I have noticed that there are promotional videos using characters such as the Minions. Should I be concerned about licensing?
If you’re not one of the following, then you have no reason to be concerned:
- The one using the IP without permission. Or…
- The one who owns the IP that someone else is using without permission.
Yes it is illegal to use a copyrighted character such as minions and anyone who profits from it in any way can have problems like they can’t imagine. I wish people could understand that copying the work of others is not only morally wrong but can cause their lives to be completely ruined if that company comes after them.
I just noticed a GiG saying “I will make a promotional video of a Minion cleaning your logo” in the homepage featured GiGs list.
It’s a gray area when it comes to fan art. There’s no doubt that using a commercial image directly from the IP is frowned upon. Artist created fan art is a bit different. While still violating copyright, usually it won’t be followed up unless you’re making thousands of dollars from the IP. Sometimes it’s actually encouraged. Comic cons wouldn’t be what they are without artists selling swathes of fan art.
Most that’ll likely happen is a C&D letter, at which point it’s best to stop.
Some very poor person in a country like Bangladesh who has zero to lose financially is more safe from a lawsuit than someone who has money in a bank, as a technical matter. At the least they could lose their fiverr account.