Fan art or commercial use ?

Discussion in 'Opinions & Current Events' started by YukinoSuzuka, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Hello fellow petrolheads and racing enthusiasts,

    For a hobby I 'bought' (pledged) the Snapmaker 3-in-1 machine in the spring of 2017 on Kickstarter. In the second week of January '18 I received my little Makers factory and still enjoying this little fella, almost two years in use now !

    Now, I'm on an edge.. I want to make some money and fun out of it to sell personalised items, but also make small batches of 'racing' themed fan art.

    But that's where I've the doubts of doing so. When is it fan-art and when is it commercial use ? Can I sell small batches of coasters with a McLaren or Williams theme to it or will I've problems with my favourite teams, right after the moment I sell a single set of 4 coasters with Carlos and Lando's racing number on it?

    As long as I know, I'm able to make as many as I want, but then I've to keep them to myself ? Is there a number or something I can be aware of? Like, I don't want to make batches of 20 sets of McLaren coasters. That's way to much. Maybe 3 or 4 sets (4 coasters each) and that's it !

    Anyone who got the answers for me ?

    This is an example (instagram), I made a test last week and practically, I'm able to engrave (laser) in colours. I've to do more tests though
     
  2. BobK

    BobK Premium

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    Your best bet is to consult a trademark attorney.

    Having said that, my understanding is that as soon as you pass the work onto others it can no longer be considered fair use and is therefore a violation. Quantity doesn't matter.
     
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  3. McLaren

    McLaren Premium

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    If you’re creating stuff that has the company logos engraved (and only that specifically) for profit, you probably will run into the company asking you to cease. May need to get a bit more creative and add more.
     
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  4. MatskiMonk

    MatskiMonk

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    If you just put the Mclaren logo on something and sell it, you're profiting from a trademark and/or registered design they own. You wouldn't be the first person to sell stuff with F1 team logos on it without their permission, and I'm sure many get away with it, but you would be in the wrong. Number sold doesn't really matter beyond whether or not it's worth the IP holder taking action against you or not. Companies spend many, many thousands on IP protection for this very reason, and they tend not to like it being undermined.

    For a start...

    The McLaren name, any McLaren company registered trade mark or community registered design, the McLaren logo and all related names, logos, product and service names, designs and slogans are trademarks of McLaren or its affiliates or the McLaren Technology Group company or its affiliates, or McLaren’s licensors. You must not use such marks without the prior written permission of McLaren. All other names, logos, product and service names, designs and slogans on this Website are the trademarks of their respective owners.

    ..
    and the McLaren logo you've used would probably be covered by McLaren Racing Limited trademark 013407747

    Since companies like this have deals with companies that will pay a lot for for a license to use official logos, you always have to assume they don't want you doing it for free.

    You could write to McLaren, and ask them for permission to use a specific logo, for commercial purposes, and give them an idea of how you will use it, and where (geographically) it will be seen, and in what quantities, and see what they say...

    ... I mean, they'll say no, but if you're really, really, really lucky they might quote a price for allowing it.

    ...

    edit to add: There's also the question of what you're engraving. Reselling other peoples goods as your own can sometimes also be a no-no.

    ...

    IMHO, if you want to make money, generate value - do something original. Using other peoples IP to do so doesn't really earn you much, unless you're paying them for it. The internet is already awash with knock-off racing team gear, I personally tend to only buy officially licensed stuff myself.... but that's just me.
     
  5. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Thanks for all the feedback this far !

    Yes, I know I have to be more creative and to be honest, I thought there was a line between having fan-art to sell and commercial use of company logos like F1 teams and drivers.

    Thanks and your answers will encourage and motivate me to make my own stuff instead of 'stealing' from others. ;)
     
  6. McLaren

    McLaren Premium

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    Are you able to recreate one of McLaren's F1 cars from a particular image? You may have more leeway with that since the source isn't McLaren's, just one of their many cars with no F1/McLaren trademarks clearly visible.
     
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  7. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    I think it could be done, maybe I can try something with filters and image adjustments to make it more unique and still recognizable as a typical F1 car from McLaren, Ferrari or ..

    That's the creative side I've to explore :D
     
  8. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Okay, I've been busy for a hour.. Questions ;

    What do I want?
    What do I like as a racing enthusiast?
    What kind of images are most likely to be engraved on coasters etc ?

    For example, the reactions above.. I can image to make pictures or heavily modified images based on famous F1 cars or other racing cars. But that isn't something that speaks to me like having it on a coaster, a simple plate or a cutting board for example.

    One of the benefits of the HANS system that's been introduced years ago.. Apart from his safety functions, the driver looks more serious as a driver.. I like the way the Head And Neck Support is laying on the shoulders, it looks more agressive somehow.

    I found and decided to use this image of GT sport for the kind of images I want to see on a coaster (from the eyes of the customer),

    [​IMG]


    So I copied the driver and erased all the other stuff.

    [​IMG]

    That's where I started to play with some filters and from what I think, it's doable ?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    To be clear, this isn't the material I want to use, but just to clearify what's possible and what's illegal. If the renderings of my modified images are on the clean side, I could consider them for commerical use. I took the last image to a test for an engraving ! That's also a matter of providing to keep the image as much as recognizable as the image, but I'll always loose some detail.

    Update will follow with image of the engraving

    [​IMG]
    (not the best engravings I've done, but it was just a test and I'mm going to sand it down (otherwise I will loose another coaster again)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  9. daan

    daan Moderator

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    If it's someone else's image, you cannot sell it, no matter what you do with it.
     
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  10. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Yes, I was afraid for that too..

    But that's why I throw everything in the open.. I don't want to steal from anyone and I'm such a noob on this topic. I was thinking the wrong direction I guess. "Why can't I use somebody elses image for small sale numbers, but are we able to use all kind of logo's in the decal uploader inside GT?"

    I hope you understand my way of thinking why I was thinking about that same privilege, putting it in a fan-art kind of excuse?

    But I think it's all clear to me now and I think the racing theme isn't my cup of thea. ;) & :(

    If anyone has some new inspiration for me.. send it !
     
  11. Imari

    Imari

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    I think there's some leeway if what you've done with the image is truly transformative, but what we're talking about here is trying to skirt the letter of the law in order to use other people's work by modifying it only the minimum amount to allow it to be sold for a profit. No legal system is going to let that fly, as that's a horribly slippery slope.

    @YukinoSuzuka Just make your own stuff and stop trying to figure out how much you're allowed to steal from others. It's not classy. Hire an artist to create something for you if you must, it doesn't seem like you've got much in the way of artistic talent if you think some dodgy filters are a sufficient artistic contribution.
     
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  12. zzz_pt

    zzz_pt

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    Fan Art has to be 100% original and not a replica or an edited version of a copyright protected asset, brand, logo, etc.

    Nothing you showed is original or "fan art" imo. You're a fan using copyrighted brands / assets and that's it.

    As a designer and an artist, this is something I really hate to see. Unfortunately the internet is filled with people stealing other people's work (photographs, logos, illustrations, animations, etc) just to sell illegal merch for personal profit.

    Of course no problem exists of you make it for yourself.
     
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  13. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    I understand your reaction, but in the other hand.. I don't.. ;) :D

    As I've said.. We use millions of decals from companies they never see a dime of it.. we use them for our own use, but it's also a unique selling point for Gtsport we are able to create unlimited liveries inside GTsport and even are able to sell ourselves on social media with those liveries.

    That was the way I thought and still do.. From my perspective, it's a grey area. But I understand the rules and legallity (or better to say illegal) use of material from others to sell my own stuff. I won't do it and I won't steal from others..

    (But still make liveries in GTsport :D )
     
  14. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Yes, you're right about that.. That was also a question came to my mind.. when it's fan art and when it's just bullocks/stealing.. What I make isn't fan-art.. clear ! ;)
     
  15. Imari

    Imari

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    But you're not selling your liveries. Or are you?

    The profit line is the one that most companies will use when deciding to take legal action. Unless you're involving their name with something that they find unsavoury, they'll look at it as free advertising as long as you're not profiting.

    If you don't see the difference between drawing a McLaren logo on the side of a car in a game and using the McLaren logo to sell your goods, then you really don't understand. It's not a grey area. Don't profit off other people's work without their permission.
     
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  16. zzz_pt

    zzz_pt

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    You can use all the logos in the world to play GT because you're not selling it and there's no transactions. Just as you can laser print all the logos of your favorite brands at home into any objects you want if you're just placing them in a private showroom. If you start selling tickets for your private showroom or selling merch based on those items, then you cross the line.

    Just as if you sell pictures taken in GTSport's photomode. They're own by PD and you can not sell them, even if the cars have no liveries. But you can print 1.000.000 of them and hang them around your house, no problem.
     
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  17. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    In fact, most of us do.. one more then the other. People sharing, liking and reposting other liveries. They do it inside GT, but also on Insagram, Twitter and FB.
    We gain followers, likes over the back of companies we got the logo's from. Youtube gamers the most, they make live (timelapses) liveries in GTsport and Forza of liveries from logo's where companies never see a dollar from it..

    There's a discussion going on here in the Netherlands, started by a youtuber, that parents use their kids to make money out of youtube/becoming influencers, getting brands aboard and use their kids as money machines. Yes it's another kind of abuse.. but that's the social media kind of value for likes/followers and I see it that way..

    But relax, I won't do it as what I was planned to do.
    The whole racing theme isn't the way to go either, thanks to this thread and to you guys !
    I think I'll have more success and room for my own creativity with creating my own texts, sentences and parodies for kitchen aids etc. ;)
     
  18. Imari

    Imari

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    And how much money have you made off Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube so far with your replica liveries?
     
  19. zzz_pt

    zzz_pt

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    Not really.

    People also share pictures on IG, FB, etc wearing clothes of their fav brands and they're not gaining money if they get likes and followers. Using brands on stuff you share online doesn't make it illegal, unless you're getting money from actually selling the products themselves. If you're ur a fan of Nike and all your online presence shows Nike products that doesn't mean you're doing something illegal if you get likes.

    That's actually free publicity for Nike, just as sharing liveries from GTsport anywhere on the internet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  20. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Why do I smell a negative tone in your reaction? Why ? Did you read my posts? Did you've got the message I won't use images from others for my own win?

    But to answer your question.

    Me personally, not a cent !

    But these are youtubers who uploaded multiple video's of their liveries being made ;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CC733Ws8TDU



    I don't say you're not right and I've still a point.. I don't ! On terms of being creative at the motorsport theme, I'm very limited and have to improve myself to make something unique.. photoshopping and adding filters to images doesn't count for that, I was foolish at that too.

    The best way to learn is to admit when you're wrong.. I've learned.. I know more know.
     
  21. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Good point !
     
  22. zzz_pt

    zzz_pt

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    Those YouTuber's are "selling" if they even get paid anything, their skills and knowledge as livery editors. The logos are not the main focus and the liveries are shared in-game for free. It's, as I said earlier, free publicity for the brands and the teams who race with the liveries being recreated by fans in-game. It's like a mod community in a way.
     
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  23. YukinoSuzuka

    YukinoSuzuka

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    Yes, you see it the way like content driven.. you're absolutely right and a fair point it's free publicity. I was almost converting your point into my own situation, but I won't, because it won't make no sence :D

    I saw it more like the win of likes, viewers and subscribers/followers over the back of companies.. Sure, it's a bit dramaticly said that way.. but by sharing your own liveries and other you gain likes/follows and those have a kind of value. Not especcialy inside GTsport, more like on instagram, Twitter and youtube.

    Back on topic.. I think everything is said and clear (to me). The idea of small batched coasters with a racing theme are dead.. till the day I can create my own images.. using my own photo's or drawings.
     
  24. BobK

    BobK Premium

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    I highlighted the key word in your response. Most companies may indeed look at it that way, but a company would be well within its legal rights to demand you stop distributing their intellectual property even if you're not making a dime off it. And you won't know for sure until you get the cease & desist letters.
     
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  25. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Most probably not including very trademark sensitive fashion companies like Louis Vuitton who will probably sue me for even mentioning their name. :lol:

    One thing I've wondered about is are racing liveries trademarked? I'd think not, but I'm not sure.

    I was working on a piece of art depicting a WRC Subaru 22b powersliding around a corner, based on a photograph I found. As I'm not using the photograph itself (roughly using it as a base to trace over) I feel like I'm ok there, and I wasn't planning on explicitly representing any Subaru or sponsor trademarks. But the 555 and yellow blobs are clearly visible. I'd think this is probably ok. Thoughts?

    edit: I didn't realize that 555 is actually a brand. Hmm...
     
  26. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    That's their recoverable damages. Without that, there's not much point beyond doing a cases and desist, because there are no clear damages to recover to pay for attorneys.

    @YukinoSuzuka

    You can actually use other company's trademarks - you just can't confuse the marketplace to think that the product is coming from that company. For example, Pepsi can use a coke trademark in a Pepsi commercial, but it needs to be clear that the commercial is Pepsi's and not Coke's. Gran Turismo itself takes advantage of just that. You can create an original work, original work, original... that includes a corporate logo, as long as it's clear that it's not officially sponsored or created by them.
     
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  27. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    I think an important part of this is that the above would not apply in the OP's case because, as the link you posted states pretty clearly:



    That was not the intent of the OP.
     
  28. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    You can still use it for commercial use. If you create a painting of an old gas station with a Coke logo in it, it's fair game. Same for this post actually, which uses the Coke trademark name. Gran Turismo used logos without permission as well. It just needs to be clear that it's not their work or otherwise sponsored by them.
     
  29. Eunos_Cosmo

    Eunos_Cosmo

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    Right, but I gather that the OP was intended to actually sell a product bearing trademarked material.

    Who knows. Seems murky to me.
     
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  30. Danoff

    Danoff Premium

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    Yea, you can. You just have to be sure that it's clear that it's not their product. Gran Turismo did it.

    Edit:

    Look, to be clear, I don't think that OP is making it clear that it's not officially a product from that company. But the use of a trademark in your own artwork is permissible, provided that it's your artwork and it doesn't appear to be sponsored.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
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