Lately I’ve been trying to think of what I can blog about to be helpful to other crafters. I’ve been thinking that I should talk about trademarks for a while now. Yesterday, a local business owner shared some posts about NFL Logo and Trademarks. A lot of my crafting friends shared it around, so I’m thinking maybe this is something that needs to be dug into a little bit more.
This week the Kansas City Chiefs won a play off game and they are headed to the Super Bowl. This is a huge deal because we live in the Midwest and this is basically everyone’s team. Immediately after the game local businesses starting posting orders for Chiefs shirts. And it kinda made me cringe a little, but also Not My Business.
The next day I got a few messages from people asking if I could make them Chiefs decals and shirts and I quickly said “nope… copyright laws!” and held my breath because I’m a people pleaser and hate disappointing people. But, also I have to stand my ground too. I have absolutely done things in the past for friends, because they were my friends and I hate telling people no.
However, now that I have revamped by business and rebranded, I have set ground rules to myself and one of them is that it’s ok to say no. There are so many other people in my area that do this type of thing, so maybe someone else will be willing to help them. But, I don’t do custom orders, and I certainly am not doing trademarked stuff.
And it’s for a good reason! In order to be able to see licensed stuff, you have to purchase the license… and it’s expensive. And the company has to approve what you are selling. As in: “Ok, for $3,000 you can sell up to 500 shirts with this particular design”. No thank you.
When you are selling things that aren’t your intellectual property, you are running a risk of receiving letters in the mail telling you to stop, being sued, having to pay back those profits, having your facebook shut down.
This includes buying designs. Baby Yoda is all over Etsy and Disney will shut you down in a heartbeat. Just because the design is for sale, doesn’t mean its legal to sell it.
Now, please know that I’m not trying to tell anyone how to run their business. It’s not my business how you do business. However, this is stuff that I wasn’t aware of when I started making and selling vinyl crafts. To each their own, but its food for thought. I don’t think it’s worth the risk.