I am writing this for a number of reasons but first and foremost because someone was offering to sell a t-shirt with my design on.
I have always been very clear any that anything made using my designs were for personal use only.
What can you do with them?
As long as you credit my blog and don’t modify my designs, you can use them as wallpapers, print posters, mug mouse mats, get a tattoo; it doesn’t matter as long as you are not doing it for money. No commercial use. Ever.
Because it’s all my hard work (of years) and I don’t get a penny, nor do I want to charge for them. I certainly don’t want someone else simply selling my work on for profit or promotion. These are for the Elite Dangerous community.
I have in the past looked to produce posters at cost for attendees at LaveCon, or enable charities like Special Effect be able to sell my designs as merchandise to raise money as exceptions to this rule.
But this cannot happen without Frontier’s agreement as the Intellectual Property (IP) is solely theirs.
I spoke to Frontier about this last June, Sally Morgan-Moore (then Elite: Dangerous Product Manager) replied:
As for printing and selling…I’d have to do a check on that I’m afraid. This wouldn’t be til next week though. There’s so much red tape when money and sales become involved, and it’s frustrating how I can’t be more straight forward about it. Let me try and dig for you. Giving one away though for the raffle is perfectly awesome though as it’s linked to charity.
And in July I chased her just prior to LaveCon and good as gold, she came back to me very quickly:
I’m so sorry but I haven’t had David B in, or many of the legal team so I really am struggling to get anyone to prioritise this.
There you have it, as spoken direct from Frontier Towers – no selling of items connected to their IP. Understandably having other people sell their IP without any gain is not a priority for them. They are after all, a business and doing legal paperwork out of their own pocket is probably a big ask.
I’m not being a grumpy old Scrooge, refusing to share – I give my blueprints away for free to make content for my blog in the absence of game content to report upon - I’ve even done illustration work for EDRPG again, for free.
If they give me some kind of green light to produce my blueprints as posters or mugs etc. at cost, believe me, you’d be the first to know!
But trust me when I say it would be me selling the merchandise through Frontier, or direct from this blog at cost. Don’t ever buy my designs from ANYONE; they do not have the right (legal or otherwise) to sell my work.
I’ll happily give you a bitmap, as you can see in my email above, you can get printed on a t-shirt for yourself for personal use only.