View Full Version : Is it legal to make a lego movie ?

05-29-2017, 07:08 PM
Would it be legal to make a lego movie, if I use original characters and costumes ?
Or do I need permission from the lego toy makers ?

05-29-2017, 08:05 PM
I think as long as you don't promote and market it as being an official Lego movie and make money off it you are probably ok. It's probably not that different than fan pieces on YouTube.

But I'm not a lawyer so don't rely on this as legal advice. :hey:

05-29-2017, 10:23 PM
Why would you want to? Lego has been "done".

05-30-2017, 12:53 AM
It's totally legal to go ahead and make a Lego movie, but then you can be hit with lawsuits once it's out there, and they will have a case. I just finished up on a movie where a main character spends half the movie wearing a T-shirt with Mickey mouse on it, and a considerable amount of FX money and time went into digitally removing this very prominent wardrobe decision. That's a lot of wasted resources on an effect that will not only be invisible, but was unimportant to the story. Also, a very complicated procedure, possibly the most complicated post effects in the film yet these will be effect shots that will not amaze the audience or even be noticed. That being said, there is a lot of Lego animation on-line, a whole community of stop motion fans of Lego have been doing this stuff before the big movies came out. You have to be careful about "Branding", and the name "Lego" is probably off limits for a start.

05-30-2017, 03:12 AM
They no longer have a patent.. and they have also lost trademarks over the bricks.. so yeah. I think it is quite legal. The lego brand name is another matter however. But send them an email... depending on what you are doing.. I'm sure they would be happy to work something out with you. So you can have their brand name in there.

05-30-2017, 03:26 AM
You should aim higher and make next Avatar.

05-30-2017, 06:53 AM
Avatar done in Lego !!, now we are talking original concept

05-30-2017, 10:52 AM
Maybe use this as guidance

I think Lucas Films has guidelines for star wars fan films too.

Most companies are happy for people to promote their brand and product providing you don't start making a noticeable amount of money (or gifts) from their products or bring the brand into disrepute.

05-30-2017, 11:12 AM
I think Lego encourages their fan movie community, much like Hasbro does for 'Pet Shop' and 'Pony' fan videos. It's good marketing that sells more toys and it pays for itself.

However, if you're going to commercialize your production, that's a whole other thing. I would contact their marketing and licensing people if that's what you're thinking.

As far as patents go, yes, the above is correct: Lego doesn't own the rights for their block design, which is why you see so many 'Lego' knockoff bricks on the market. Lego mainly makes their money from 'Lego' branding and character licensing these days. (Just walk into any official Lego store and look around.)

05-30-2017, 11:29 AM
Why would you want to? Lego has been "done".

Why? Because he can.

05-30-2017, 12:12 PM
Write or PM William Vaughan. He led the production of a Lego movie while teaching at Dave school, so he might know all the legalities of it.

As I see it, your only problems would be if you use the word Lego or if you can see the word Lego printed on the bricks.

05-30-2017, 12:15 PM
I didn't read it all, but might be useful - https://www.lego.com/en-us/legal/legal-notice/fair-play

05-30-2017, 03:43 PM
Good find!

I just read through it and it seems like a pretty fair set of rules for how Lego fans can refer to Lego on their websites and creations. In a nutshell, you can use the word 'Lego' to describe the blocks and your creation but you can't use the trademarked Lego logo itself. This is to avoid making it look like Lego officially endorses your website or whatever. (There's actually a little flexibility described in their rules but probably better to steer clear.)

Note that these rules are for non-commercial creative use of Lego toys by Lego enthusiasts. Commercial content creators/producers will naturally need to make arrangements with their marketing/licensing people.

05-31-2017, 08:54 AM
Brickfilm is the term used by a lot of people. Lego isn't the only, or even the first, company to make plastic bricks. I guess the big thing is using their 'Lego people'. Doesn't seem like it would take a lot to do figures that were a bit different, but then it wouldn't be quite the same...

05-31-2017, 11:13 AM
If a significant amount of time and effort will go into it, and you may want to commercialize it later, then you're better off with original content rather than any "fan" stuff.