Table of Contents
Write a comment
hi this is anne with graphic design how to and today i'm going to talk about copyright infringement and trademark infringement when you're selling designs online specifically on etsy some of you might know that i've been a graphic designer for quite a while and i also have an etsy shop these things that i'm going to tell you are things that i do personally to avoid copyright and trademark infringement in my etsy shop now i am not a lawyer so take these with a grain of salt but these are just the things that i do number one i make my own designs when i'm making a new design i don't even look at someone else's design so in this case i probably wouldn't have come up with this idea if your design resembles someone else's too closely they can file an infringement claim so although we as graphic designers get a lot of inspiration from the internet i personally steer clear of actually taking a design that i found and making something similar number two i don't use company names or logos in my designs so this means no disney no mickey mouse nothing that resembles mickey mouse ears no nfl teams no boy scouts etc now i know some of you are going to say well there are tons of disney designs on etsy so isn't that okay but here's the thing all of these shops are risky and getting shut down and they probably will get shut down eventually number three i don't make products or designs with images that i found on google these are someone else's images and probably 99 of them are copyrighted so it just makes sense to make my own designs number four i don't use company names or logo names in my descriptions or keywords i don't put them in the title area description or the tags section number five i checked the patent and trademark office website and i use the trademark electronic search system which is better known as tess so to do that i just click on basic word mark search and i type in the phrase that i'm wanting to use in my design so when i type in hello here are all the word marks that have been trademarked so let's say i wanted to use hello sugar i'll click on this and then i'll check the goods and services hello sugar is trademarked for body waxing services now you'll want to go ahead and actually search hello sugar by itself so let's do that here are all the trademarked versions of hello sugar and these will be on different products some might be jewelry some might be shirts some of these are dead which means you could use them if you looked at what they're used for here but some are live let's look at this live one this trademark is for seeds for agricultural purposes so we'd probably be okay if your phrase is trademarked for clothing or t-shirts you can't use it in your designs i'll put a link in my description for this website there are a few surprising things that you can't use in your listings some of those are onesie or onesies gerber has a trademark for that some other ones are girl power hello sunshine who's your daddy born to be wild american girl america the beautiful live laugh love and if some of these seem random to you well they are random and that's why it's good to search you never know if something is already trademarked number six i don't use fabric with trademarks to create something that i'm going to sell on etsy so for example if you buy this chiefs fabric and then you make a mask like this you cannot sell that unless you have a license with the chiefs and believe me they're not cheap this probably seems a little crazy most fabrics that have licensed images on them like these and disney images cannot be used for commercial purposes so you can make a mask and wear it for yourself but you can't sell it along the same lines it's not okay to use used recognizable brand items to make something else and then try to sell that so let's say you had a bunch of pepsi cans and you cut them up and you use them to make a mirror frame or something like that that is fine to do if it's for your own personal use but you cannot sell that now you might be wondering why some big companies use other companies logos and images and it's no big deal so a good example of this is a chips bag that has kansas city chiefs brandy on it or something similar the thing that happens in these cases are that tostitos is paying the other company the chiefs a lot of money to use their images so if you're wanting to actually do this you can reach out to the kansas city chiefs or whoever to see how much a license would cost but just now is probably not going to be very reasonable i've heard that the licensing for disney is like 100 000 or something plus there are other requirements like they're very picky about the quality of the items you're selling because it's their brand so those are a few of the things that i do to avoid infringing on copyrights and trademarks and i hope this video has helped you all right if you have any questions or comments feel free to leave those in the comments section below and i'll see you next week with another graphic design tutorial thank you
Thanks for your comment Alissa Forgey, have a nice day.
- Sabine Narron, Staff Member
most of you understand that making fan art and selling it is illegal but what most of you don't understand is that making fan arts and not selling it is also illegal if you would make fan art and post it on social media and grow your audience or not grow your audience at all it doesn't really matter then that is still illegal if however you would make fan art and give it away for free just give it away well than that that would still be illegal here's the thing if you're an artist you have to understand that the reason why your fan art is getting so much attention is not because of your amazing drawing skills or the amazing colors that you used it's because the marketing and brand efforts of big companies like disney to make sure that people love their characters luckily for those who want to make fan art and sell it there are some loopholes and some exceptions and some of these loopholes are even very very lucrative i know artists who make fan art and sell it and make six figures doing so now we're not talking about artists who are sellouts and who are selling to children only no no we're talking about fine artists who are working with galleries and museums and have fan art elements in their practice as well and so in this video we will be covering everything that you need to know about fan art selling it what are the best practices when is it legal when is it illegal and how to actually make a lot of money doing so now as a general disclaimer i have to say that i am not the personality that would sacrifice five years of his life just to memorize to study things that i don't even like such as rules for example in other words i'm not a lawyer and so you have to take everything that i say with a grain of salt even though everything is completely 100 correct take it with a grain of salt anyway just to make sure now there's one more thing that i like even more than lawyers and rules and that is my favorite color which is like button blue yesterday i asked some lawyers and it turns out the color is part of the public domain in other words you can just press it legally liking this video is not copyright infringements even though some other people have already done that what it does do is help artists like me out with the algorithm and so thank you very much so let's dive in right away now first things first let's get some myths out of the way mitzvah are circling around the internet about copyright infringement and fan art etc the first myth is that if you're not selling fan art then it is not commercial use and therefore it is legal because the copyright law states that it can only be copyright infringement if it is for commercial use now that is indeed what the copyright law states but that does not make you're not selling suddenly not commercial use and so it's completely wrong let's take the following example for example if you would make fan arts and then you would make prints of it and then you would give those prints away for to your friends for free not charging them anything then that is commercial use because those prints will have an impact on the market your friends who are getting those prints for free will now be less likely to buy prints for 15 that are similar because they can get them free from you and so the market gets partially saturated because of your prints if 10 000 people would do that that would have an insane impact and so this is commercial use even though you're not selling it the second myth is that fan art is transformative it changes the original artwork and therefore it's not copyright infringement now first of all everything that is about transformative and all of those things is very subjective and will be ruled differently depending on which judge you have in court second of all fan art is not really transformative or at least most fan art is not transformative at all in order to be transformative you need to have a parody that completely transforms the original uh character and storyline and everything and so let's take the following example for example if you would take a painting and you would include in the painting a small pokemon character let's say the pokemon character character is only two percent of the painting and surrounding it it's like landscape stuff other characters that you've invented just the whole conceptual thing it's completely your creation now in this scenario it is still copyright infringement it's the legal buy because you have created or you have used the entire character of pokemon completely as it is intended and those things are marketed and branded by somebody else and so this is copyright infringement now the third myth is wildly common among artists who are watching this channel many people believe that if somebody else already liked this video that they cannot like it again anymore because of copyright infringement now of course this is not true you can like my videos as much as you want over and over and over again so let's talk about some of the ways that you can make fan art now the first one is of course by getting permission let's give you an example of one of my favorite fan art oriented artists out there pass pe zed now if you look at his art you will see a lot of banksy vibes you will see very original stuff you will see a lot of famous characters as well but most people who look at his art they would not consider this fan art because it is so original it's so unique it's so different etc etc etc but if we look at this image for example this is clearly 3d sylvester from bugs bunny and so this fact the fact that it is a famous character is also part of why this image is so powerful if bass would have used a different word that was not famous then this image would just be less powerful it would have less impact and so the reason why people would want to buy this is partially because of the marketing and branding efforts the companies have used or put in to make bugs bunny bugs money and so if this would go to court then this could be ruled copyright infringement and illegal even though it has a lot of transformative elements in it i mean this is this is a very original piece of art you know now i don't know past personally so i i don't really know if he has permission but i think he has permission otherwise he risks his entire business he risks just his entire business being taken away from him now i know what you're thinking in the case of best there is actually some discussion that is possible i mean a lot of this work could be considered fair use because there's a lot of parody going on a lot of transformation and critique towards the original piece but but that's always subjective and so you should get permission especially when you want to work with galleries or museums or stuff like that because those institutions will never take the risk and and go and see with you and especially because it's it's also fairly easy to get permission in the first place a lot of these companies are making an insane amount of money on licensing the the characters that they own the wall disney corporation for example makes 56 billion dollars a year on licensed merchandise and
Thanks Clementine your participation is very much appreciated
- Sabine Narron
About the author
I've studied critical management studies at The New School in New York City and I am an expert in digital archaeology. I usually feel infuriated. My previous job was photogrammetric engineer I held this position for 28 years, I love talking about volleyball and coffee. Huge fan of David Furnish I practice alpine skiing and collect coca-cola.
Try Not to laugh !
Joke resides here...