A teddy bear artist I know, is dressing her bears using Disney characters on the clothing, and advertising the fact that you can get Disney Kids, with either Goofy, Minnie etc.on the jackets or dungarees.
As far as I know , unless you have the go ahead from Disney this is illegal, as Disney would surely want a royalty on their characters. What is right here ?
Can you as a business , say a teddy bear artist, purchase the rights from Disney to sell their characters on clothing you made? Surely this would be very expensive.
The new computer machines sold today, some come with Disney characters, or you can download them onto your sewing machines- what happens in these cases- can you use them on clothing and then sell this clothing?
Disney is extreamly strict with their copywrites! The patterns I believe are for personal use only, not to be sold.
Actually, my husband is working on a Disney project right now, and he is not allowed to put anything done for them on his reel/portfolio. Costumes were made for this project, and Disney had them as well as all the materials used in the making picked up by courier because they own ANYTHING involved in any project that has to do with Disney. They do get a lot of freelance people to do work but you'll never find it in anyones portfolio.
If you are an employee of theirs they own all your ideas. If you come up with anything while working for them, Disney owns the rights to it. Sure they give you a cut, but they own it. I know some folks that work for them and they say they just keep their ideas in the back of their heads until the day they no longer work for the mouse. If they were to think up a character, and draw it out now, then in years to come with they no longer work for Disney use it to make a comic or something and Disney can prove the initial ideas came to be when the worker was under them, Disney would sue to get the money they are owed. Sorry I know thats all off topic, but it's all Disney stuff.
I love Disney! I got married in Disney World. But would I ever work for them? Not unless Walt came back from the grave.
My understanding is that you could license the use of the images from Disney (of course, for a hefty price, I would imagine). Usually this is in the realm of manufacturers, and my understanding is that (and someone correct me if I'm wrong) the licenses tend to be exclusive for an item. For example, one company could be licensed for that time period to make Mickey and Minnie dolls, however another company at that same time could make Mickey and Minnie coffee cups... that kind of thing. As for just using the Disney characters on an artists' work whenever that artist feels like it, uh, no. She will be lucky if Disney doesn't find out about her, if she is in fact doing that without any sort of licensing agreement. Disney is known for being particularly nasty about defending its copyrights... I've even heard stories about them threatening daycare centers for little children, who painted a Disney character on the playroom wall for the children to look at.
The sewing machine companies probably have an agreement with Disney and the other copyright holders of the stitched characters images they offer. One would hope. I would also hope that somewhere in the fine print when you, as a sewing machine user, receive those character images, would tell you exactly whether your rights to the images were 'recreational use', 'personal use', etc. If you've ever looked at the edge of a bolt of fabric at the fabric store, generally the fabric with copyrighted characters (such as Disney) will have such a warning written on them, specifying that the fabric is not to be used commercially. I once bought some Daisy Kingdom brand fabric at the store, only to get home and realize that they had a message on the side specifiying non-commercial use. Wound up donating the fabric to a woman who makes quilts for charity cases, as we couldn't have used it for our 'for sale' bears.
Anyway, just my $0.02
Kelly - You are totally right. Many, many companies hold Disney copywrites. What those companies can do with them is very limited and strictly enforced. Say you pay to get a copywrite to make a disney shirt. You have to get the image(s) approved and the product approved by Disney. Any deviation by using another image (even slightly different) or another product is breaking the rules.
My husband had to send them all the working files on the project and promise they wouldn't be kept.
Brother makes a Disney embroidery machine. I went to their website, but found no information on the allowed uses of the patterns. You can email and ask the question, but have to set yourself up as a customer. They do have a US toll free phone number though.
I know that normally when I buy embroidery patterns ... though I've never purchased any Disney patterns, the website or whatever will say that you can use for personal use, or ON ITEMS for sale, but you CANNOT resell the actual file/pattern.
7777 North Brother Blvd.
Bartlett, Tennessee 38133
9:00am to 5:45pm Eastern Time
I just did a quick search online, and I am coming up with the Brother embroidery design cards (featuring Disney) with attached warnings. Here is one from Amazon:
For those who don't want to bother with the link, the warning specifies:
"Disney Designs are for personal use only and cannot be used for re-sale, business, commercial or industrial purposes"
Hope this helps!
That's pretty clear! Lynette's friend may have a little problem.
Here are a couple statements on sites where I purchase embroidery designs. I would think if it was okay to stitch out and then sell the Disney items, there would be statements like these Lynette.
I thought so, I will email her, and I suppose get my head chopped off, she has been nominated twice in the Golden Ted awards, also won an award last year. The way she dresses her bears and the accessories are outstanding, she is extremely talented. Jolanda is a Swiss artist, has a Brother sewing machine, and maybe does not understand the copyright, unless she does have an agreement with Disney.
It is something that has put me in a dilemma- do I shut up and say nothing or do I say something , the bears are on her website- they are ADORABLE, and seem to be selling very well, but I would hate to see her get into trouble, because it is something she misunderstands.
Lynette, good luck with your email! I think if I were to approach such a sensitive subject, I would mention that I greatly admire her work and would not want to see her hurt. But that you have recently been made aware that Disney embroidery designs may be allowed only for personal use, you were concerned and wanted to make sure she knew. Or something like that.
It is my experance that "artist renditions" or limited edtions that do not reach "PRODUCTION" quanitys from artist that use images like the embroidery designs or lets say a disney print materal that you make a vest out of fall under the FACT that you have allready PAID the "ROYALITY" when you bought the product sooooo you would be paying 2 times for the use of the image....In my printing and sublmation work I pay for the images when I buy the image CD and I have payed alot mind you because with that it allows me to make limited product in non production quantys (FYI many companys have there own definition of "Production" ...IN the end the VERY worst that would happen would be the company would send a letter to stop making the product and to distroy the back stock ..As her production is so small I would not be concerened at all lol