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Using Images Found Online on T-Shirts for Son's Soccer Team - Advisory from ISBA

Question: Is it legal to use a cartoon image I found online for the t-shirts to be worn by my son's school soccer team? Answer: While an educational institution may use a work without permission (and with attribution) for the purpose of "scholarship" or academic activity under copyright law's Doctrine of Fair Use, printing a school team t-shirt is not considered an academic activity, so this particular use would not qualify. For more information about Illinois law, visit If you have a legal question, send it to Illinois Law Now is a series of newspaper and internet posts prepared by the Illinois State Bar Association that address legal issues of interest to the public. For additional information about the law, visit

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