Jump to content
ME6128

Copyright Liability for Customer Created Products

Recommended Posts

I run a clothing business. I am toying with the idea of allowing my customers to design their own products. They would have the artwork - where ever it came from - they would upload it, complete the purchase & I would manufacture and ship. What is my liability on potentially producing items that are using copyrighted materials, i.e. NFL logos, Disney Characters, etc? Is it still my responsibility to "police" what is being ordered or would the liability fall onto the customer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah - that is sort of what I thought. I'm just not sure how to prevent people from uploading whatever random artwork they find online. Would a release of liability from the customer that states they own the artwork cover me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, ME6128 said:

I'm just not sure how to prevent people from uploading whatever random artwork they find online.

 

You can't.

 

9 minutes ago, ME6128 said:

Would a release of liability from the customer that states they own the artwork cover me?

 

No. Not against the rightful owner. But it might provide a cause of action for indemnification. But good luck chasing down a customer who bought a $20 T-shirt that cost you thousands in attorney fees.

 

I suggest you abandon the idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ME6128 said:

What is my liability on potentially producing items that are using copyrighted materials, i.e. NFL logos, Disney Characters, etc?

 

I'm not quite sure what the question means, but rather obviously infringing copyrights or trademarks owned by the entities mentioned would be incredibly bad business.  Both of the entities mentioned are fanatical about enforcing their actual or perceived intellectual property rights.

 

 

1 hour ago, ME6128 said:

Is it still my responsibility to "police" what is being ordered or would the liability fall onto the customer?

 

As for the first part of this question, if you don't want to start receiving cease and desist letters and getting sued, yes.  As for the second part of the question, both of you could be held liable.

 

 

1 hour ago, ME6128 said:

I'm just not sure how to prevent people from uploading whatever random artwork they find online.

 

You can't, but you don't have to produce merchandise just because someone uploads artwork.

 

 

1 hour ago, ME6128 said:

Would a release of liability from the customer that states they own the artwork cover me?

 

No.  If I uploaded the Tennessee Titans' logo and told you I owned it, would you believe me?

 

The most you can get from a customer is an agreement to indemnify you in the event of a lawsuit, but that probably wouldn't be worth much.

 

You need to lay eyes on everything uploaded and run reverse image searches.  You also need to carry appropriate insurance in case something slips through.  A standard commercial liability policy probably won't be sufficient, so discuss this with an insurance agent to make sure your insurance coverage is sufficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...