I own an online retail grocery store and I have taken quality photos of the goods I'm selling. I'm wondering if I'm violating any copyright laws for taking the photos of copyrighted/trademarked products (e.g. Cheetos, Doritos, etc)? Thank you!


Yes you should gain permission from the copyright and trademark holders of the products. All packaging will have copyright as copyright is assigned to work upon creation, not upon registration, although in the USA registration prior to any infringement gives possibility of extra recompenses.

All packaging will have some trademark on them too as that is how you know what is in the box and/or who made it.

The contents of the packaging (the usable product) should be trademark and copyright free, there may be some very rare cases where the product is trademarked, e.g. froot loops may be trademarked as the multicolored loops are very recognizable and if they are not trademarked, Kellogg will have tried to trademark them and failed.

IANAL but personally I would class what you are doing as a type of fair use, assuming you are not in any way pretending to be someone other than the retailer of the product. There are thousands of shops, big and small, that do what you want to do and none of them have any issues regarding copyright so I doubt you will either.

TLDR technically you should gain permission, in reality you are probably fine not getting permission on the condition you are respectful in how you frame the products


Certain of their product images are protected by copyright. One way to check is to see if the product shows up in the copyright registry, which is the case with various Cheetos and Doritos products. So that would mean you need permission.

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