If I make a tee shirt with a design given to me by the customer even though it is from a movie, drawing or games, will it be under the copyright law?

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If I make a tee shirt with a design given to me by the customer even though it is from a movie, drawing or games, will it be under the copyright law?

Or is it under the “fair use”?

Asked on October 14, 2015 under Business Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, you legally cannot. There is no such thing as "fair use" for commercial purposes i.e. to make a t-shirt for a customer this is exactly the sort of use which is barred by copyright and trademark use. It's obviously possible that the rights holder or their agents will not notice this use or, if they notice it, not care or take action...but be advised that the use you propose would violate intellectual property and in theory subject you to liability.


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