I have created original artwork of a recognizable cartoon character for use on a watch face. I would like to share the watch face so other people can enjoy it. Since it is a free face, and I am not benefiting from sharing it, would I be violating Facer’s policies in sharing it?
Other people have asked this question previously, but I haven’t seen anyone ask about using their own artwork get a clear response.
From what I know, if you draw the BMW logo by hand, it’s still the BMW logo. So if you drew Homer Simpson, then the Simpsons can come after you to take it down regardless if you’re profiting from it or not, or if you drew it or not.
I’d double check with the official facer guys tho.
I’m not a lawyer, but if copyright protects an image so that it cannot be copied or changed in any way, as Rator mentioned above, by doing your own version of a recognizable image, that could be considered changing it. On the other hand, if it’s something like Santa Claus you’re probably safe with your own version of that one.
While you are waiting for Facer’s reply, you might find more information if you research the specific image, for example: “Mickey Mouse copyright”.
I’ve got a watchface on my page that’s a photo of Joe Strummer from The Clash. However, I got the photo from Wikimedia Commons, and made sure to follow the directives of the Creative Commons Use-With-Attribution license, as the photographer specified. I clearly state in the description who the photographer was, a link to the original Wikimedia page, and a link to the Creative Commons license.
I used to do “paintings” of people like, well, Joe Strummer, from photographs I found online. In essence, I traced over it on my iPad, redoing it with brushstrokes or pencil shading, or whatever I had in mind. I liked 'em, thought they turned out well. Spent a lot of hours on each one.
But I couldn’t get them printed on t-shirts or stickers from places like Cafe Press or RedBubble, because they’d easily find the photo I started with. And my images were far too similar. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Facer follows similar rules.
Good luck, though.