Can we submit designs to be sold in the iNaturalist store?

Not sure if this is the right spot for this, but I was wondering if we’d be able to, as the title says, submit designs that could be sold in the iNaturalist store?

I don’t have any money to buy anything from the store or donate to iNaturalist itself, but I love making art, and I would be 10000% onboard with donating designs to iNaturalist to sell in the store to help support the site.


Key word here - ‘donate’.

Overall I think this is a bad idea. It is probably only a matter of time before someone decides they could profit monetarily off the design they submitted, and then comes the litigation and copyright headaches.

This would be the only way we ever get official Gerald merch.


I would recommend reaching out to staff directly.


In Gal Week 2023, there’s a sticker design, and you can buy a sticker for $2 and any profit will be donated to iNat. So there are definitely people doing things like. Just another option for logistics.

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Why not design and sell your own nature-themed shirts or other items? You might not be able to include iNat-specific logo in them but would still be something an iNatter might buy.

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You just have to figure out how to get noticed on Etsy.

I do, I just wanted a way to help iNaturalist itself make money since I don’t have the money do donate.


Should iNat or anyone else profit off of one specific user’s observation? The user hasn’t even been on iNat in four years.

You can reach out to us at help@inat but I think it might be a complicated thing to do, legally. (at least in my non-lawyer assessment)

As long as you don’t use the original image, the merch is just based on iNat community lore rather than an actual observation.

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Is this topic inspired by seeing @megan_blackmore’s post in Happy Gerald Day?

Might be sticky since the observation itself is BY-NC, so no commercial use, so probably sticky for iNat or anyone to sell something based on it for profit.
If it was not under a noncommercial, I would say it would be easily legal for Gerald merch being sold.
But Im not a lawyer, just my thoughts.
Of course, could always try to contact the observer and ask.

Could always use a body-double for Gerald. Lots of other muskrat photos out there and if you’ve seen one muskrat, you’ve seen them all. (Did I actually say that?)

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I understand what you meant by “body-double”, but since it’s so similar in my thinking to “stunt-double”, I couldn’t help but think of iNat staff commissioning a film/art studio to create and photograph a human-sized Gerald replica, where an actor would need to play the part.


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