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Sure, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but 'borrowing' our name, logo or book content can have serious consequences for both Lonely Planet and you. Please refrain. And if you happen to be on the road and see any use of our name or content that looks a bit fishy, please contact us.
Read on for our full story on intellectual property. You can click on the menu below to jump straight to a section.
Our brand (which includes our trademarks like the Lonely Planet name and logo, and others like Thorn Tree) is our most important asset, because it’s how you recognise us and our products.
We need to make sure others don't use our brand without permission to protect our legal rights and ensure you're not misled or confused by others using our name. You need to be able to tell the difference between what really is a Lonely Planet product or service or something we have recommended, and what isn't.
Generally speaking, we don't have a problem with businesses stating in their promotional material or on their websites that they have been recommended in Lonely Planet books (but only if that's true). But we are very strict about not letting businesses use the Lonely Planet name as part of their name so you can be sure that a Lonely Planet hostel or café is absolutely nothing to do with us. If you see something on your travels that looks a bit suspicious, feel free to let us know.
Use of another company's name (or similar words) in a website's domain name in order to try to misdirect people to your own site is known as 'cybersquatting' and it's a kind of trade mark infringement.
Where you are right now is our official website. We have associated sites, which you can link to from our homepage. If you come across a site that appears to be run by Lonely Planet, but is not linked to from our main site, chances are it's not legit. So let us know!
We invest a lot of effort, time, money and individual creativity in our products and that hard work's protected by copyright.
So permission is needed before reproducing our content. We do give permission, for example to educational institutions and non-profit organisations, and we also license it to other businesses (which is why you'll sometimes see our content on other websites). In all cases, we require that we're acknowledged as the owners of that content.
There are times when permission to use content is not needed (for instance, fair dealing for the purposes of criticism or review, or if you're just quoting a snippet). And obviously we don't own the kind of information that anyone can dig up (like opening hours or train timetables). But we most certainly do own the choice of words we've used, our maps and images, and the outcomes of they way we compile information or data. If you're interested in licensing our content, contact Lonely Planet Client Solutions.
You may have seen imitation Lonely Planet guidebooks on your travels.
They range from photocopied jobs to well-bound reproductions that look like the real thing. Sometimes they're wrapped in plastic so you can't see inside - often they'll be poor-quality copies and usually out of date. (Sometimes even previous editions are re-jacketed with the cover of the current edition.) They're usually sold at markets or by touts, but in some countries they can even be found in bookshops. So they can be hard to spot, but you'll notice they're a different size, and if not the price will certainly be different!
Pirated Lonely Planet books compromise what we stand for - high quality products giving you what you need for an amazing travel experience. We invest a lot in our products, and the impact of piracy can flow on to our authors, staff, product quality, prices and, ultimately, travellers.
Please help us out by buying the real thing and let us know when you come across pirate copies.