General Question

AshlynM's avatar

How are people able to sell copyrighted images online?

Asked by AshlynM (10094points) 2 months ago

I was under the impression you need some sort of license to sell copyrighted images or permission from the copyright holder.
Places like Redbubble and Ebay, I see many copyrighted images. Some may be fan art, but it’s still a likeness.
I’ve even seen Trump’s and Obama’s faces on cards and stickers.

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8 Answers

janbb's avatar

I don’t think you can copyright your face but it is illegal to sell a copyrighted image without permission. But, as with many things, unless you’re caught, you can get away with it.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

They can do it, but not legally. The copyright holder has to be vigilant, for the most part nobody else cares enough to do something about it.

One group that does go after violators is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. You probably see “ASCAP” often on music without thinking about it.

I worked at a store once where we turned on the radio for some atmosphere. The next week we received a letter from ASCAP, explaining we either had to pay a fee or turn off the music.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Public figures (Obama, Trump) have less protection on their images than normal people do.

Commercial images and faces – like those from movies – are often protected by copyright, but the real issue is that no one is out there enforcing the laws. There is no copyright police squad. The only time copyright is even brought up is when some content owner sues.

Use of copyrighted images is a calculated risk – sort of the honor system.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Whomever takes the picture has the ability to copyright the image. Any picture taken by me of Mr. Obama et al., is mine to sell. But the picture must taken be in a public area, for instance on the street.

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