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Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3439
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
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If I draw an original picture of a character that I believe

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If I draw an original picture of a character that I believe is copyrighted, can I still sell the picture. Example, If I draw a picture of a Picachu or a My Little Pony like Rainbow Dash, its original, not a copy of images online, can I sell the picture I've made?

Alex Reese :

hello

Alex Reese :

practically speaking it is a question of scale, if you widely publicize (E.g. ebay) and sell a lot then you will likely expose your self to risk from the TM owners

Alex Reese :

however, making a few copies for friends/family or local sale would likely not come up on any radars

Customer:

I was hoping to set up an online store on a site called ETSY

Alex Reese :

also, it depends on the disposition of the copyright owner and how aggressive/strict they are with such matters

Customer:

so technically, it is not legal to sell an original drawing of a registered or copyrighted character?

Alex Reese :

would thye all be originals or prints?

Customer:

digital prints, but individually signed.

Customer:

I would control the printing.

Alex Reese :

if are going to do it, provide a disclaimer that makes clear you have no affiliation with the TM holder/creators of the character

Alex Reese :

and that it is not an offical "______" product

Alex Reese :

(whoever owns/operates the character)

Customer:

okay, an official disclaimer, I understand that.

Customer:

I am not planning on mass producing these things, just a little bit for a bit of money to help make ends meet.

Customer:

would that help?

Alex Reese :

yes that helps, just beware that there is a bit of risk.....but the disclaimer and low production help minimize it

Customer:

how do you find out how aggressive an organization is at pursuing individuals who publish images such as that? And do they send warnings first?

Alex Reese :

no way to really figure that out easily (but try some google searches, that works sometimes)

Alex Reese :

it is common to send warnings

Customer:

Okay, thank you very much. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Basically I can try it and hope for the best, XXXXX XXXXX disclaimer on my website, and be aware that it is only semi-legal to do this.

Alex Reese :

you got it

Alex Reese :

also, one more thing

Customer:

Thank you very much. Yes?

Alex Reese :

if there is a classic pose/scene/depiction of the character, you should avoid that as much as possible and make it your own....i.e. the closer it is to the original, the higher the risk

Alex Reese :

you don't want it to look like an official product

Alex Reese :

if possible, put your own spin on it and make it look a bit different

Alex Reese :

best of luck!

Customer:

definitely. I understand that, that is why I emphasized an ORIGINAL drawing.

Customer:

Thank you!

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