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Hello everyone,

Just joined the forum. It looks great. I've a query re using names & images of well know people on tees.

I've a new site ready to launch. I recently enaged a designer to come up with some images for me (sports related). I told him to steer clear of peoples names / images etc. but he produced some with clearly identifiable images of sportspeople - some US, some European.

I'm slow to put these on the website but the designer advised me that they are "artistic" images, i.e not pictures, but artistic images which he has produced and are unique to him, as he has created them. I'm not convinced that this will wash.

What is the legal implications / risks etc of putting these images on the site for sale? I think I know the answer, but would like some opinions from thise inthe know and with soem exeprience in the market.

Thanks

Michael
 

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Well welcome to the site.
We "here" at this site are but Blue collard, red,brown,black,and some purple collard workers; ink does get everywhere lol....... So a search may get you the info you need Its at the top of the site.
 

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I'm slow to put these on the website but the designer advised me that they are "artistic" images, i.e not pictures, but artistic images which he has produced and are unique to him, as he has created them. I'm not convinced that this will wash.

What is the legal implications / risks etc of putting these images on the site for sale? I think I know the answer, but would like some opinions from thise inthe know and with soem exeprience in the market.
Any advice anyone here would give you would be just that advice, you really need to show the images to a IP attorney who is familiar with the laws and explain what you are planning on doing, his advice will be worth what you pay him.

Hope this helps.
 

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Hi Michael, welcome to the forums.

Unfortunately, what you are doing can definitely get you into some trouble.

Copyright infringement:
Photographic images are copyrighted by the photographer who took the image. If your artist is using original artwork as he claims, then you may be clear of this issue. But if not, you would infringing on the copyright of the image.

Right of Publicity:
All people, whether they are famous or not, have the exclusive right to profit off their own name and likeness. So if you use any names or likenesses without license or permission, you would be violating their right of publicity.

Trademark infringement:
Regardless of whether the artwork is artistic or photographic, if any trademarks are identifiable in the design, you would be infringing on that trademark. For instance, if you are doing a design of Derek Jeter and the Yankees "NY" logo is visible on his hat or jersey, that would be infringement.

Licenses:
Many athletes have exclusive sponsorship and merchandise agreements. Sometimes they are part of the league's merchandising agreement, sometimes they are individual licenses. If you are using a person who is part of license with another company to produce merchandise, you would be violating that agreement.

Violation of any of these issue could get you sued. The only legal way to do what you are looking to do is get specific license or permission from the individual person.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your new venture.

EDIT: I also agree with Jon... it's best to consult an attorney for professional legal advice.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Just to add to the wonderful comments above, one simple rule of a thumb – if you want to put a human (celebrity or not) likeness on a t-shirt, only politicians are fair game (provided, as Tim mentioned earlier, the copyright issue is in order). All other options would most likely be off-limits.
 
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