old to be in copyright protection still, and some of them are also government works. – phoog Mar 14 '16 at 4:54
  • @phoog, one example is the Coast Guard emblem; an application needs to be submitted in order to get permission to use it: Coast Guard Trademarks – ElProgramador10 Mar 15 '16 at 0:55
  • @BlueDogRanch, The illustrations would be more along the lines of scenes representing the iconic American elements (e.g. for the Navy, an illustration of an aircraft carrier that may or may not display the emblems depending on what I decide to draw, or on whether I'm even allowed to draw said logo/emblem). I will not be using photographs; only the the drawing, and some text describing it's importance. This would be a self-published book, which is why I'm trying to cover all of the legal aspects. – ElProgramador10 Mar 15 '16 at 1:08
  • @ElProgramador10 trademark protection is different from copyright protection. It protects different things for different reasons against different kinds of infringement. It might be a good idea to read the Wikipedia article on trademark, or any trademark questions and answers on this site. In particular, trademark protection does not mean your need permission to use the trade mark, even if the coast guard thinks you do. It means you can't use the trade mark to sell a similar product or service. How that applies to the coast guard, I can only guess. – phoog Mar 15 '16 at 3:49

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