How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Alex Reese Your Own Question

Alex Reese
Alex Reese, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3027
Experience:  Experienced in intellectual property law
14461494
Type Your Intellectual Property Law Question Here...
Alex Reese is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If I draw an original picture of a character that I believe

Customer Question

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?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Alex Reese replied 1 year ago.

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!

Alex Reese, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 3027
Experience: Experienced in intellectual property law
Alex Reese and other Intellectual Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/sosolid007/2010-08-05_070536_Suitpic.jpg Alex Reese's Avatar

    Alex Reese

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    2588
    Experienced in intellectual property law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg Robert McEwen, Esq.'s Avatar

    Robert McEwen, Esq.

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    387
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/tswartz123/2010-02-08_225658_Tommy.jpg Thomas Swartz's Avatar

    Thomas Swartz

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    374
    Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    371
    I assist my clients with IP questions that arise in their daily course of doing business.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/personwilt/2010-1-10_164828_person1.jpg Wilton A. Person's Avatar

    Wilton A. Person

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    339
    MBA, Experienced and Knowledgeable in Intellectual Property Law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/bart0358/2012-1-23_232424_1056.64x64.JPG BartEsq's Avatar

    BartEsq

    Researcher

    Satisfied Customers:

    192
    Juris Doctor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IP/ipesq/2012-1-9_164431_RetouchPortraitHighResCopy.64x64.jpg ipesq's Avatar

    ipesq

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    134
    Specializing in patent prosecution, trademark and copyright registration/enforcement.
 
 
 

Related Intellectual Property Law Questions