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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, i'm looking for an answer to my question.

I totally a Tshirt guy, but the thing is, sometimes I just can't find the one I like. So my question is. If i'm not selling or distributing Tshirts. If I take designs off people on Deviart or any other websites and put them on tshirts for myself to wear. It's it illegal? by illegal I mean do I have to pay this person/artist for using his picture on my own personal tshirt?

Does this rule apply different in every country? i live in canada.

If i'm not in the right section please put me in the right one. Thanks
 

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unfortunately copyright and intellectual property rights extend to all uses of said image/technology/etc..
Even if you are using it for personal use it's technically illegal.

It sucks because sometimes you want a shirt for a certain game or something and the company doesn't make any, but the use of their character/art/etc even for personal use without permission is illegal.

You could ask the people on Deviant if you could use their art to produce a shirt for yourself. I wouldn't have a problem if you did that with my art, especially if I didn't have a way to create shirts myself.
Heck if you ask them maybe you could end up working a deal where you make shirts for them!!
 

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I had someone I know ask me to make me a shirt that has a really popular extreme sports logo (the circle with the spade in it) and when I turned him down he was really angry with me lol and I told him exactly what Greatzky said. I however knew his intent was to sell them to his friends. If he wanted the logo on a shirt that he really likes or on a sweater that fits a certain way, or even if he couldnt find his size, I'll be honest Id probably print him one. But I wouldn't sell it to him and I would make it clear that its a one time thing or case by case. now I would only be doing it because they didnt make his size or if the shirts fit sucks. Just remember dont make it a common practice, it only takes ONE person to notice and then you have a bad situation. If anyone other then family came to me the answer is always no. Its Stealing to me know matter how you look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thats a little disappointing.. but totally understandable.

Well here's another question... What if the artist drew something like... Mario from supermarios and toad and whatever character in a certain way. Do I need to ask the rights to print this from the artist AND nintendo as well?
 

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For it to be legal, the artist would need to licensed by Nintendo.

So to answer your question, yes, you would need to get permission from both the artist and Nintendo.

But keep in mind that if you ask permission from Nintendo, you may be drawing unwanted attention to the artist who may have committed intellectual property infringement. It's best to ask the artist first and go from there.


ABrandWithNoName.com
 

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if it is for personal use i dont see where you have a problem. for 1 it is very unlikely that the person that created the art will every hear of you. 2 it will cost them more money to sue you than they could possibly get from you.

im not sure it is even truely illegal if you arent selling them

this is like saying that sega is going to starting going into elementary schools, opening notebooks and sueing anyone who has a doodle of sonic the hedgehog.
 

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if it is for personal use i dont see where you have a problem.
The Lanham Act protects intellectual property when it's reproduced on salable goods.

im not sure it is even truely illegal if you arent selling them
It doesn't matter if the shirt is actually sold or is only for personal use. When IP is reproduced on a salable good without authorization, it is illegal and the IP owner can pursue legal action.

for 1 it is very unlikely that the person that created the art will every hear of you. 2 it will cost them more money to sue you than they could possibly get from you.
True. It is possible to break laws and get away with it. But it's usually not a good idea.

this is like saying that sega is going to starting going into elementary schools, opening notebooks and sueing anyone who has a doodle of sonic the hedgehog.
No, not really. That wouldn't fall under any infringement laws that I know of. The distinction is when the IP is reproduced on a salable good. A student's notebook is not considered a salable good.
 

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A t-shirt, even done for free (or at cost) would still be considered an infringement. It's a saleable good as well as advertising. Say you went completely insane and wanted to promote your favorite soda, Copsi Cola. You spend a few thousand dollars putting up banners, signs, radio ads on AM stations (FM likely wouldn't take an unlicensed advertiser). You'd still get in trouble for it, since Copsi Cola has no control over what you're doing, and they're not thrilled with the banner on the local "gentleman's club" or the ads on the squirrel-worshipping talk show.
 

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i know i go against the grain with most people on the forum when i say this but DO IT!

anyone who says they never printed anything that wasnt thier orignial idea is full of it. everyone has to start somewhere. i made a couple of shirts probably 10 years ago that had Sublime logos on them... where they illegal? i suppose. did i get a taste for the tshirt business and want to do more of it? ABSOLUTLY!

am i telling you to print several 100 and take them to a flea market? no way!

heck you are probably planning on buying 1 shirt at retail price and decorating it, possible with an ink jet transfer like i did the first time.

bottom line: is it illegal? yes. should you do it? yes. will you learn from it? definitly. will you find a new passion and start a brand or business of your own? possibly
 

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im not saying your not right kimura... but i think in this case we are talking about a drop in the bucket... no one is going to pursue 1 shirt, ever. morally it is wrong, but i think when the action could possibly creat something bigger and better you should do it. you have to break a few eggs to make and omlet
 

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My biggest concern would be that if you do it for a friend or family, they're going to eventually blab that "my brother did this awesome shirt for me!". Multiple risks with that, but the main two:

Dozens of people will start calling you asking you to make infringing shirts for them.

Your competitor will anonymously report you to the copyright owner.

You could, of course, tell them to tell anyone who asks about it that they got it at a shop that went bankrupt due to a copyright infringement lawsuit. :D Or "a guy at a flea market did it for me awhile back, no I don't remember the name." Even though I don't do t-shirts or graphic design for a living, but I do have a computer related business and have done small graphic jobs every so often, I have to resist the urge to start printing a bunch of infringing shirts that I would like to have, now that I have wide-format printers. Assessing risk is a personal decision.
 

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im not saying your not right kimura... but i think in this case we are talking about a drop in the bucket... no one is going to pursue 1 shirt, ever. morally it is wrong, but i think when the action could possibly creat something bigger and better you should do it. you have to break a few eggs to make and omlet
Bomber,
I have no problems with anyone choosing the reward over the risk. I have no problems with anyone giving advice to choose the reward over the risk after analyzing the specific details of a situation.

But your first post was actually questioning the law as if to indicate it may be legal to reproduce IP on a t-shirt. And I think that's where people get into trouble. Rather than analyze the risks and rewards, they try to convince themselves it's really legal or that they won't get caught. So it's that advice that I had an issue with. You're probably right about this being a drop in the bucket. And you're probably right that this could create something bigger. I have no problems with that. But believing it's legal is just fool's logic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for everyone who replied.

I think getting intouch with the artist is probably the best idea. I really have no intentions of selling T-shirts.

My original idea was to find a very nice picture/design on devi art. Ask the artist for his signature. and put it on the shirt as well. I figured i twould look pretty awesome + a bit of promotion for the artist as well.

I do have a close friend who opened up a business for Fasion. Pardon le dopeness. I really don't have any intentions of opening one myself lol.

But thank you everyone for your replies.
 

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I read a lot about getting permission from copyright owners to use their logos and names. How does that work? Just send an e-mail and say that I want to use their logos and name to create a personalized t-shirt, then show that e-mail to a company that makes t-shirts along with my simple design? Also, what are the odds they give you permission? In my case, it's a very well known band and I want to have all the places/dates where/when I've seen them on the shirt, along with some artwork. Thx!
 

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if it is for personal use i dont see where you have a problem. for 1 it is very unlikely that the person that created the art will every hear of you. 2 it will cost them more money to sue you than they could possibly get from you.

im not sure it is even truely illegal if you arent selling them

this is like saying that sega is going to starting going into elementary schools, opening notebooks and sueing anyone who has a doodle of sonic the hedgehog.
So, if someone reaches into YOUR cash register and takes $10, that's OK, right? I mean, it's not like they held you up with a gun. And, a measly $10 isn't going to break you, right? It's sure not worth the cops coming over to investigate. It's just $10, right? You probably make too much profit anyway.
 

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you guys are getting awfully excited over what i said. i think you are looking into it too much.

say i want a shirt that has mickey mouse on it. your basically saying that if i buy a white shirt and a black sharpie at walmart, it is wrong to draw on the shirt in such a way that happens to look like mickey mouse.

Techanically i suppose you are right. i should have went to an officially licensed disney retailer and paid for it.

But come one! dont act like you all are prim and proper and would never do such a thing. im calling bs.

on a side note: i suppose if it is ground for a lawsuit, i could also have my niece to it. she is only 2, disney couldn't sue her. of course i guess they would most likely sue her parents. yikes! im afraid we all are going to have to start watching what our kids put on homemade finger paint shirts, we might get sued!
 
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