“Is it true that the Commercial license on Creative Market doesn’t give you permission to create products for sale on Zazzle?“
The short answer is: Yes.
Sidenote: Wondering about using MY artwork on your Print On Demand shop or in your templates? Scroll all the way down for the answer!
Shocked? Keep reading for details….
In fact, none of the licenses on Creative Market allow a customer to use the files to create products for sale on Zazzle.
There are two types of License categories on Creative Market, and multiple types of Licenses under each category.
Most of the assets on Creative Market are covered by the General Licenses.
The licenses can be a bit of a challenge to navigate at first blush. The license overview page does not really give a lot of information on specific use cases, and going through the detailed contract terms can be a challenge when you’re short on time.
In this post, I have pulled out the relevant provisions of the full license contracts so that you can read them for yourself and verify the answer.
We will look at two kinds of popularly used assets for designs on Zazzle, and go through the relevant license terms for each of them.
Graphics & Illustrations
Graphics and illustrations includes items like watercolor flowers, watercolor backgrounds, patterns, texture and such.
These are the items which are available under the “Graphics” category on Creative Market.
Designers typically use these to add artwork to their designs.
The General License covers these types of assets (and most others, other than Fonts, that is).
On this page, we get an overview of the basic do’s and don’ts under each License type, but we don’t find mention of Print on Demand items on sites like Zazzle, Society6, Redbubble etc. specifically. The General License Overview is silent on this type of use case.
However, if we dig a little further, there is a clear answer to be found in the Detailed License Terms here: https://creativemarket.com/licenses/terms/general#commercial
Extracted from the Detailed License Terms:
“5. PROHIBITED USES (these uses may be available with an extended commercial license or custom license, contact Creative Market to find out more):
5.1 – End Products
✗ On-Demand Applications (Such as Print-on-Demand and Create-on-Demand Services). Any use that allows anyone other than the Licensee, such as an end user, to customize a digital or physical end product is prohibited, whether for Commercial use or Non-commercial use. This includes, but is not limited to, “print on demand”, “made to order”, or “download on demand” application.“
The clause above includes services like Zazzle, Society6, Templett, etc.
This prohibitory clause appears in the contract for the Personal License, Commercial License and also the Extended Commercial License.
Therefore, such use is not permitted under any license from Creative Market.
It does say that if you wish to use an asset this way, you can contact Creative Market for a custom license.
However, with the Commercial License or even the Extended Commercial License, such use is not permitted.
What about shops which say it’s allowed in their description?
Shop owners are not permitted to offer custom licenses on their Creative Market.
Every single purchase made on Creative Market is governed by one of the official Creative Market licenses which depends on the license that you chose during check out.
Hence, even if a shop owner might say they permit such use, that is not legally covered.
Fonts have a separate license structure on Creative Market.
Font License overview is available here: https://creativemarket.com/licenses/fonts
Again, the Font License Overview page is silent on use in Print on Demand items on websites like Zazzle, Redbubble, Society6 etc. So we need to look into the Detail Font License Terms: https://creativemarket.com/licenses/terms/fonts
Extracted from the Detailed Font License Terms:
“PROHIBITED USES UNDER THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT (these uses may be available with a different license or custom license, contact Creative Market to find out more):
- On-Demand Applications (Such as Print-on-Demand and Create-on-Demand Services). Any use that allows anyone other than the Licensee, such as an end user, to customize a digital or physical end product using the Licensed Asset is prohibited, whether for Commercial use or Non-commercial use. This includes, but is not limited to, “print on demand”, “made to order”, or “download on demand” application. For clarity the Licensee may use the Licensed Asset with a print or design on demand service to create a completed end product (as permitted in Section 4 and pursuant to Section 7.2(a)).”
The above prohibitory clause appears in each of the Font Licenses. Therefore, none of the Font Licenses on Creative Market permit use of Creative Market fonts on print on demand websites.
I hope this post was helpful to you!
If you have further queries, then you should contact the Creative Market support team. They are very helpful and will be able to answer your questions! Also, please note that the License terms could change without prior notice, though the folks at CM always strive to let their audience know in advance of making any big changes.
This post is as of October 2019. The licenses can change in the future without any notice. Also, please note this is not legal advice, and you should seek specific advice from your lawyer.
P.s.: Thank you to my lovely reader for asking me this question, which was the inspiration for this post.
P.p.s: To clarify, if you wish to use MY artwork on your Print on Demand shop, then you CAN. I offer a specific license (available on my shop here and on my Etsy Shop) which permits this type of use. It is called the Template License and allows you to use that artwork on Zazzle, Templett, etc.
Some people who are on Creative Market are also on Etsy and Creative Fabrica where, as shop owners, they set their own terms by offering POD options or not. If Krystal is correct and you can use a Creative Market design for POD under their terms, then Creative Market needs to make that plain. I can only imagine the revenue they are losing because of being obscure on the POD side of things.
I would have gladly stayed with Creative Market, but I didn’t because I thought all my purchases were for nothing. Also, their licenses are really expensive compared to Creative Fabrica. Creative Fabrica solves those problems by having a category specifically stocked with full rights POD use for subscribers. Or if you don’t subscribe, you might be able to buy the full POD license on a design for very little money. Not all designs have that option for full POD licenses. That is the choice of the seller. But all designs do come with a basic POD model that does allow use with a lot of modifications. That is the business model that both sellers and customers appreciate.
Hi Krystal, thanks for sharing the illustration from CM. The illustration deals with a small subset of type of designs sold on POD sites.
If the entire design is completely fixed (so for example, a completely pre-made cushion cover, or table numbers), then that is permissible with the CM License. However, any situation where the customer has any option of editing before print or download (even when the graphics layers is fixed), is not permissible by the CM License.
This type of use covers a service which is more of a dropshipper rather than a typical POD.
This has been further clarified by Creative Market here – https://support.creativemarket.com/hc/en-us/articles/360026836793–Graphics-Use-in-On-Demand-Services
You CAN use a design as with a print on demand service, as long as the person who is purchasing it cannot edit the design further (add custom text, move text around etc).