I’m in a few photo groups online.
In one of them, people are up in arms about Dr. Seuss Enterprises suing photographers for doing Grinch photo shoots.
Except they own the Grinch.
It’s not your creative work. You wouldn’t want someone to steal your photos and use them to make money for themselves. Don’t do it.
I understand that it’s popular. Same with Disney princesses and Star Wars anything and on and on.
I was also aghast at how many “I’ll take my chances” types of replies there were. What happened to integrity?
(I was also surprised at how many people don’t know the difference between copyrighted work and public domain—the difference between the Grinch and Santa Claus.)
It’s not yours, so unless the creator (or owner, if not owned by the creator) gives you permission to use it, you don’t get to. Period.