My client would like me to create a mosaic in the shape of the Disneyland Castle. This would involve me creating an outline of the castle on my iPad (just a black line in the shape of the castle) and then filling the shape of it with the client's images.

The image at a glance would resemble the castle, but close up would just be a lot of photographs taken by the client, at Disneyland.

The final image wouldn't be sold en mass, and the fee would be for my photoshop work in arranging the image in the desired shape.

Would this infringe Disney's intellectual property?


It's Problematic

The castle is both copyright and trade mark of Disney.

As a trade mark, you are not permitted to use it in a way that indicates that yours is a Disney product or affiliated with Disney - you are probably OK here.

As a copyright, Disney has the exclusive right to make derivative works which is what your mosaic is.

So, you either need Disney's permission or the work needs to fall under the fair use exemption. As a single domestic work which substantially changes the original it probably does but the only way to know for sure is get sued and win. If you go ahead I would ask your client to indemnify you, however, this is only effective to the extent that your client has the financial resources to defend the lawsuit or pay the damages.

However, there is an alternative. The Cinderella Castle was inspired by real architecture, all of which is public domain. If you copy one of these castles (e.g. Neuschwanstein Castle) you have no issues with Disney and only a true fanatic would notice the difference.


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