Question about using characters (Tinkerbell, Elmo, Cookie Monster ect..)


No longer a newbie, moving up!
May 25, 2011
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I finally invested my time in finally learning how to use digital backdrops. I mainly focus on newborn, baby, child, and family photography.
I have been scouring the internet trying to find digital images that I want to use in my pictures, but I am having a hard time finding some of the characters that my clients want (Tinkerbell, Elmo, Cookie monster, ect...) with their children that I can purchase and use legally.
My question is: can I use a picture if I give credit to Disney for that character? I'll post a picture of what I'm talking about... (I did this quickly, so I know that the hair is badly keyed)


So if I were to print on the bottom of this picture somthing like "Tinkerbell character is the property of Disney," (I would find better wording), would it be ok to use images that I find from download sites?

I know, I shouldn't ask legal questions on a photography forum... but I thought if someone already had experience with this, it would be helpful. I have sent an inquery to Disney as well asking if they have any type of digital photo software I can purchase to use with my pictures, I'm just hoping to hear back from them. Until then, I thought I'd ask the question here.

Also, if someone knows of a place where I can purchase these kid friendly characters to use in my photography, I would certainly appreciate a point in the right direction!
Actually a physical representation of a Character would be "Trademarked" but I know you know that.
a literary reference to a Character would be copyright
So if I wanted to use these character's, I would need to get permission from Disney, or someone who has the right to sell images to me. That would be the only way I could legally use these images, right?

Or you could look for Characters that are in the Public Domain and have no secondary association (legal mumbo jumbo) but then the Charcaters that kids want these days, probably aren't in the public domain
Yeah, I have other Characters that I can use, but its Tinkerbell, Cookie Monster, Hello Kitty, Spiderman, ect... that the kiddos/parents want. :)

Thank you for the feedback. You pretty much just confirmed what I was already thinking.
Disney has been known to come down hard on people who use their images without permisssion. And it's my understanding that they don't give permission for free either.
I'm willing to pay.. depending on what they want to charge me that is.. lol
I'm willing to pay.. depending on what they want to charge me that is.. lol
Can't hurt to contact them, describe what you want to do, and ask what it would cost you to do it.

Here's the contact info:

After all, you can't take the chance and do it without a license agreement with them. If you doubt that they take their copyrights serisously, check this out:

Willful Infringement: Mickey and Me : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Maybe it's too expensive to consider, but then again, maybe it's not. There's only one way to find out.

Make contact, and let us know what happens!

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