There's an image of a pokeball (from Pokemon, which is owned by Nintendo) that I found online.

enter image description here

It has a creative commons license 3.0.

Could I sell this image without being sued by Nintendo? The creative commons license says I can sell it for commercial use, but I found articles online of Nintendo suing people for selling their stuff. So who owns this image? Am I safe from the law if I sell it?

2 Answers 2


If the "Pokeball" image is copyrighted and/or a trademark of Nintendo/whoever makes the Pokemon games, then whoever put that image out there under CC 3.0 BY is in violation and can be sued and will probably lose, and you would be in violation and can be sued and will probably lose. Your penalty would almost certainly be less since your violation was "innocent", that is, you had no way of knowing that the "Pokeball" imagery was somebody's protected intellectual property.


Except you kind of maybe should know that, unless whoever made the Pokemon games (Nintendo or other) put the image out there and you can verify that, that maybe this license could be bogus and you should consult with who you imagine the owner of that IP may be or an impartial professional who could tell you for sure. I'm thinking if it were me I would do a little more research - and maybe get a paid opinion - if I was really thinking about using this for any but private purposes.


--Could I sell this image without being sued by Nintendo?

Possibly. Quick, I'll give you $.25 for it? Done...you just sold one virtually and no sirens do I hear. Check your paypal.

--Could I sell this image and be sued by Nintendo?

Yes. But can you sell enough (or whatever) to get noticed by them as a counterfeit pokeyballer guy worth their time? I've no idea, we just met.

Is this also a possible trademark issue? Maybe, that ball may be registered trademark.

Sometimes there is no copyright registration on an item like this. Copyright is basically automatic, but registering a copyright is manual process and needs to be already done when the infringement occurred, to bring action for that infringement. (No reg, no sue, and no retroactivelys).

Most important thing about all this though...


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .