Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login

Do you think it's alright, for plush artist to take commissions or auction off copyrighted characters? 

499 deviants said I think as long as they don't mass produce them, its fine.
258 deviants said Its only ok, if the owners/companies give permission, or completely ok with it.
191 deviants said If it's a commission for someone, and not made to just sale for a easy profit.
142 deviants said No! its never ok to make money off copyrighted characters.
126 deviants said yes.
31 deviants said I think as long as they just hold auctions for them and never offer them as commissions, its fine.

Devious Comments

Eimu Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2014
It's illegal so no.
shadowsoffear Featured By Owner May 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Usually it's for a character that does not have an existing plush. And most plush makers I know put the disclaimer at the bottom to give credit to the series.
Toyger Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think it's fine as long as it's an original or made in a small quantity.
Fireblast133 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
it's a matter of if they only make them on a per request basis. Given many want their own character made, that's their own copyright, therefore them getting it commissioned means the maker has in no possible way violated copyright, cause the owner is giving them money and authorization in return for a product of such. Canon is a different matter, but the maker has to put effort in, and they all put their own spin on things.
Rocketai Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
I believe that making profit over a mass-produce can be quite a trouble. However, if you are asked for a COMMISSION, that means it's much more personal to what the client wants, so, in theory, you're not exactly breaking any rules by "selling" a copyrighted character. You're not exactly using the image of a copyrighted character as profit, but rather, following what your client wants. At least, that's my opinion.

I think that a good example could be you being a professional photographer. You're then contracted by a cosplayer to take pictures of them as copyrighted character. You take the pictures and sell them back to the cosplayer. I HIGHLY doubt you're gonna be sued because you're asking for payment for your work and the actual content is of a copyright material. However, it wasn't by your choice that the content is copyrighted, you merely followed instructions and deserves some sort of profit for putting your habilities to use. I dunno, I'm not a pro at these things, but it's just how I see.
Xintetsu Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013
believe it or not alot of toys, products and other mass produced fan things are sold and commissioned all the time, products and such usually have little relation to the creators of a show...atleast thats how i understood it from something i watched on discovery channel.
blue-skyedillusions Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Commissions are a personal thing and hold more artist rights, if someone ASKS you to do something then you have the right to sell it to that particular person. It's kind of like burning a movie for a friend I suppose... continuing that analogy if you began mass producing burned movies with no intent on WHO you're selling it to it's totally different (: I hope that helped
DestroX71689 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I would let somebody make plushes of my character under 2 conditions. 1. I get credited as the creator of the character. 2. I get one for free as the creator. Other than that as long as they don't mass produce them I don't want any cut for their hard work.
vengeofthestars Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
regardless of whether or not is 'okay' its illegal. There is no opinion on this matter. Its straight up illegal.
Romantic-Outlaw Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013
yeah, but I think the poll was about how people feel about the law in question. People can have opinions about laws.
vengeofthestars Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
"Do you think its alright for an artist to-"
You can have an opinion but whether or not its okay isnt an opinion because its illegal. Kinda means its automatically not alright.

and in my opinion, making money off of famous Original characters is no different from making money off of nonfamous original characters.
if someone used my character design and made money off of it id be pissed and its no different for pokemon or any other well known fandom. Its stealing.
DestroX71689 Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I encourage it. If these big companies see how well these things sell then maybe they'll consider mass producing them themselves.
wezenbeesje Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
I would hate it if someone makes plush from my characters!
MileniaKitsuvee Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The majority of big companies could care less and see it as free advertising anyways since they aren't really losing anything. The problem is when someone mass produces them and start selling them as much as originals, thus competing with the actual true company.
Gemini000 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
IMHO, hand-made plushies are a huge time commitment and every single one is unique. Following through with a commission for a licensed character for just a single item isn't going to destroy the market and isn't going to affect the license holder negatively, so I don't see a problem with that. Beyond which, it would be hard for the license holder to prove damages, which would be ncessary to win any such case in court.

However, if the person making the plushies started to hurt the sales of plushies made by the license holder, and this could be proven, then it's definitely a problem and the license holder is well within their rights to stop the other person.
Mevrona Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013   General Artist
If the character belongs to a company that is so well off that a bit of copyright infringements can't affect them, it's okay. (this still means no mass production)

If it's a small company or a small artist that is in the process of rising up or is having financial trouble- STAY AWAY.
NyamburaDawn Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
as long as they give credit where credit is due, I see no problem with it... if the company doesn't want to mass produce them at an affordable price, or in a style people like, I don't see any problem with people looking else where... besides... they deserve the money they ask for... between materials, time, and all that energy... :)
Jo-san Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why have copyright laws if they only exist to break?
I've seen many lovely fanworks of, for example, FiM characters. But I don't think they are okay to sell, and I would never accept a commission with copyrighted characters should I ever start to offer them.
tarvae Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
It's an interesting question, it IS copyright violation but....

I'm reminded of how, when an artist here on DA get's upset if a piece of their work has been used without permission, I wonder if they download music or films.

Where can we draw the line?

When is copyright infringement ok and when is it not?
Auriman1 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
If one lives in America, at least, "parody" is pretty thoroughly protected as a right. Short of flat-out trying to pass something off as licensed official merchandise or tracing official art or ripping code from a game/application, pretty much anything goes.

Which is why things like M.A.D. TV are allowed to continue existing and thrive, even though they're clearly profiting from things they don't have explicit permission to use.
DragonLilies Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
If it's a commission it's fine, otherwise I would get company permission. Mostly because I wouldn't want to deal with complaints. I've had people get on my case for using line king lineart just to color because I was bored, but apparently "it's wrong" to even do that without permission. :P
Skystar-Warrior Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
I'd have to say that if the owner/company that owns the character says its ok then its fine, but otherwise I don't think that it would be a good idea. Or if you jut make like a plushie from a movie or something its fine, as long as its not mass produced and your not taking money from their profit.
Xeshaire Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well to keep it short:
I think it's wrong if you don't have permission.
It would be the same if someone started making plushes of YOUR characters and sell them, wouldn't be right either. >~<
Lyra-The-Lost Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I say no, I don't think it's right to make money off of someone else's character. Not without their permission, that's not right.
Felidire Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So long as they're "commissioned" (not pre-made with the intent on selling them to make profit), and the design is unique (no intention of ever making another identical), then it's 100% fine.

If you're being commissioned, then you're being paid for a "service", and not for "goods".

I think any sensible, logical person would agree? x3
Nemo-TV-Champion Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
That's a good question..

One mlp plush maker :iconwhitedove-creations: had some problems was actually contacted by Hasbro (through dA)... not sure about the exact issue, but I know they had a problem of some kind.

So I guess if you want to do it, be careful about it? o_o
goiku Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
That's probably partly because they label themselves as professional, what is seen as someone who owns a small business and makes profit of their creations as part of their living. The characters are being made multiple times as well, that is bound to attract attention.
VibrantEchoes Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's basically the same thing as taking commissions for regular art of a copyrighted character, which is fine as long as you're not tracing it or trying to claim the character as your own creation. In that respect, as long as you're not copying an official pattern or anything of the like, I see nothing wrong with it.
PsykoaktiveFantasi Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
It's the same concept if someone were to commission a person to draw a character from an anime or something,they're making money from the art/supplies,not because of the company/copyright.
labramazing Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
You need to add an option for people like me who have no idea xD
Randomonium09 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you're not the copyright holder, you need explicit, written permission from the copyright holder to make money using any copyrighted thing. That's law, by the way, not my opinion.

My opinion is pretty similar, though. Unless the copyright holder has explicitly stated that they don't mind random people making money from fan art or the like, then I have issues with people making money from fan art.
CavySpirit Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I personally think of it this way: When someone commissions you for a plush of a copyrighted character, the artist is making money off the supplies and work. Sure, the character helps sell the commission in the first place, but it's not "mass produced" like in a factory. Artists create individual pieces, so it's nothing "official". If another company, on the other hand, were to produce, for example, a massive amount of Rainbow Dash plushes and sell them as Rainbow Dash from MLP, that's different.

It's weird, yes. But I think it's totally fine for artists to sell art and commissions with copyrighted characters. It's the art, not the character, that people want. If the art wasn't there in the first place, then no one would buy it. If their favorite character didn't exist, then they'd still commission their favorite artists with something else lol

I'm terrible at explaining things but that's just how I see it c:

Plus I think it's tricky to get permission by the big companies sometimes lol I know there are TONS of pony plushes sold all the time and for crazy-high amounts. But it's more for the cost of supplies and work for the artist. Same goes with any form of art and fursuits. c:

Plus... when the companies make "official plushes" of their popular characters and such.. they kinda suck lol Like the Toothless plushes that were available when HTTYD came out.. TOOTHLESS IS BLACK AND GRAY.. NOT BLUE omg it bugged me haha
And I think with some companies they find it like a compliment when people make and sell commissioned art of their stuff. Helps keep their show/game/movie/etc.. alive, ya know? c:
alexyoshida Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
What I usually see people do is make one big change or leave something out so that the character can no longer be considered a copy of the original, but I personally don't like this because I'd rather have a doll as close to the real character design as possible.
Wendrom Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
It is evil and wrong!
XxSindertheDragonxX Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As long as it isn't mass produced, it's fine to me. Some companies make poorly designed plushies where they are missing things or just aren't made of good quality, so I would rather pay more for a higher quality and more spot on plushie.
FoxinRamen Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
When it comes to doing plushies for people that involve copyrighted characters, I always like to consider it as paying the person for their skills and services to make any plushie whatsoever. I mean, if the character(s) they asked for didn't have any decent quality plushies to begin with, I can see why they'd do that.
Though if there's characters that don't have plush merchandise and the creator explicitly requests you don't use their IP for money (i.e. Homestuck), then it's best to abide with that request.
PhoenixofLife Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Technically, making money from anything copyrighted, even if just fanart, is illigal. However, it still happens, and I don't hate it. That where the fandom is generally born, and I like to see it as you're paying for the matierials that are used, and not the character themselves. I mean, there's nothing illigal about drawing fanart, or making plushies of characters.
Akita48 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it's okay as long as you point out that it isn't yours and who the copyright goes to. o __o
TaiusQuinn Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
If artists start to blur the lines between canon copyrighted characters, and OCs, then that means companies can find OC designs they like, and use the same logic.

Seeing as it's a bit of a two way street, it's better not to do that as a principal.

There's also a /very/ fine line between things like fan art, and selling pieces of work of that character to someone other than a company representative.
LilithCorthaine Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its kind of a two way street.

On one hand, you are selling a copyrighted character.
On the other hand, you are not mass producing it for profit.

I would have to say, yes, its wrong, for the sake of legal issues.
Then again, I draw such characters for commissions so... I fail on that moral standing XD
DragonPortal Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Seems ok to me, especially if someone who is paying for the plush doesn't have characters of their own and at an easier and cheaper price ^^
goiku Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
In that case the majority of DA would be violating copyright XD Look at all the pony plushie selling for loads of money on ebay. Nah, as long as you don't start mass-producing it will hardly make a impact.
SoulStainedBlue Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Eh, I'm sure it'sok as lokng as you don't start makin' a buch of the characters just to sell. If ya made one tho an ya don't want it, well what else are ya supposed ta do with it? Commissions are good too because I mean the major companies don't always make the character someone specifically wants, and that's not fair, so a commission would be the only way to get it.
Codin-the-Fe-Matoran Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It's legal and I think it's perfectly okay, but if it's a character made by a small crew and not a big corporation then I think permission should be given first.
Shedew Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think it's okay, if you wanna have a pic of (for example) Altair from Assassins Creed, copyrighted by ubisoft.
But i would be furious, if somebody pays money to someone for a pic of my character. Interesting topic, i think.
I think it's fine, if its a book- or a gamecharacter, a popular one.
If someone is writing a book about his charakter or a story and somebody aks another artist for a commission about that character, it's not ok. So, if nobody is allowed to do commissions for other persons who aren't allowed to use them, artists could'nt sell ponies and other Fanart. But, it wouldn't be real fanart. I think it's ok with famous & popular characters and species like ml-ponies, but if the artist is on dA, they should only use points and credit the owner of the character & ask for permission first.
Dunno, difficult topic.
Jacqueline-Victoria Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student General Artist
for stuff like pokemon its fine but for something of someone's characters, or someone's personal business I think its wrong. MLP and Pokemon and stuff like that is ok as long as you acknowledge that it is not your personal creation
Hyorina Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Its only ok, if the owners/companies give permission, or completely ok with it. c:
Psitt Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I think it's OK- You aren't trying to say it's yours and people like custom, one of a kind pieces of their favorite characters
lucas420 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i would say it's okay as long as they are not mass produced. having permission would be an extra good thing xD
LilithCorthaine Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Here is an example.

Person 1 and person 2 both sell plushies.
Both person 1 and 2 make copyrighted characters, BUT, person 1 mass produces them for profit, where as person 2 only makes them when commissioned.
Person 1 is selling for profit. Person 2 is selling them only when an order comes in.

Its literally a two way street, but person 1 is bound to get into more trouble than person 2 for the circumstances that are in effect.
Add a Comment:

Poll History