Copyright question


I am planning on making my first submission to a threadless competition in the near future, but I had a question about a possible copyright issue before going any further. Without going into too much detail, the design I have in mind would be a depiction of a component of a board game. The design would be recognizable as a part of the game, but it would be modified quite a bit.

I apologize for the vague quality of the question, but I would like to keep the details to myself in case I do decide to submit it.

Thank you all very much, and have a fantastic day.

Watch this
Mantichore profile pic Alumni

it can be an issue, but that's not 100% sure, it depends on how much it looks like the actual copyrighted thing. Threadless is very careful about copyrighted designs, but designs like these: "Recessionopoly" and "this game sucks" both feature copyrighted stuff and have been printed. My advice: make it and submit, then you'll see :) (or ask for a critique in the forum)


If it's a parody of the board game then it's fair use according to their terms.

Here's some useful info for you.

Bio-bot 9000
Bio-bot 9000 profile pic Alumni

In addition to the links above, one of my rules of thumb is to avoid making designs that look like they could have been made by the original copyright holder. Like if you just have a drawing of Superman, no matter how awesome it is, there are already thousands of Superman shirts, licensed by DC. But if you make a funny reference to Superman in a style that is unlikely to be construed as official DC merchandise (like this one), it has a better chance of falling into the parody and free use category.

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