Can you make a painting of Messi in Barcelona outfit scoring (another) goal? And selling this painting, also on mugs and calenders? A similar question will now be reviewed by the United States Court of Appeals in Alabma, US.
The painting in question has been made by the artist Daniel Moore and shows a football player of the University of Alabama. This University was not very happy about this and stressed that the exploitation of their rights and trademark rights were in danger.
In first instance, the District Court ruled mostly in favor of Moore saying that there was no reason for buyers of Moore’s prints to assume that the products were licensed and endorsed by the University. However, he did forbid Moore to sell his images on products of a more commercial nature.
Both parties have now appealed this decision. This is a very interesting question and has been followed closely by the major merchandising companies such as big sportclubs.