Many small to medium-sized business owners use clip art to design their company logos, thinking that no one will claim any rights and no issues will crop up. They have this misconception due to the overwhelming claims by sellers of stock images on the web. It is only when the logo is being actively used by the company that the rights issues surface and complications arise.
So, who exactly owns the rights issues for logo design ?
Generally everyone has the perception that no-one owns the clip art images and there are no copyright issues since many people are already using them. Because of this belief, many business owners and designers are also find using clip art as a good idea for logo design. So-called logo templates also have been in use for the same belief.
But you cannot own a logo that has a clip art image. Since you cannot claim that the logo design is an exclusive concept, you will not get copyright of your company logo. Many companies are already using that image and your competitor may also be having the image in logo design.
Another disadvantage of clip art logo is that it may be that the stock image may be of a designer who has copyrights over it. In that case the licensing arrangements with the original designer may not allow you to use the image without permission.
In fact, most of the clip art providing services let you use the images free of cost but when it comes to owning those images, you are in trouble. They will not allow you to have the ownership rights. For example, Microsoft clip art is available to you free with tons of software. But its licensing is very restrictive and you cannot use the images for commercial use. So, the art work is okay to use for some personal purpose, but you cannot put the art on a flyer advertising a sale.
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