Does anyone know how fanart copyright (commercial use) works?

I do fanart avatars and buddy icons (for social media profile use, samples below) of popular cartoons and pop culture characters. I usually upload them, free to download, under the CC By-NC license.

I notice some small shops here use the design to sell shirts and other merchandise (illegal) but they can still sell some. So I was just wondering if there’s a way to do this legally? Tried emailing Marvel and Toei but no luck.

r/graphic_design - Fanart Copyright

Bioman

r/graphic_design - Fanart Copyright

Iron Man

Thanks.



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