Disney’s characters are copyrighted. You can’t use a drawing of Mickey Mouse and sell it on a mug, unless you have authorized consent to distribute the image.
This leaves a lot of questions from crafters asking, Why does Disney go after the little guys?
In short: they have to
I’m not a lawyer (disclaimer!), but since I’m in the crafting industry, I have a fair understanding about copyright.
Let’s pretend that Disney finds out that Crissy Crafter has been using images of Mickey Mouse without permission.
Then, let’s pretend that Disney decides she’s ‘too small’ and doesn’t do anything about it.
In this case, Disney has put itself in a very sticky situation. By failing to press charges, it can be argued that they are ‘allowing’ this illegal usage to occur, and may have trouble defending future cases.
So, they have to pursue every case they find!
What’s a crafter to do?
Disney, as the creator of these characters, has the right to defend the images.
As a crafter, your best course of action is to just do what’s right. Don’t design and sell crochet patterns of Mickey Mouse. Don’t sell necklaces with drawings of Mickey Mouse. Violating someone else’s copyright can get you into trouble.
It’s also unfair a crafter to benefit by using someone else’s brand. By selling ‘Mickey Mouse necklaces’, you’re giving the impression that you have an official connection with Disney, and you are piggybacking off their fame to generate sales for yourself.
Be creative! Come up with your own unique designs and characters! And stay out of trouble!
As always, I welcome comments on this blog post.
However, from past experience, I know that blog posts about copyright are controversial and generate heated discussion.
My goal in writing this post was simply to explain to crafters one motivation behind Disney’s enforcement of its copyright.
As I am not a legal expert, I will not reply to any questions/comments about what is/isn’t copyright infringement. Thank you in advance for understanding.