La Vernia, TX asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Texas

Q: Using outlines of artists' characters for digital role playing game portraits to be put on YouTube for commercial use.

I take character art from online, take out the background in Photoshop, make the character solid white; leaving only the outline and define the edges with a black stroke and then import the final product into a virtual table to resemble characters in our Dungeons and Dragons role-playing sessions we record and upload to YouTube for commercial use.

Is using the outlines enough to be safe or would more changes be necessary?

1 Lawyer Answer
Barbara Berschler
Barbara Berschler
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD

A: If you are copying in any way from someone else's art work, you will be making a derivative work which would be an infringement unless you received permission from the owner of the copyright protected work.

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