Would I be breaking a copyright law if I included the Secret Service in my homemade film?

I will be making a film and probably making money from it. Would it be legal to have actors dressed like secret service agents and call them the “Secret Service” in the film. Also, would it be illegal to make a movie set of the oval office?

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Business Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There is no copyright or trademark in the term "Secret Service" or in the particular way the U.S. Secret Service functions, dresses, etc. There is also no copyright or trademark in the Oval Office design. Where there could be copyright or other intellectual property is in how other producers, artists, writers, etc. have depicted the Secret Service and Oval Office, since their specific depictions may belong to them. So base your film on the original source material, not on anyone's book, film, etc.

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