Is it illegal to sell a new re-design T-shirt as my own, if it is based off of someone else’s design?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it illegal to sell a new re-design T-shirt as my own, if it is based off of someone else’s design?

I saw a cool T-shirt for sale online, and it didn’t come in the type of clothes I wanted. As a graphic designer, I just re-designed it to a different style it looks different, same concept and had it made on a shirt.

Asked on March 31, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, it is most likely illegal. The design you saw would almost certainly be copyrighted. The copyright owner controls not just the original design but adaptations or derivative works (i.e. creating adaptations or derivative designs), which the shirt you describe would seem to be. You most likely cannot do what you stated without the copyright owner's permission.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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 with SHA-256 Encryption