As soon as you have your design ready, you are free to upload it on Redbubble. Simply click “add product” and select an appropriate category.
But wait, your design looks almost the same as the logo of one hugely popular worldwide company.
I’m not your lawyer and this is not legal advice.
But my advice is to delete this design.
It’s really not worth the trouble.
Can I Use Famous Company Logo on Redbubble?
Redbubble is a website that acts as a marketplace for artists and designers.
Artists upload their own work then rack up sales from over 45 million members over the world.
This is a great way to make money as an artist, but there are some legal questions about using company logos.
In 99%, company logos are trademarked, and this simply means, you are not allowed to use them in any form.
If you use for example the popular red Supreme logo and put it on a t-shirt, then it would be classified as trademark infringement and you can be sued by the company.
Trademark rights are the legal protections given to a company’s trademarks and logos. These rights are violated when someone else uses the design, name, or logo without permission. This is called trademark infringement.
This is why it’s still problematic. You change even one letter, color, or font in your logo and you’re still violating the copyright law.
Logos and other trademarked imagery are legally protected and cannot be used to make money.
Can I Get Banned on Redbubble For Trademark Infringement?
One of the most common questions I hear is ‘can I get banned for uploading a design with a copyrighted or trademarked logo to Redbubble‘, and the answer is yes.
Redbubble has a zero-tolerance policy and will remove any content uploaded by an artist if it has been reported as infringing copyright or trademark law.
Redbubble follows a takedown process modeled after the process set forth in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which provides rights holders the ability to issue takedown notices and the alleged infringers to counter claims of infringement.
Even if I still think that on Redbubble way too many designs that are violating the trademark and copyright laws, I’m still cautious when uploading a design on this marketplace, and I’m always double-checking if anything on my design is trademarked.
What Can and Cannot Be Trademarked?
A trademark is something that helps consumers identify your business as the source of a product or service.
The name, symbol, or logo may not be the only aspect of the company that is trademarked. Companies must apply for trademarks for products that they create as well as domain names.
Trademarks are symbols, phrases, logos, or designs that identify your business.
To register a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you must provide evidence showing that you have used your mark in commerce and can legally use it to identify your goods or services.
You can trademark:
1) The name of a brand (example: Gucci, Supreme, Nike)
2) A logo of a brand (example: The Nike logo)
3) A slogan (example: “Just Do It”)
Creativity is all about connecting the dots. Sometimes, you cannot use logos or slogans on your t-shirt because they are connected to a company that you are not allowed to promote. So, what if you use a name of a popular song as an alternative.
Hold on… this is copyright infringement.
What Is Copyright Infringement?
A copyright is a type of legal protection given to content creators and artists to guard against unauthorized use.
Copyright law is a form of intellectual property law that gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. The law gives authors, composers, artists, and others control over how their creative works are used by others.
When a person creates a story, a work of art, or a piece of software, the copyright provides legal ownership of the work.
The following works are eligible for copyright:
- All literary works: These include short stories, poems, newspaper articles, blogs, plays, official quotes and reference materials.
- Artistic works: These include drawings, paintings, pictures, and sculptures.
- Technical Drawings
- Television shows
- Musical compositions: These include name of the songs, and lyrics.
- Concerts and other live performances
- Computer software
- Computer hardware
As you can see, it is quite difficult to understand what everything is allowed and what is not.
If you want to stay safe on Redbubble and other print-on-demand sites, then you should not use any song names, lyrics, popular TV shows or film names, and so on.
It is not worth the trouble, believe me.
Here Are Some of My Favorite Tools For Print-on-demand
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you build your own print-on-demand business. Here are some tools I use as a designer that I hope you will also find helpful.
Designs: For getting started, I really like Creative Fabrica. They have millions of cheap graphics that can elevate your t-shirt design. If you are not the most skillful designer, then try Placeit or Vexels. These are platforms, where you can find thousands of pre-made t-shirt designs you can easily edit and publish on any print-on-demand platform. I recommend Placeit for beginners and after you get some sales move to Vexels.
Free Designs: I love Canva. I’m using this platform almost every day. With Canva, you can create stunning t-shirt designs, they already have an entire section, where you can make your artwork from scratch or use some pre-made templates and edit them. Canva comes with two main pricing plans: FREE and PRO. And if you are a beginner, then I recommend the free plan, it should be enough for you.
Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, NechEmpire may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.