Folksy Ltd

Copyright Query

(Mj Carter Designs) #1

Hi guys,

I have recently started producing some of my own artwork again after a few years out of the game and have recently started to look for some outlets to sell my work online. However I am not quite sure about the issues regarding copyright. I tend to adapt and create illustrations using images of superheroes, cartoon characters and iconic celebrities and am worried that I may be confronted with some sort of copyright infringement in the future. If anyone has any experience of copyright or has any advice for me then I would be more than grateful for you to get in touch!

Many Thanks,

Mike Carter

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #2

Personally I wouldn’t go within a mile of someone else’s character - I’d much rather create my own, it’s more original and no worries about copyright.

There’s info about copyright in here somewhere - it’s just too early in the morning for me to be awake enough to find it at the moment lol.

(Sarah Eves) #3

I agree with @DandelionsGallery - copyright is a minefield and using any known character - whether you adapt it or not - is an infringement of copyright.

I know you could enter many characters into the Folksy search engine and come up with a stack of results of sellers using existing characters - Disney amongst them - but that doesn’t make it right and they will get caught eventually.

Not worth going down that route.

Sarah x

(Margaret Jackson) #4

Agreed, I wouldn’t use images of any known characters, far safer to be totally original and create your own.

(Christine Shephard) #5

Some useful advice on Folksy’s knowledge base here:

Personally, I’d be nervous using any images that weren’t mine or that I didn’t have express permission to use, but have no idea whether adapting images is allowed - maybe you could check with a copyright expert or legal bod before you start selling?

Also, bear in mind that copyright rules may vary in different countries, or be applied differently.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #6

Most of the Superheroes are not just copyrighted buty are Trademarked so please stay clear of using them as Marvel and The film companies. Disney, the bbbc etc etc as they will come after you.

If your paintings characters can be recognized or you advertise them as even being ‘inspired by’ you will be braking copyright and Trademark. They will eventually caught you and it’s not worth having your shop closed or being sued.

Celebrities are the same their agents will come after you for breach of copyright or trademark violations.

(Dog As Pony) #7

This link goes to a knowledge base all about copyright and copyright infringement for artists. Copyright applies similarly to design / illustration. You may have to search a bit but there’s lots of very useful info - I hope it will help.

For professional illustrators also worth looking at the ‘Pay Back’ section to see if you’re due any earned fees on your published work. I apply every year and get a very welcome cheque just before Christmas based on all the published work I’ve ever done that’s in the public domain.

NB - I always think people know if they’ve infringed copyright if they stop and ask themselves honestly…

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #8

It’s quite interesting if you type words like ‘Disney’ into the search on here - there is loads of stuff that comes up that’s blatantly copied. Very sad that there’s so little originality, really.

(Eileens Craft Studio) #9

Indeed and one day Disney will catch them and oh boy I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes when they get caught.

You can’t even use trademarked items/names in your descriptions