Does Zippo own the rights to my artwork?
If you submit artwork to be placed on lighters that you intend to keep or gift to someone else, you retain all rights to your artwork but do grant a limited, non-exclusive license to ZIPPO to allow ZIPPO to place your artwork on its lighters or other product and ship your products to you.
What is not acceptable on a customized lighter?
The simplest answer is that your designed product cannot include elements that belong to someone else, are offensive, or would appeal to young children.
What if the image doesn’t appear to be copyrighted?
Almost all works are protected by copyright, even if they do not have a copyright notice. In order to use artwork that you did not create, you will need to obtain written permission by its author and submit that permission to ZIPPO.
Can I use an image found on the Internet, include search engines or social media?
No. Simply because an image is on the Internet does not mean that is in the public domain or available for your use. You cannot use the work unless the author of the work has explicitly granted you a license to use the work or it is in the public domain (which is rare). Keep in mind also that a person who posts an image on the Internet and claims that you are free to use it may not have the right to post the image in the first place. Thus, your use of the image may violate the rights of the actual copyright owner or a person’s right of publicity or right of privacy.
If I took a photograph of a celebrity or company logo, may I use that on my customized lighter?
No. Taking a photo of a person, product, brand, or logo does not give you the right to sell merchandise featuring that photograph. There are two distinct intellectual property rights in a photograph:
1. The copyright in the photograph itself, which is generally owned by the person who took the photograph.
2. The trademark name or right of publicity that relates to the subject of the photograph such as the person, product, or brand shown in it. In order to order merchandise with the photograph, you would need to obtain explicit permission from the subject of the photograph (as well as from the owner of the brand or name).
My artwork is based on the art of a third party. Is that OK?
Not generally speaking. Artwork derived from the previous work of another (i.e. a “derivative work”) will likely violate the rights of the owner of that artwork. If you are creating a design that is based on the legally protected work of someone else, you will probably need to obtain permission from the author of the original artwork in order to produce merchandise featuring your artwork. However, if you were simply inspired by another artwork to create a truly new piece of artwork, but did not copy or reproduce any part of such artwork, then you should not be violating the copyright of the other person. However, you should consult with an attorney before attempting to use any artwork based on inspiration of the artwork of another person.
Is parody acceptable?
Zippo generally does not accept parody artwork and will not accept such artwork for use on its lighters or other products.
Can I use Clip Art or stock photos?
Clip Art, stock photos, photo collections, or graphic programs contain license agreements that generally do not grant you the right to produce merchandise. The license agreement sets forth the specific permissible uses for the clip art. You should consult the license agreement and your attorney to determine if you may use the images, and be prepared to submit such license agreement to Zippo for confirmation.
Can I expedite the shipment of a customized lighter?
Zippo does not currently offer expedited shipping. Your customized product and any other product in your order will ship after the required 10-15 business day production period. (*Some restrictions apply)