Who retains the copyright to artwork?

by creativeimagery | June 19, 2017

Who retains the copyright to artwork?


Unless otherwise specified in a contract, by law, the graphic designer retains the copyright to his or her creations.

When designing artwork for a client, we are also selling specific rights to use it. Copyright laws protect against additional use without proper compensation or agreement. Unfortunately, infringement is a common occurrence in graphic design. Here are some examples:

  • A licensee re-uses the work beyond the scope of the license.
  • An illustrator copies the unique style of another illustrator.
  • Taking images off the internet to use as your own.
  • An ad campaign uses slogans, images and page designs similar to those of another ad campaign.

Copyright Definition.
Copyright refers to laws that regulate the use of the work of a creator, such as an artist or author. This includes copying, distributing, altering and displaying creative, literary and other types of work. Unless otherwise specified in a contract, the author or creator of a work retains the copyright.

Read more about intellectual property visit IP Australia website.

A client will sometimes believe that since they paid for the work, they own the working artwork file. The prices advertised by creative imagery are for designing a ‘press ready’ document only. The client is provided with a ‘Press Ready’ pdf document that can be printed anywhere. Any alterations to the artwork, however, will need to be done by Creative Imagery.

Never included in our prices come layered or working files such as Indesign, Illustrator or Photoshop files. All logo design services provided, include the final working artwork file in our price.

Working artwork files.
Our fee to supply client’s our working artwork file is calculated as (cost of the project) x3 = Fee for working files.

View creative imagery’s full terms and conditions here.



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