Small business help

Hello this my first post forgive me if this is not in the right area. I need some help I own a small business and i just bought the xcarve and im really excited to start using it and hopefully make a little money here and there. my question is about creating and selling stuff legally in regards to images or svg files you find online or say fan art,sports stuff,video game stuff,movie stuff.what are your experiences with this?best way to go about making and selling copyrighted or licensed stuff or the grey areas.thankyou for your responses anything that can help please include.

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Thanks for reply i absolutly want to do it the legit way im just trying to figure out how everyone else does it for orders or custom work. If you need it for all sales or for certain sales i thought read about advertised vs nonadvertised sales was ok or not.

If you make money on it, you need to have permission of the copyright holder to be able to use it.

Some sites allow commercial use for free, some stuff you have to pay more for commercial and some even have a “super” commercial license. It all depends.

Probably 9 times out of 10, a Google Search will lead to a copyrighted image. You need to have the license terms laid out before it’s safe.

Or you can risk it. If you’re not really advertising, it’s hard for companies to come after you but the liability is there.

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Ok thanks for info that helps alot

Another question i have is what are some things that you can make or use that would not be considered copyrighted or licensed such as flags symbols etc? when you ask for permission im assuming they send you in written or email form?sorry for dumb questions just trying to get a better idea on the right way to do stuff or to let customers know i have to get to make what they want.another question i have is say i get permission to use someones fan art or idea that has star wars or something like that do i need to also get permission from that parent company as well or just the person im asking sorry for long post.

thanks i appreciate it no mass producer here just me and one machine with a little bit of time here and there.

If it’s a universal symbol and not generally seen as a trademark, you’re fine (like the recycle symbol). Most flags are similar as well.

Generally online there is a file included with the digital download that lists the scope of the license.

So, not that I’m necessarily condoning this, if a customer provides a design and all you are selling is your services, it might be a gray area in that you are providing services and it’s the responsibility of the provider of the design to own the copyright and you aren’t profiting off the design, you’re profiting off services provided.

Yes. Fan art does not exempt you from licensing. I can’t draw an NFL team’s logo and say it’s my fan art and then reproduce it. Also, from my experience, stay away from anything Disney or comic book related, even for fan art. Disney/Marvel is one of the more aggressive copyright companies and I’ve heard horror stories. In addition, I have a cousin who was making replica action figures that were completely his own design and style but he got multiple cease and desist letters.

awesome that helps me alot thanks for taking the time im all new to this

There are many images and fonts that clearly state you can sell items using the image or fonts but you can not sell the image itself or font file itself. The majority of things seem to need a license to sell in any form, for example college mascot images. Obviously make them for yourself, but advertising them can get you a nice letter from their attorney. Military logos are a big one as well, I’ve spoke with someone about the Marines logo and was informed unless I was licensed I could not advertise the products I make using the logo, but if a retired or active duty member of the marines came to me asking for a product with the logo it was ok(again, i could not advertise that item I custom made).

Ive been trying to make some of my own images from scratch and it’s a challenge some times. Fun, but frustrating. I’ve been sticking to my own creations lately to avoid any lawyers contacting me lol

I’ve heard that too Phil, just haven’t had the chance to look in to it. I definitely will though. Right now I’m just trying to find my little spot in the market. I’d rather offer day, 15-20 different products that I make and sell well, than 50 that sell off and on and can create a confusion for me.

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By the way, licensing for college athletics is crazy. I looked into it. It’s like 8k/year, 10-15% of sale to the different schools, schools have to approve designs…just a PITA.

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My goal is 10 items sold to one customer not 1 item sold to 10 customers.

Unless you’re selling Pringles, I don’t think that’s a very realistic goal… :wink:


I sold t-shirts at boat shows for years. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “I’ll be back later to buy a shirt.”, I’d be a millionaire. We called them “BeBackers”…:disappointed_relieved:

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LOL - great point but we aren’t carving a tube full of potato chips. Which makes me wonder, if you did, how much would you charge for it?

If I looked at the machine as a means to produce a side income making custom products then I completely understand.

I enjoy carving signs but these machines are capable of making items that can be used to produce other products consistently. I’ve been in manufacturing my whole life. It doesn’t take a high end machines to find a niche and move forward. We’re all just one good idea and some elbow grease away from a much brighter tomorrow.

You make a great point. If you’re looking to sell to an end user, then the Pringles model applies. If you’re looking to sell templates or something like that to someone who produces a product, then you’ve got your 10:1 ratio. For example, I’ve made templates and molds for a company who makes very custom/specific anodes for electrolysis protection on boats. Those were very lucrative.

If I attained permission to produce the templates for the Adirondack chair I made from the designer (and figured out how to split the revenue), then that also would be true.

I didn’t mean to discourage you, I was just thinking about the farmer’s market, under the 10’x10’ canopy crowd…

You hit the nail on the head. There are several approaches to business that this machine provides. Me personally, I’d have to strike gold to give up my day job. I’m working toward setting my son up in the world of manufacturing. We could always use another shop. Providing him with a few tools, ideas and plenty of encouragement.

I love reading these forums and tossing in my 2 cents as I can. I thank you for the discussion. Really good people here.

about the 10x10 canopy crowd at the farmers market…

I sometimes day dream about starting up a booth at a local farmers market here in the bay area northern California…

Is this one of the seven paths to hell that Mr. Wonderful from Shark Tank talks about?

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I sell branded “smoking accessories” for bands and most of my orders are for 10 or 20, and occasionally 40. I get a decent number of repeat orders. One band has ordered more than 50 from me in 3 orders now. I’m not making much money yet but it’s paid for a 2nd CNC already.

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I lived in East Bay for several years and miss it very much. I was even involved in a Shark Tank campaign.