Not sure where this should go, so posting here (hope that’s OK). I’ve asked Patreon support the same question, and am still waiting to hear, but would be interested to hear what other people here have to say on the matter.
What’s the situation with fan art and Patreon? I’m an illustrator, so I’m concerned here with drawn images, but I guess this issue could also apply in other media. Let’s say I want to do a piece of art based on somethin that’s currently in copyright - say, a cover for one of the Harry Potter books. If I do this on my illustration portfolio, even share it on social media, I probably won’t get into trouble because I’m simply using it to promote my skills, and I’m not making money from it.
Now, transfer that activity to Patreon: even if I don’t sell prints, etc, am I in contravention of J. K. Rowling’s copyright because I’m making money from her characters (albeit indirectly)? I realise that many people on Patreon seem to behave as if this isn’t a problem, even selling commissions of copyrighted characters, and I know that (for instance) comic book artists can supplement their main income from producing commissions of this sort (which the comics industry seems mostly to turn a blind eye to).