I want to enter a short film in a NZ student film competition.

I want to include a scene where a girl works on an Apple MacBook. Is it okay to show the Apple branding/logo in the film?

The fact it is an Apple computer is not important to the movie, it could be any laptop. Should I just keep the logo off the screen, or is it not OK to even show the white edge?

I'd really appreciate helpful links to the Apple website or other reliable sources.

  • If anything, Apple will thank you for the free advertising. Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:12
  • @TomMarthenal That's what I'm hoping! :D
    – Tarina
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:16
  • @Tarina I can't merge your two accounts since you don't have both on this site. You could ask on the main meta or create a second account here so we can proceed with the merge.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 3:05
  • @bmike Okay... though my accounts do appear to have been merged now, I don't know how that happened. But thanks :)
    – Tarina
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 0:26

1 Answer 1


Basically none. If you are not using their trademarks, logo by itself - which is entirely different than using the physical product as built by Apple or as modified in any way you please to change it with painting, stickers, or a even a hammer. You probably don't even need a license to show the software if that is incidental to the picture. What you can't do is imply that Apple endorses the film or use Apple products in marketing your film.

If you are thorough, you will want to have a look at both Apple's legal trademarks information and consult with whatever lawyer (or paralegal) is helping you with other legal aspects of making a movie that is familiar with the laws in your specific filming/distribution locations.

Here is Apple's main trademark page:


In it, you are not really a reseller or advertising the movie itself with the product and trademarked design and logos, so read that portion but don't take it too seriously for the things that don't make sense. Pay attention to how Apple prefers their product to be depicted in photographs.

Also - there is a tidbit about mailing Apple directly for product placement.

Marketing or advertising requests (which may include promotions/giveaways, sponsorship, product placement, and partnership requests) may be emailed to [email protected]

You might not get free product to use, but you should get a nice package covering their desires and wishes for product placement. Even if you were using Macs in a light that Apple prefers not to see - you might be covered under free speech and artistic expression rights, but I wouldn't expect Apple to spell out that on their pages - so check with your legal team for that if you have concerns.

Good luck filming your project.

  • I answered this as if you were a professional film maker - so as a student, common sense is that you really are not probably going to get a lawyer unless someone is volunteering to help advise you. It also removes the monetary aspect and I simply can't see Apple being harmed by you painting, filming or otherwise making art from the objects that surround you and that you own or have rights to use by the owner.
    – bmike
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 3:49
  • I have had a look at the trademark info and sent an email to the trademark team at Apple. (I couldn't find where to ask my question on their site before.) So thank you, I think you've basically answered my question. :)
    – Tarina
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 4:15

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