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Wall mural copyright question

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by MarkK, Feb 17, 2010.

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  1. MarkK

    MarkK Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello, I have been tossing around the idea of starting a small mural business, my main source of marketing will be a website. Over the years I have painted my kids rooms and friends/family's kids rooms with whatever characters they wanted them decorated with. Since this was not for profit and only for my own kids or family members I had no problem covering the walls with Disney/Muppet/Comic characters. I have been told for years that I am quite good at this and should consider trying to make some extra cash, well I am now in a position where I can attempt that. My problem is, my portfolio pretty much consists of all copyrighted material. I know it is illegal to paint Disney/Muppets/Comics for money without permisson. My question is if I can use what I have done for marketing purposes on my website, perhaps with some kind of disclaimer that all examples were done for personal use. I have created many great Disney/Comic themed childrens room murals over the years and would hate to not be able to use any of them as examples of my work. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated. In a nutshell, I am aware I can not paint anything protected under copyrights for profit, but can I use copyrighted characters I have painted for personal non-profit use as marketing samples.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    The easy answer I can give you is the practical one. I would find it hard to believe you would be sued or sent a cease and desist if you used the pictures of your kids' rooms for your portfolio as examples, not that you will paint Disney characters on the walls of others for a set fee. They are concerned with lost revenues, not a picture of something you did at home for your kids. I'd be shocked if you ever received a letter. If you want to be safe, you can provide a description limiting what you'll paint and the pictures are personal examples only. I doubt Disney wants bad press or to waste time with another letter.



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