It does to a certain extent but once a profit is seen with the fair use, then you are treading grey/illegal waters which can make it easy to get sued and lose (which usually means a major settlement out of court. This does happen a lot in the US and sometimes it feels like there was not even any resemblance between the two works.). That why you have to ask for permission first and why certain media (example would be major network cartoons like in Fox that change the name of branded goods) avoid it all together and just imply what they mean with changed names that are similar to in name from branded products. Guy up above is right, China doesn't really respect copyright to much but when you go abroad, it's a whole other scene which makes it easy to sue. It's just better to avoid by making minor changes. the thing would be when the novel is based of other copyrighted work. I've seen novels based of manga like food wars and such. Those novels might not be able to leave the china market. Edit: Free Use should only apply to educational uses or other non profit uses that do not help promote anything like an organization or business. Kinda like an organization using the superman symbol to indicate their an invincible company or company of steel. This would make it really easy for DC Comics to to sue.