Last updated on November 16th, 2017
Copyright is really a dangerous word, especially when it comes to any creative work. All the professionals, who do creative work, are scary of this very word. If you are also a designer, then you might have also faced the scanning of copyright issue. There would have been a copyright question or two-or-11-in your time when stigma of copyright might have been levied on you. Below is given a quick rundown of common graphic design copyright issues that you need to better understand if you want your work to be ridden off copyright issue. Let’s have a look at them.
Highlights of graphic design copyright issues:
What does Copyright mean?
Copyright means reproducing and commercially exploiting somebody else work. It clearly means that you cannot make money off something that has been created by others, without giving due credit and compensation to the work. It gives protection to any kind of artwork: photographs, Illustration, graphic designs etc.
Copyright comes under Intellectual Property laws that relates to the creations of the human mind. So mainly, if you are the creator of any art work, then you are the owner of that work. Now, lets find out the questions you might already have:
Do I need to copyright my work?
From the technical point of view, your work automatically comes under the protection of Intellectual Property laws. Anything created, designed, drawn and written by you is only and legally yours work, the only thing is that you should have physical evidence of that one. In order to ensure that, you should get all your intellectual work registered under copyright laws.
However, if you are under the employment or contract of any company or organization to create any kind of creative work, then the sole right of that property would be the employer and contractor. Though you can use the work for your own portfolio, it must be best run by your employer first. You are not allowed to sell this work to any other third party.
I did not create this image, can I use it?
We are all aware of the value of accessing royalty-free stock photos. But what if you find graphics, designs or other images that have been created by someone else? It is quite safe to imagine that any other images you come across are copyrighted, either. But, if you do altering in the image and come out with something new, it will be regarded as derivative work, and avoid copyright laws.
If you have any doubt, it is better to contact the creator or the owner of this image.
Can you copyright typeface?
As per the U.S. law, you are not allowed to copyright typeface or font. However, typeface surely has got a set of restrictions. Many designers and organizations have gone through the legal trouble for making use of certain typefaces in logos or other marketing materials.
Similar to other copyright issues, if you have the slightest doubt, then you should better check with the owner.