Being an owner of original artwork, copyright is very important to me and my business. So I make it a point of trying not to use Disney, Pixar, Legos, etc designs in any of my handmade products, however I had to make an exception recently.
I was part of a gift exchange with a group of friends online. For those that have never done a gift exchange online before, it's actually pretty simple. There is one person in charge (thanks A!) who sets a spending limit and takes the names, wish list and address of all those that want to participate. She/he then secretly buddy up random people and give them their recipient. It's all done in secret because it's fun to not know who will be sending you a gift.
The best part of the exchange was that all the items had to be handmade.
After I found out who my person was, I went to check out their profile. One of the many things they loved was the Pittsburgh Steelers. I then went to work researching handmade items and was amazing at all the selections. However, having spent a full semester on Copyright Law in college made me realized that I really couldn't justify spending money on an item that I knew was not giving any profit back to the team that owns the logo.
So I decided to solve my dilemma by making the item myself. This way, there is no exchange of money. I settled on a pair of earrings that I thought might be cute and were exactly at the point of our spending limit.
Of course, the stumbling block that I'd never made this type of jewelry before never crossed my mind or stopped me.
I headed to Joann to buy the Swarovski crystals but already had all the other supplies. I then drew out the design and tried to figure out how to wrap the beads to make the yellow/blue/red logo work. I had also bought two sizes of the crystals so I would have the larger ones in the circle ring and the smaller yellow/black on top.
A few hours, lots of broken circle rings, bent wire and bleeding fingers (just kidding, there was only one), I finally figured it out.
I knew it was a great design because on the day I was to mail it, I had lunch with some girlfriends. I showed them the earrings I was proud for figuring out and they both immediately wanted to order some for relatives. I had to politely decline that this was a one of a kind design and I couldn't take money for it. But I did point them towards the website of others that do.
And the person I made the earrings for loved them and took a photo of what they looked like when they arrived in her home.