Recently (actually, just today la), both of us (Kits and Tessie) got pretty concerned about a case of a local shop's intention to sell can badges made from fanart without, as far as we know of, the artist's permission. In said shop's defence, they trusted that their supplier has asked for permission from the respective artist to reproduce their work for sales.
What got us really upset is that it is the shop's responsibility to request for proof that permission is granted, and to hold the merchandise without making any decisions to sell or give them away until said permission is given in black and white. We are both fans of the artist's work, and the artist has stated explicitly on their Pixiv profile that no permission will be granted for any reproduction or alteration of their works. It baffles us that the artist will make such an unusual exception in this instance (if she indeed has done so).
We have friends who are artists who have had their art reproduced without their permission, and we have seen booth owners at conventions selling such merchandise. (We reported it to the organisers immediately because having such things sold at their events can mean getting their license revoked). Most of them (artists) do get rather upset about it (no, it is not flattering at all) and one of them (that we know of) even deleted her online presence (all the art sites, Facebook etc) after such disappointment.
I think as fans, this is the last thing we want. If we do not respect their intellectual property rights, then we do not deserve to enjoy art from them, right? In the same way, as cosplayers, we do not want people to take our photos and sell them in any form without our permission.
As for the above-mentioned shop, the shop owner assured us that they are currently checking with both the artist and their supplier. We feel that this should have been done beforehand, but in the spirit of moving forward without naming names - we hope that they will hold back all decisions and announcements about sales and giveaways until confirmation is given. Meanwhile, we are also checking with the artist on our end for our own peace of mind.
Long story short, if you see any merchandise on sale, whether it is online or at events, whether the art is fan-made or looks official, it will be good to check if the merchandise is indeed official (for those with canon art), or if the seller has the permission from the artist to sell them, if they are not the artist themselves.
Let's all do our part to keep our art scene vibrant and healthy.