Legal Tips

Intellectual Property Issues - ArtishUp Guidance for Users

1. What is “intellectual property?

“Intellectual property” refers to a broad area of the law, but for purposes of Spreadshirt users, it usually means rights under the law of copyright, trademark, and publicity. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a short overview here of copyrights, trademarks, and patents:

2. Copyright

Copyright protects original works of authorship like photographs, drawings, writings, and recordings. The owner of a copyright in a work has the right to prevents others from using the work in certain ways, like copying it, making derivative works based on it (for example translations or sequels), and distributing, publishing, or displaying the work. Rights in copyright come into existence as soon as any eligible work is reduced to a fixed medium, like being written down, recorded, saved on a computer, etc. Federal registration is available, but not required, to create rights in copyright. For more information:

3. Trademark

A trademark is any symbol (words, images, sounds, smells, colors, etc.) which communicates to consumers the source of goods or services when used in commerce (i.e., offered for sale). The owner of a trademark may prevent others from using the trademark in commerce in ways which would create a likelihood of confusion as to the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of the goods or services referenced in the commercial use. Trademark rights come into existence through actual use in commerce and/or through formal registration with state or federal government. For more information:

4. Publicity

The right of publicity is an individual’s right to control the commercial use of their likeness. A person’s likeness includes that person’s appearance, voice, mannerisms, catch-phrases, and other identifiers like nicknames, stage names, etc. All persons have these rights and no special acts or registrations are required to secure a person’s right of publicity in his or her own likeness. For more information:

5. How does ArtishUp help me to protect my content?

ArtishUp will add a watermark to all high-resolution previews of the original designs, which makes it more difficult for third parties to copy your designs. What can I do as a user to protect my content? The steps you can take to protect your content depend upon what the content is, how it was created, and how it is used. You should consult an attorney who is familiar with intellectual property issues to get a personalized answer. ArtishUp cannot give legal advice to users.

6. What can I do as a user if one of my designs has been stolen?

If you believe your design has been used by someone else online, you may try sending a DMCA notice to the website hosting the content. This website will generate the notice automatically:
If you believe another ArtishUp user has used your content without permission, you may send the same DMCA notice by email to


The content above is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. You acknowledge that your use of the information above is at your own risk.
ArtishUp has attempted to ensure the information above is accurate, but cannot guarantee that it is complete, relevant for your circumstances, or up-to-date at all times. We cannot provide legal advice to users and recommend that you consult a lawyer if you have legal questions.