For example, if I wanted to make a T-shirt of a character for the Arrow Tv series, but I drew it myself/designed it myself. Is it legal for me to sell products (T-shirts) of it?

  • You may want to add your country of jurisdiction, though I suppose the answer is "yes" (on the title question) and "no" (on the body question) in most cases – Hagen von Eitzen Nov 24 '19 at 19:11

You can make a derivative work if:

  • the original is not under copyright,
  • you are the copyright owner,
  • you hold a licence from the copyright owner that says you can, or
  • your usage is fair use or fair dealing as applicable.

For your proposal, the image is copyright, you don’t own it, you don’t have a licence and what you propose is neither fair use nor fair dealing. You can’t do it and you can be sued if you do.

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  • :+1, agreement and correct conclusion, but I would amend the last point to "probably neither fair use nor fair dealing". Depending on how far from "normal"/recognizable depictions of the subject matter the artist goes, it may actually fall into fair use or fair dealing: "Luke Skywalker with a lightsaber" is infringing but "farm boy with a laser sword" is not necessarily so. More relevantly, using the name of the show or photo of the actor in costume is right out, but "bowman in a hood" might be allowable, regardless of inspiration. – sharur Nov 25 '19 at 3:18
  • @Dale M It may be worth noting that if the show itself already sells such merchandise, it may also be a trademark violation. – D M Nov 25 '19 at 5:05

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