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Copyright for Animation

Fan Art

Submitted Questions:

When is fanart technically copyright to you, or does it always belong to the creator of the work you're depicting? Does that mean they can sell merchandise with it?

Does selling fanart fall under in copyright use? From what I've gathered, selling fanart is using something that's copyright for commercial purposes, so would it technically be illegal?

Best Answer:

Derivative works are copyrighted so Fan Art is illegal. The owner is the creator of the original work.

Other student answers:

Selling fanart is technically illegal but does get overlooked most of the time since most artists do not claim the character as their own. The times when it becomes a legality issue is when a studio/company does an audit of websites like etsy and take down as many products being sold with licensed characters or logos. However, simply changing the title of the character (eg. Baby Yoda to Green Alien) can fly under the audit radar and stay listed.

If the creator of the work wants to sell merchandise with it, they should also bring it up with the artist since their labour is involved also? Perhaps discuss compensation to some extent?  Selling fanart of copyrighted work seems situational from our experience?

technically illegal.

Technically it is illegal to produce and sell copyrighted work that does not belong to you, though most companies turn a blind eye as the profit gained is typically minimal