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My workplace allowed employees to add custom Slack emojis and as expected they went nuts and added thousands of awesome emojis. Mostly memes like party parrot, suspicious raptor and such. Some of these have origins from copyrighted material. The most clear would be a sports team logo.

Is there any real legal concern here?

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Yeah, obviously you can not use copyrighted material without permission.

A lot of memes are parodies, though. If the meme parodies a copyrighted thing it is ok, but you can not directly use someone else's copyrighted material.

I highly doubt anyone would actually spend their time going after your company's Slack channel, but if you using copyrighted material in a way that isn't a parody or other fair use scenario, they technically could.

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