Can you sell merch with video game characters?

Can you sell merch with video game characters?

MsSkeptical
Explorer
41 1 9

I have this potential client, it's still in the planning stage. The group of young people (well, teenagers to be precise) wants me to build their website. They are into this game called Wizardia and they want to create T-shirts using stuff from their collection. I know a lot of people do this when they dropship stuff, but I'm curious to know if this would cause them future problems when they sell these merch on Shopify and particularly if they can advertise on Facebook? They are really enthusiastic about this and are really keen on having their own brand if all goes well. I wouldn’t want to see them investing time and money in vain.

Reply 1 (1)

Sajat
Shopify Partner
220 22 35

Hi there,

Yes, you would need permission. Characters are protected by copyright, not just the specific image of them, but the whole character.

Fan art is technically a copyright infringement, but one that few manufacturers find it worthwhile to go after with lawsuits. But t-shirt vendors, that’s a perfect target.

Anytime you want to consider a business model that involves stuff made by other people, you need to talk to a lawyer about your plans. Laws tend to be very situation specific and there may be a few ways you could do this in your country legally, without asking permission of the video game company.