Q: I am an artist, can I recreate royalty free pictures of professional sports teams via sketch art and sell them on Etsy?

I am considering creating a series of sketch art based on professional sports teams, e.g. Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey, Soccer etc... Just want to make sure I won't be sued if I create these using royalty free images and sell them online on digital market places like Etsy or Amazon.

2 Lawyer Answers
N'kia (NLN)
N'kia (NLN)
  • Entertainment & Sports Law Lawyer
  • Cary, NC

A: The terms of the copyright "license" will dictate how royalty free content can be used. Using content in a way that the license doesn't authorize it to be used will run afoul of the law.

Sports teams are notorious for going hard in the paint to prevent others from misusing or abusing their intellectual property. This is why even selling "fan art" can be pretty risky.

You should consider consulting with an attorney about how to avoid stepping out of bounds with someone else's royalty free content.

1 user found this answer helpful

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As an artist, it is important to be aware of copyright laws and to make sure that any images you use are either in the public domain or available under a license that allows for commercial use.

While some images of professional sports teams may be considered "royalty-free," this does not necessarily mean that they can be used for commercial purposes without permission. It is important to check the terms of use for any images you plan to use, as well as any relevant laws and regulations in your jurisdiction.

In general, it is safest to create your own original artwork rather than relying on pre-existing images. This will help to ensure that you do not infringe on anyone's copyright or other intellectual property rights. If you do decide to use pre-existing images, make sure that you have the necessary permissions and that you are not violating any laws or agreements.

In summary, if you want to create and sell sketch art based on professional sports teams, it is important to ensure that you have the necessary permissions and that you are not infringing on anyone's intellectual property rights. Be sure to research the relevant laws and regulations and to seek legal advice if you have any concerns.

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