Many celebrities are aware that their images have significant monetary value. That is the reason why they protect the use of their images very well. Generally, it is not allowed to print photo celebrity on merchandise for sale. You need an authorization to do so. When you use celebrity images on T-shirts without acquiring permission and the proper licenses, you are setting yourself up for a legal battle. This battle, if you lose, can lead to a big payout to the involved celebrities.
What do you need to get in order to use photo celebrity on T-shirts without worrying about an impending legal battle? You need to get an Image Authorization. Oftentimes, celebrities have agents that oversee the use of their images on merchandise. You need to contact these agents first to get authorization to use photo celebrity on T-shirts. If the celebrity is deceased, a representative needs to authorize the use of an image to a merchandise.
When you use images or merchandise for sale without getting permission, you are taking significant financial risks. You can lose money invested on the merchandise if the celebrities prevail in lawsuits. You will have to stop all sales. You may also be asked to pay celebrities the money they would have received from the T-shirt sales if they authorize you to use their images on the merchandise. Here are other things you need to consider:
- Right to Privacy. This right allows anyone to dispute unwarranted publicity. Celebrities can sue you from printing their images on T-shirts without permission. To legally print images on promotional items, you need to get contracts that outline the parameters of using the images and the compensation they might receive.
- Right to Publicity. This right limits the use of images on merchandise for sale. It recognize the right of a person’s economic value in relation to their creativity and work. If you commit unauthorized use of photo celebrity, you are in serious danger. They only need to prove that their photos have commercial value to pursue their right to publicity.
To avoid any financial damages, only get your images from reliable stock photo websites. It is the cheapest way to use a celebrity photos without worrying about copyright violations. Shutterstock, for instance, offers royalty-free photo celebrity of pretty good value. However, these images are only goof for editorial use. This means, you cannot use them on merchandise for sale. You need to get authorization and contract for the latter.
Photo celebrity for editorial use in stock photo websites are more expensive than the usual stock photos. They can be used in magazines and blog sites when you are writing about the person in the picture. You are not allowed to use them on commercial products and advertising. So, you cannot use them to print on T-shirts.