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CafePress Storeowner FAQ >

Copyrights, Trademarks, and Legal Issues >

Can I print and sell a design if I don't own the rights to that image?

No.

You can only use a design if either:

  1. You created the design yourself, and did not "borrow" any elements created by someone else, or
  2. You have explicitly gotten permission to use the design (or borrowed elements) in items sold FOR PROFIT.
Also keep in mind:
  • Many clip art collections are sold that give you the right to use the images, but not for profit without an additional licensing fee.
  • In the US, a work is protected by copyright law regardless of whether it bears a copyright statement.
  • Work that is publicly available is not necessarily in the public domain.
  • Crediting the original creator is not sufficient - if it's not yours, you can't use it without permission. Period.
  • If you can't find or contact the copyright holder, TOO BAD. You still can't use it.
  • When in doubt, ASK or DON'T USE IT!
Computers and the web have made it very easy to plagiarize, enough so that some people don't realize how wrong it is. But it is wrong, it is illegal, and if you do it you are the scum of the earth. Upstanding content creators who find out you did it will treat you accordingly, and Cafepress.com will close your store. (Matthew from The ARMAC Store)