On Magnum, we regularly "greeked out" (no, not a racial slur) labels or logos. I remembered on an episode where someone fell into a truck of pineapples and crashed into a display of them or something to that effect. Dole gave me dozens of boxes with their pineapple logo and name on it. We covered up the "D" and turned them into "Ole Pineapples." I was worried that we could get in trouble not because we had covered up the "D", but "Ole" sounded Spanish/Mexican and Mexican pineapples were/are major competitors of Dole. Anyway, no one said anything. There was also an old rule (now gone) that if you showed more than 3 or 4 of something, it was ok because you weren't featuring one brand. So a magazine rack with Time, Newsweek, etc. was ok. Now, you can't show ANY names. Even on "LOST" which is ultimately a Disney owned show, we could never show anything like Mickey Mouse in a kids room. All magazine covers were custom made and cleared that they did not exist anywhere.
As far as the art work on the walls during Magnum days, there were never any restrictions. Anybody's art work was fair game back then. I used Peggy Hopper since her work was"in" and photographed well, I later used a lot of Gary Reed's and other artists. After all, their work was being seen by millions around the world, right? Even things like the Gaugains, Picasso, and others used on the permanent sets were, well, just used! How times have changed.
Any art work used on any set today is (in legal terms) considered a form of reproduction. Even if you own an original painting or other artist created work, you will never own the actual rights to display that on a TV show any more than you could use the image on cocktail napkins or calendars. Only the original artist or legal guardian/owner of the work can sign a release--even with museum works as well. It has turned into a nightmare for decorators and a huge business for companies in L.A. who now rent "cleared art." I remember doing a show once and wanted to use an artists work (who had agreed) and brought over the release for her to sign. It was in a very "legalese" language and even contained a clause about "theme park usage" and "forms of media not yet known" , etc. I probably would have been scared to sign it, too. She didn't sign. So compared to now, Magnum was in the "good old days" for yet another reason that you now know!
There was an episode with a character who was supposed to be doing a sort of John Wayne imitation and Mr. Wayne's family controlled estate was approached about some posters or memorabilia. That would be a NO! Images are very protected as to when and where they can be used--not to mention what they can charge to use them. I was having a hard time finding some black and white photos I needed for a MOW I did earlier this year. It was getting too difficult to find and too late so I just took my own photos, ran them through photoshop and framed them. I was warned by the producer to still sign a release for them and state that they were created on company time and with company purchased materials lest I come back later and demand compensation. Great for artists (and lawyers), pain in the --- for decorators!
Yet another bit of TV trivia for you to ponder..........