Copy Right Material

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Copy Right Material

I am opening up an online t shirt business where customers can choose designs provided to them or upload their own design. Since the customer have the option to upload their design, if it’s copy righted and I didn’t know will I get in trouble?

Asked on December 19, 2016 under Business Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could be sued: ignorance of the fact that something is copyrighted (or trademarked) is not a defense to infringement, though the consequences vary with your knowlege and intention: if you can prove that you infringed "innocently," it is likely that the only consequence to you, if the rights owner took legal action, would be an agreement or order that you don't infringe again plus possibly giving up the profit made on the infringement. You can provide some protection for yourself by having an agreement for customers to sign that that they "represent" (or promise) that the design is original and/or that they have the right to use it; and that if the design is found to infringe anyone else's intelletual property, that the customer will indemnify, or pay for, any costs, losses, or expenses you thereby incur. This will not help as much if the design is so well-known that anyone would logically or reasonably know it is infringement to reproduce it, like the logo for a pro sports team or well-known rock band--you could not in that case believably argue, even with this agreement, that your infringement was innocent.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption