THIS IS AN AD FREE POST! You're Welcome :) No funny business here!
This is by far the number one question I get since creating my very first DIY Mickey Ear video for Youtube. I have done my research but REMEMBER, I am not a lawyer so PLEASE feel free to research further if you think you might be infringing. (notice I mentioned I used to sell these but now I don't)
I am going to cover A LOT, so grab a coffee and get comfy. Also bring your thinking hat because this is gonna be thought provoking.
ALSO STAY TIL THE END BECAUSE I HAVE A FANTASTIC LOOP HOLE WITH AND AWESOME ANNOUNCEMENT!
"PEOPLE SELL DISNEY INSPIRED STUFF ALL THE TIME"
Yes, they do, but that doesn't make it right. LOT'S of Etsy stores and online businesses have been sent cease and desist letters from companies they have infringed on. Company's other then Disney are more strict on this but as soon as they do you run the risk of getting your store completely removed from Etsy.
STOP IT! I know this stuff is cute, but buying it is illegal too. If you really want it, make it for personal use :)
"IT'S HANDMADE SO IT'S NOT INFRINGING"
NOPE. Doesn't matter, if you are using a Disney image that you did not create. (And by create, I mean come up with the character because even hand drawn items can't be sold) Then you are infringing.
"DISNEY NOT INSPIRED"
Inspired is NOT COPYING. If you have Belle all over your "inspired" item, you are not being inspired, you are copying. Here are a couple examples. Using a color scheme is not infringing, and making references to what the character loves or does is not infringing. Making the characters face, or anything else that came from someone besides you, is infringing. This can be a fine line so just be careful.
HERE ARE EXAMPLES OF GOOD, Grey AND BAD
GOOD: Magic Wonders Boutique: Using statements but not quotes, with similar colors but no fonts of images from Disney. She even uses a licensed Disney character BY DISNEY to show that they compliment actual Disney property, but isn't selling Disney infringing items.
This store is using classic Characters to depict movies Disney has recreated. It isn't using Disney images but just some words that Disney uses but doesn't have copyright protection over.
BAD: This is bad for a few reasons. It is using Disney Font, Mickey ears and Disney Characters. Even though it was designed by the creator of it, it is copying Disney completely.
I would say this is okay because even though it is mimicking Disney font, it isn't EXACTLY Disney font. BUT It's a bit questionable. Super cute idea though.
These are made using Disney Buttons. They are licensed Disney buttons BUT I would make sure there is no where on the packaging that states for personal use only.
Even Google has infringing items for sale. 1 of these is okay. Can you pick which one? I will give you a hint, polka dots are not owned by Disney.
"DISNEY IS TOO BIG TO CARE"
Yeah they are big. So if they want to care, you should care that they can care whenever they want to care. Disney is a sleeping giant that could grind your bones to make their bread.
"If I gather Images from google, and charge for MY TIME"
NOPE! Don't. PLEASE don't. I see Etsy stores doing this ALL THE TIME. with some fancy wording like. "I am not claiming to create these items, and hold no rights to the characters expressed in this listing blah blah blah...." DON'T DO IT.
This is one I struggle with because why would you make something so enticing to do something with, however the fabric states right on it, that it is for personal use only. You CAN sell the fabric as fabric, under the right to sell personal property, but since it states personal use only, you CAN NOT make something and sell that item legally.
I have yet to learn the answer for buttons and ribbons but I would check to see that it doesn't say for personal use only on them.
OKAY TO SELL/USE:
Ladies and gents this is the moment you've been waiting for: (whispering in Hugh Jackman's voice)
SO Let's chat about how you CAN Sell Disney items and not get in trouble. That is just IT. You can sell DISNEY items. Not your item that has Disney infringement qualities.
So how can we still get creative? While still selling Disney LOVE.
This is where you MUST think outside the box and I am here to help you! You can pair a handmade item that compliments your AUTHENTIC DISNEY item. You can alter the Disney items to dare I say, be cooler then it originally was. (Of course stating that it is no longer in original condition) so let's get some ideas.
Resell Licensed Items:
There is no law about selling items you purchased. This means you can sell old Disney items, refurbished items, or even clearance or on sale items you have found.
Resell licensed Items paired with a handmade item:
You can pair something with similar colors, cute sayings that bring more meaning to the item or embellish the item with cute things.
Piggy backing on that, connect with already licensed sellers and purchase wholesale from them. There are tons of companies that have Disney licenses. I wouldn't DIY anything onto these items as you are no longer selling your personal property. I would suggest just pairing items with these.
EXAMPLE: These T-shirts are sold BY DISNEY on amazon and paired with a DIY tutu. (This video will be in our OcTAYber lineup.) But selling the T-shirt + The handmade Tutu is A-OK!
use NON licensed characters:
Some characters have passed their mark of copyright protection. After 70 years certain characters fall out of protection allowing anyone to use the character for their own selling rights. I will let you learn about this if you really want to know. However most characters are not actually created by Disney. Their original characters are often free to use but even some Disney characters are free to use.
Make ACTUAL inspired content:
TRULY Inspired Items are okay to sell, but MUST not infringe. I looked around Etsy and there were hardly any I found for examples. We offer great SVGS that do not infringe on copyright if you want some examples. See the photos we did of the girls in their shirts. None of the sayings are copyright quotes, OR use any images/fonts created by Disney. (Not the mickey ears, we can't sell those)
Feel free to make all the personal items you want. You will probably get people to ask you if they can buy things from you if you post on social media so just be careful. I suggest teaching or inspiring others to make their own. Or sticking to actual inspired content.
Get a Disney License: I know this one is the hardest route, but if you have a large company and you are making good money, you should look into getting licensed. It can be costly, but if your audience loves Disney it can be worth it.
Walt Disney Wednesdays are Coming back in 2020 to my Youtube channel and they are going to be AWESOME! Every weds there will be a new Disney DIY that is 100% Completely legal to make and sell! WHAT?!? I know, I am excited too!
Each week we will release a Disney Inspired bundle to our members!!!
You get an SVG, and you get an SVG and you get an SVG!!!
JOIN NOW BEFORE OUR MEMBERSHIP PRICES GO UP JAN 1st.