The internet is a great medium for showcasing and sharing creative work. With relative ease, illustrators, animators, and designers can get their original work seen and shared by thousands of online viewers as well as access the seemingly endless flow of ideas and inspiration that comes from other creatives and their work.
Many designers and artists are able to tap into an existing fan base by providing their own take or commentary on existing pieces of popular culture, creating work which shows off their own interpretations of established properties. These homages often take the form of alternate visions of characters/scenes from movies, games, and comics; redesigned movie and music posters; or simply work that is 'inspired by' or even parodies the original.
There is no denying the popularity of this type of work, and while much of this creative output remains 'fan art', some designers feel it is within the realms of 'fair use' for them to sell their work in the form of t-shirts, prints, mugs, keyrings, etc., and the prevalence of digital printing services means it is relatively easy to create short runs of 'unofficial' merchandise.
Designers and consumers alike will agree that the copyright issues involved in creating and selling work like this are considered something of a grey area, with wildly differing viewpoints on what is and is not considered 'fair use', as well as different interpretations of copyright law.
The purpose of this questionnaire is to canvass opinion on the general understanding of copyright and fair use. It is intended to be completed anonymously and does not contain any questions which would specifically identify anyone completing it.
If you are involved in a creative industry, whether as a professional or student, or are simply a fan of pop-culture merchandise, your honest completion of this short questionnaire would be much appreciated.