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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone knew what it took to get permission to design shirts with famous icons?
i.e. I'm a huge fan of Bruce Lee & have used his image in my own personal work, I've even design some t-shirt designs with his likeness. Is it expensive to get a license to reproduce images of famous people? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

NARC72
 

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I am not positive, but I think in certain cases you do not need permission because celebrity images are considered public domain.

In the local mall by me there is this kiosk (i believe a chain) and they sell 100's of paintings of famous people such as Bruce Lee, Tupac, Al Pacino, etc.

Its the same thing with the papparazzi, if they take a celebrities picture at a store they don't need permission to sell it.

Also, if I draw a picture of Bruce Lee and do not use his name, couldn't I just say the t-shirt is of my best friend and he just happens to look like bruce lee?
 

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Twin85 said:
I am not positive, but I think in certain cases you do not need permission because celebrity images are considered public domain.

In the local mall by me there is this kiosk (i believe a chain) and they sell 100's of paintings of famous people such as Bruce Lee, Tupac, Al Pacino, etc.

Its the same thing with the papparazzi, if they take a celebrities picture at a store they don't need permission to sell it.

Also, if I draw a picture of Bruce Lee and do not use his name, couldn't I just say the t-shirt is of my best friend and he just happens to look like bruce lee?
I think that kiosk gets away with it because Tupacs mom has better things to do then comb malls for merchandise with her sons likeness on it.

Seriously, it is 'illegal' but it's hard to police. Look at the streets of NY and the knock-off purses and cd's they sell. They're not suppose to but who is watching? Nobody.

Local celebrities are only allowed if the photo is taken in a public setting. Thats why alot of those celeb magazines get away with what they do. Even then, i'm sure they could pursue legal action if they found the t-shirt to be misleading or something.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Twin85 said:
In the local mall by me there is this kiosk (i believe a chain) and they sell 100's of paintings of famous people such as Bruce Lee, Tupac, Al Pacino, etc.
Yeah, I see those all over the place! I know it's different when it comes to sketches as opposed to actual images of the celebrity.

So, which is the most important the likeness or the name? Couls I do a shirt design of Bruce Lee, Bob Marley, whomever & get away with it as long as I don't use their name?

Maybe it would be better for me to print one of my sketches? Would that be more legal?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sarafina said:
Seriously, it is 'illegal' but it's hard to police. Look at the streets of NY and the knock-off purses and cd's they sell. They're not suppose to but who is watching? Nobody.
I work in NYC & there are "bootleggers" all over the city! From CD's , movies, clothing you name it! I don't support them though, I would hate it if someone knocked off my designs without permission!
 
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