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I get asked a lot of questions here on Cutting for Business. Perhaps the most asked question I receive is:
“Can I make and sell Disney/Pixar/Marvel handmade products with my Silhouette or Cricut?”
Answer: “No, not legally.”
Follow up question: “But, I see them everywhere on Etsy! How do those sellers do it?”
Can You Legally Sell Disney Crafts?
You cannot legally make and sell any product with Disney lyrics, quotes, or characters on it without permission from The Walt Disney World Company. While some companies turn a blind eye and don’t actively pursue sellers selling their trademarked properties; Disney employs a team of people whose only job it is to hunt down people/companies using their trademarks without permission.
If Disney chooses to pursue a copyright or trademark violation against you, your store or shop can be shut down, you can be forced to pay back all monies made from the items, your equipment could be confiscated, and you can be prosecuted for trademark/copyright infringement.
Unfortunately for small sellers, Disney has far more resources to legally pursue you and you will not win the battle.
How Can I Get A Disney License?
Disney does offer licensing to other companies to create and sell Disney products. You can find details about licensing at this link.
However, it’s unlikely that any at home craft business will be able to meet the licensing requirements.
What About Disney Cricut Cartridges?
Some Cricut cartridges have Disney images on them. These images are for personal use only as detailed in Cricut’s Angel Policy. Why? Cricut and Disney have a license agreement that allows Cricut to make and sell the cartridges, but the license agreement is between Cricut and Disney – not Disney and the end user (you).
Can I Make Disney Crafts for Personal Use?
You can make personal use Disney crafts for yourself. As long as no money exchanges hand, it’s unlikely that you’ll be bothered by Disney.
It’s important to realize that many personal use crafts are still trademark infringements. However, it simply isn’t worth it for a company to come after an individual who isn’t selling the product.
It’s a common misconception that personal use crafts are not trademark infringements. Read about more trademark myths that you have to understand.
What About Public Domain Characters?
If you are familiar with Disney characters and stories, you’ll know that Disney didn’t create many of their characters and stories. Instead, Disney created their own version of the characters and stories.
For example, Alice in Wonderland. Alice in Wonderland is Disney’s take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a book written in the 1800’s by Lewis Carroll. The copyright has expired on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and it is considered public domain.
This means that you can use characters and material from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in your products for sale. But, you must be cautious to only use content aligned with the Lewis Carrol book – not Disney’s version.
Learn more about public domain characters and crafting.
I Bought a Disney Design on Etsy with Commercial Use Rights, Why Can’t I Use It?
Put simply: It is likely that even though you bought a commercial use Disney file on Etsy, the seller selling you the file doesn’t have permission from Disney to sell it. It doesn’t matter if you bought a commercial use license, you still can’t sell it.
I’ve gone in detail about buying designs online that sellers don’t have a license to sell at this link.
How Can I Report Disney Trademark Infringements?
You can report Disney trademark infringements directly to Disney.
- Email Disney: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leave a message for the Disney Anti Piracy Team: (818) 560-3300