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  • [Question] Question about selling photos

    Okay, so I discovered this site called Imagekind where users can sell their uploaded photos to others. It's a online print service so you just post the photos online and imagekind will take care of the rest.

    However, a lot of my photos are of Disneyland and before I go ahead and start trying to sell those images, I was wondering, can I legally do that?

    If I took the photograph, then technically it is my photo and I am free to do whatever I want, but being that disneyland is private property, it gets a tad complicated. Toss out your opinions or answers. Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Question about selling photos

    U.S. Copyright Office - Copyright Law of the United States

    Read the "contract" on the ticket or pass. Typically buildings, people in the employ of the company or visitors, and trademarked works including logos, are fair game to photograph and you own the copyright under the "contract" restrictions. That does not necessarily mean you can sell or use for commercial purposes a photo you took at Disneyland if it contains such trademarked items.





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    • #3
      Re: Question about selling photos

      Everything at Disneyland - everything - is Disney intellectual property and registered trademarks. Photos may only be sold only by Disney or a licensee - personal photos may be shared however, if there's no profit motive.

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      • #4
        Re: Question about selling photos

        Originally posted by Insighter View Post
        Everything at Disneyland - everything - is Disney intellectual property and registered trademarks.
        Close, but no. Not everything at Disneyland is covered. Some of Disneyland is in the public domain.
        Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

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        • #5
          Re: Question about selling photos

          Originally posted by steamboatpete View Post
          Close, but no. Not everything at Disneyland is covered. Some of Disneyland is in the public domain.
          Like?

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          • #6
            Re: Question about selling photos

            if you were selling pictures of yourself in DL - I doubt anyone would bother. And the focus of the photos are different.

            Trying to sell your photos as art of Disney pictures - you'll likely come across some threat because they'll be the focus of the photos and you'll be trying to profit off their likenesses and imagery.
            Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


            Am I evil? yes, I am
            Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

            Originally posted by sleepyjeff
            Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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            • #7
              Re: Question about selling photos

              Originally posted by dland_lover View Post
              Like?
              The original buildings, e.g. For further explanation, check these threads:

              http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ml#post2010453

              http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ml#post2379262
              Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

              Tom Chaney Memorial Debate Lounge Quote of the Week:

              [None]
              The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough - Randy Pausch

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              • #8
                Re: Question about selling photos

                Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                if you were selling pictures of yourself in DL - I doubt anyone would bother. And the focus of the photos are different.

                Trying to sell your photos as art of Disney pictures - you'll likely come across some threat because they'll be the focus of the photos and you'll be trying to profit off their likenesses and imagery.
                does that mean that if I paint a really awesome picture if mickey I can't sell it? If a photo is art - wouldn't it be the same as a painting in that regard?
                Hidden Mickey - Tower of Terror



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                • #9
                  Re: Question about selling photos

                  Originally posted by CMHusband View Post
                  does that mean that if I paint a really awesome picture if mickey I can't sell it? If a photo is art - wouldn't it be the same as a painting in that regard?
                  good point. from my understanding, the likeness of mickey is a copyright of disney so technically, i dont think you can make a profit off your painting unless disney approves.

                  i guess the same would apply for Disneyland property. it's just a question if whether or not disney would take legal action.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Question about selling photos

                    Originally posted by steamboatpete View Post
                    The original buildings, e.g. For further explanation, check these threads:

                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ml#post2010453

                    http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ml#post2379262
                    So technically speaking, since the original structures of Disneyland are in public domain, I can take photos and sell those pieces.

                    However, that doesn't necessarily mean if Disney will find loopholes to get me to stop selling my work or sue me. On the other hand, this will cost them (and myself) a lot to do, and really, what kind of damages can I be creating if I (theoretically, I don't sell any yet) sell photographs? I am promoting the park and it's not like Disney sells these works to people that may want them (in truth, nobody really wants to buy prints of my work).

                    So in short, since buildings are in public domain, I can sell the photographs. Disney can go after me, but the cost of doing so isn't worth it since it pretty much counts for free advertising. Plus would they really want to go after a shareholder, D23 member, and Annual pass visitor who contributes money to their profits (hehe, rehtorical question, please don't bash me)?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Question about selling photos

                      Originally posted by CMHusband View Post
                      does that mean that if I paint a really awesome picture if mickey I can't sell it? If a photo is art - wouldn't it be the same as a painting in that regard?
                      Look at Andy Warhol. One of his most famous works, besides the Campbell's soup can, and Elvis,The Beatles, and Marilyn Monroe- is his screen print series of Mickey Mouse.
                      Yet he was not sued for copyright.
                      It's rather convoluted, but- taking an image of something and changing it a certain percentage allows you to create an entirely different artwork, ergo no copyright infringement. Change has to be 30 percent I believe but don't quote me on that.
                      If I was to paint a picture of Walt Disney I could sell it as an original work of art. If I took a photograph of Walt Disney- could I sell it? Sure. What if he was my childhood neighbour? Just because he is famous doesn't mean that I couldn't sell a picture that I took of him. Now- I couldn't sell a picture I had taken of him, if it belonged to another person, say his daughter. What if I stole a pic of Walt from his daughter and tried to sell it? Stolen merchandise, and I would not own copyright.
                      But what if I found a picture of Walt in the early days at Kansas Film Ad, and I bought it. Could I resell it. Yes- because ownership could not be proved, and it would have a historical connotation.
                      This is why they have copyright and trademark lawyers. The photo of Walt is not trademarked, the name Disney might be be. But- if I was a member of a Toronto family who ran a business called Disney Display, would I be charged with copyright infringement. No- because I am a member of the Disney family many times removed, but it is my legal name. Now- if I opened a restaurant called Walt's Place- and had pics of Walt on the walls..maybe some memorabilia, I may not be sued necessarily, but if those pictures include wall paintings of the Disney characters, I can be sued for copyright infringement. Or if it was called Disney's and it was expressly a restaurant that celebrated the Disney Company or legacy..then I could be sued for copyright infringement. And trademark violation.
                      If I just drew a picture of Mickey, and said it was from a short called Mickey's New Car...I could be sued for fraud. But wait- what if I worked on the short Mickey's new car? And I sold one of myt production roughs? Legally everything I did while in the employ of Disney belonged to them. So- I could legally be prosecuted for theft. But wait you say- what about the huge Disney cel art franchise. What about the nine old men? Some of their original animation roughs are out there and selling for tons o' bucks..why aren't they being sued or prosecuted for theft.
                      Depends. At the time their contracts may not have stipulated that all artwork not used was to be shredded. And there is that historical angle again.
                      I just know that Disney owns rights to my image in perpetuity and in all known universes.
                      Clear as mud?

                      Good, my work here is done...have a nice day.
                      Last edited by GorillaGirl; 10-22-2009, 12:44 AM.


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                      • #12
                        Re: Question about selling photos

                        Ryanvalle, I would strongly recommend against selling your photos of Disneyland. No, they may not sue you, but they will find out who you are and may deny you access to the park. I have been asked by security on several occasions if I am a professional photographer and If I sell my work. I make it extremely clear that I do not and that I am not a professional. The gear or quality of work does not make you a professional, selling your work does. Trust me. They do not want you to sell your photos of the park. Do yourself, and ever other disneyland photo nut on this board, a favor and don't do it. This could cause everyone with a decent camera, problems. It could lead to gear restrictions as displayed in the past if enough people do this. I have seen on several occasions that this issue is a big deal to them. PM me if you have any questions or want more detailed experiences. If you cherish the ability to photograph without any problems in a place that you love, then trust me on this one. Seriously. The privilege and joy of taking pictures in the park is worth much more then making a few bucks.
                        Last edited by orbitalpunk; 10-22-2009, 03:56 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Question about selling photos

                          Originally posted by CMHusband View Post
                          does that mean that if I paint a really awesome picture if mickey I can't sell it? If a photo is art - wouldn't it be the same as a painting in that regard?
                          No - just because you 'create' the work doesn't absolve you from any potential copyright conflicts.

                          For instance, you couldn't make a living off of painting Mickey Mouse murals for people without the Mouse's permission (even tho many people do, they could be shutdown if the mouse wanted). Even though you did the painting, if you are copying the original too much you would be in violation of their copyright and right to control the commercial use of the likeness of their creation. There is some formulation on what makes something 'original' instead of 'copy' that applies to art.. and there is a similar extension that applies to photography as well.

                          For instance, you couldn't just take a photo of someone's art, and then call it original just because you took the photo, not them. There is a technical distinction about how the original piece is the focus of the picture, etc. So for instance, taking a photo of someone with the original artwork in the picture, but not being the focus (or some other funky distinction they make) is fine, but just a photo of the art itself would not be an original piece as it relates to the art piece in the photo.

                          Photos as they are used here and often on sites like this while they normally would be copyright infringing as derived works, they are allowable under fair use for reporting, etc.

                          But if you were to start taking photos of the castle down mainstreet, well framed, and set purely to showcase the art and style of Disneyland, and were to go off and try to sell them. You'd have the mouse try to bully you if they found you.
                          Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                          Am I evil? yes, I am
                          Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                          Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                          Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                          • #14
                            Re: Question about selling photos

                            Originally posted by GorillaGirl View Post
                            It's rather convoluted, but- taking an image of something and changing it a certain percentage allows you to create an entirely different artwork, ergo no copyright infringement. Change has to be 30 percent I believe but don't quote me on that.
                            If I was to paint a picture of Walt Disney I could sell it as an original work of art. If I took a photograph of Walt Disney- could I sell it? Sure. What if he was my childhood neighbour? Just because he is famous doesn't mean that I couldn't sell a picture that I took of him. Now- I couldn't sell a picture I had taken of him, if it belonged to another person, say his daughter. What if I stole a pic of Walt from his daughter and tried to sell it? Stolen merchandise, and I would not own copyright.
                            But what if I found a picture of Walt in the early days at Kansas Film Ad, and I bought it. Could I resell it. Yes- because ownership could not be proved, and it would have a historical connotation.
                            This is why they have copyright and trademark lawyers. The photo of Walt is not trademarked, the name Disney might be be. But- if I was a member of a Toronto family who ran a business called Disney Display, would I be charged with copyright infringement. No- because I am a member of the Disney family many times removed, but it is my legal name. Now- if I opened a restaurant called Walt's Place- and had pics of Walt on the walls..maybe some memorabilia, I may not be sued necessarily, but if those pictures include wall paintings of the Disney characters, I can be sued for copyright infringement. Or if it was called Disney's and it was expressly a restaurant that celebrated the Disney Company or legacy..then I could be sued for copyright infringement. And trademark violation.
                            If I just drew a picture of Mickey, and said it was from a short called Mickey's New Car...I could be sued for fraud. But wait- what if I worked on the short Mickey's new car? And I sold one of myt production roughs? Legally everything I did while in the employ of Disney belonged to them. So- I could legally be prosecuted for theft. But wait you say- what about the huge Disney cel art franchise. What about the nine old men? Some of their original animation roughs are out there and selling for tons o' bucks..why aren't they being sued or prosecuted for theft.
                            Depends. At the time their contracts may not have stipulated that all artwork not used was to be shredded. And there is that historical angle again.
                            I just know that Disney owns rights to my image in perpetuity and in all known universes.
                            Clear as mud?

                            Good, my work here is done...have a nice day.
                            You are right. No one should quote you on this stuff. There are many laws in place, including not just copyright, but trademark, right of publicity and property rights and contract law that make a lot of what you said incorrect, from your first assertion (that 30% changes makes a derivative work non-infringing) to your last (that Disney owns rights to an image in perpetuity and in all known universes).
                            Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

                            Tom Chaney Memorial Debate Lounge Quote of the Week:

                            [None]
                            The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough - Randy Pausch

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                            • #15
                              Re: Question about selling photos

                              Originally posted by ryanvalle View Post
                              So technically speaking, since the original structures of Disneyland are in public domain, I can take photos and sell those pieces.

                              However, that doesn't necessarily mean if Disney will find loopholes to get me to stop selling my work or sue me. On the other hand, this will cost them (and myself) a lot to do, and really, what kind of damages can I be creating if I (theoretically, I don't sell any yet) sell photographs? I am promoting the park and it's not like Disney sells these works to people that may want them (in truth, nobody really wants to buy prints of my work).

                              So in short, since buildings are in public domain, I can sell the photographs.
                              The trick for you is going to be photographing those public domain buildings without violating your license to be on the property at Disneyland. Any structures built before buildings won copyright protection (e.g., the Matterhorn) are in the public domain, but you have to lawfully photograph them, which means you need to do so from a public place, or you need to do so on site but with permission from Disney. I'm not sure if or how you can get into the park without some mandate on a ticket or contract that says you have the right to take photos only for non-commercial purposes.

                              Maybe if you bring a camera during the CHOC Walk or something, Disney might slip up and let people in without dictating that they can't take photos for commercial purposes.
                              Fight On!:sc: Beat the Red Wolves!

                              Tom Chaney Memorial Debate Lounge Quote of the Week:

                              [None]
                              The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough - Randy Pausch

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Re: Question about selling photos

                                The relevant case law is a famous case, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum v. Gentile Productions, 134 F.3d 749 (6th Cir. Ohio 1998); basic holding of the case being that pictures of buildings are not a trademark violation.

                                The very simple answer to your question is: yes, you can sell the photos as long as you don't try to imply some sort of endorsement by Disney.

                                But case law always changes. Disney can attempt to sue, Disney can create creative arguments and since Disney is stronger and more powerful, it becomes to expensive to argue Disney, even if Disney's argument is weak.

                                Originally posted by GorillaGirl View Post
                                Look at Andy Warhol. One of his most famous works, besides the Campbell's soup can, and Elvis,The Beatles, and Marilyn Monroe- is his screen print series of Mickey Mouse.
                                Yet he was not sued for copyright.
                                It's rather convoluted, but- taking an image of something and changing it a certain percentage allows you to create an entirely different artwork, ergo no copyright infringement.
                                ......
                                And there is that historical angle again.
                                I just know that Disney owns rights to my image in perpetuity and in all known universes.
                                Clear as mud?

                                Good, my work here is done...have a nice day.
                                Hopefully nobody listens to your advice. For one thing, you should check up on something called right of publicity.
                                Last edited by MAH4546; 10-22-2009, 10:39 AM.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Question about selling photos

                                  Originally posted by steamboatpete View Post
                                  You are right. No one should quote you on this stuff.
                                  Yet you did "quote" him. LOL

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Question about selling photos

                                    Originally posted by steamboatpete View Post
                                    You are right. No one should quote you on this stuff. There are many laws in place, including not just copyright, but trademark, right of publicity and property rights and contract law that make a lot of what you said incorrect, from your first assertion (that 30% changes makes a derivative work non-infringing) to your last (that Disney owns rights to an image in perpetuity and in all known universes).
                                    Hmm- I see. So- you signed a contract with Disney then?
                                    Because that was one of the clauses in my contract- they own the rights to my image in perpetuity- and in all known universes.
                                    It is YOU that don't know what you are talking about.
                                    Have a nice day.


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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Question about selling photos

                                      Originally posted by GorillaGirl View Post
                                      Hmm- I see. So- you signed a contract with Disney then?
                                      Through the terms of sale and use of your ticket you have.
                                      Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                      Am I evil? yes, I am
                                      Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                      Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                      Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: Question about selling photos

                                        Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                                        Through the terms of sale and use of your ticket you have.
                                        You don't have to sign your ticket.
                                        I had to sign the contract with that clause in it. Just sayin'.About that particular clause. Not a Santa clause..more like an image in all the known universe Claus. Though I suppose Santa would know all about the universe, right?

                                        Oh yes- and I couldn't take ink cartridges out of the garbage. That was in there too.


                                        Comment

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