Is it okay to upload fan art? 

It depends on the particular work of fan art and whether or not it infringes someone else’s rights.

Broadly, fan art is a work that is inspired by another person’s content. The other person’s content is often protected by copyright, trademark, or a similar right, and is usually fictional, like from your favorite movie, comic book, or video game.

By the very nature of fan art, your artwork may draw on elements of another person’s intellectual property against that person’s wishes, making it very tricky to determine if any particular work of fan art infringes. Think about how the fair use principles apply to your fan art and if you’re not sure whether you’re infringing on someone else’s rights, it’s always an option to speak to an attorney for intellectual property advice about your particular works. But regardless, keep in mind that a determination of whether something will be found to be infringing is incredibly fact-specific and could easily be decided in different ways in a court of law.

Even this gallant attempt might not hold up as fair use in court.

The great news is we have a program that allows fan artists to create officially licensed designs for their favorite brands. Be sure to check out the Fan Art Partnership Program to see the full list of Current Brand Partnerships accepting submissions. 


Obligatory Yet Very Important Legal Disclaimer:

Don’t be fooled by any complicated jargon (and how snazzy we look in pinstripe). We are not your lawyer and this is not legal advice. We recommend contacting an attorney if you need an actual legal consultation.

Rather, this is general information aimed at giving you the legal lay of the land. While we can’t defend you in court, we know that art and IP ownership can be murky territory; the least we can do is arm you with the right kind of knowledge to get you started.

 

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