Commercial use?

If I get an artist to make my YouTube PFP and I plan to make money off of that YouTube channel, would that be considered commercial use or is that fair use?

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    If you plan to make a profit off of something, it’s considered commercial.   You generally can’t use other people’s copyright stuff for your commercial purposes without their permission or it’s typically a copyright violation.   Note, something doesn’t have to say it’s copyright to be copyright.  

    If you are hiring an artist, realize they are generally the copyright holder of anything they create, so look up how to buy usage and or buy copyright.   I believe in the U.S., a purchase of copyright must be in writing.  Buying usage rights is generally cheaper than buying copyright.   Usage rights can be exclusive or not and that exclusiveness can have a time frame stipulated in the usage rights agreement.  For example when I did work for a business, I could not make any of the images public for one month after the business made them public.   After that I could do anything I wanted for them.  

    Disclaimer;   Not legal advice.   This is my understanding based on some commercial photography work I’ve done.    

    Added note.  If you hire a private contractor artist to do something for you, it does NOT mean you automatically are the copyright holder.   If an artist is an employee, then what they create is typically copyright by their employer.   

    Again, read up on usage right agreements and buying copyright to something an artist has created.   

  • 2 months ago

    Depends upon your country's copyright laws.  In the USA you do not own the copyright of "works made for hire" unless you are either the employer, or have a proper written "WMFH" contract, or the artist transfers their copyright to you, in a writing, which is then filed in the US Copyright Office (even if they have not previously taken any steps to register their copyright ownership).

    Other countries have laws under which the "customer" of a contractor is automatically deemed to be the "owner" of the copyright of a commissioned work.  In the US law there are also nice complications dealing with possible "joint ownership" if you specifically instruct the artist on the details of the resulting creation.

    So, since your intent is to profit, you need to make sure you either own the copyright or have obtained a proper license for whatever rights you want (scope of rights, time, place, etc).  Failure to do so can create liability for a criminal case against you: 17 USC §506 Criminal Copyright Infringement, punishable under 18 USC §2319..

  • 2 months ago

    If you commission an artist to make your PFP, then you would own it.  As such you have the right to use it on YouTube.  It is only an issue when you use something that is not yours.  But if you hire someone to make it for you, then it is your and you can use it.

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