Guidelines on the usage of your art for commercial purposes
It may happen that you receive a request from a customer to use your art for commercial purposes. These requests could come from a design studio, a publisher, a TV/Film production company or any business needing artworks for their project.
Copyright laws are complex and not all artists will know and understand the requirements of a licensing contract.
We hope the below FAQ will help you make the right decision when it comes to selling or licensing intellectual property for your artworks.
Can I discuss this via the Artfinder messaging system?
As much as we would love to help facilitate such requests, this is not something we can accommodate at this stage. We would therefore advise the customer to contact you directly via your website or social media channels to discuss licensing agreements.
If you sell an artwork on Artfinder but agree to a specific licensing right with the customer to be sold outside of our systems, we will assist you with your Artfinder order but as the licensing rights would not be covered or managed by Artfinder, we would not be able to assist if any issue occurs as part of this deal.
What is intellectual property?
GOV.UK has some clear and detailed advice on what is intellectual property, which can be found here and the type of license you can obtain/apply for to protect your rights, which you can find here.
Does Artfinder own copyright and intellectual property for my artwork?
By registering and becoming a Seller and uploading Artwork Content you grant Artfinder a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicensable right and licensing to access, view, use, copy, reformat, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform and transmit your Artwork Content via online and physical sales channels (including the Platform and third party sites and platforms) in any media now known or not currently known.
This right and license is solely for the purpose of enabling Artfinder to use your content for the promotion of the Platform. Artfinder does not claim, and therefore cannot violate ownership rights of your Artwork Content.
This is highlighted in Section 2.6 of our Terms and Conditions here.
Do customers own copyright for my work after purchasing on Artfinder?
No. When purchasing on our site, customers benefit from the right to use the artwork and associated images for personal use only, i.e not for commercial purpose.
What do we advise customers on such occasions?
We advise that as all artists on Artfinder are responsible for their shop's management, we do not hold copyrights for the artworks posted on site so any agreement to use artworks for business purposes rather than private collections will need to be obtained from you directly.
If you refuse however, we cannot bypass your decision and any material used by such customers without express agreement from yourself could result in legal pursuits, so it is important that potential customers discuss in detail with you their intentions to ensure both sides understand how, when and under which conditions they wish to use the artwork.
How shall I respond to such a request?
- Check the source: ask for as many details as possible about the project, the company contracting you for it and the scope of the licensing agreement. Check their website, reviews, any mention of them online etc. to ensure they are genuine.
- Seek legal advice: You would not accept a new job without first checking the employment contract thoroughly. The same goes for licensing agreements. We strongly advise you seek legal advice prior to accepting anything, via a lawyer if you have one, or by using the information provided by DACS (which you can access here) as they provide ample resources for artists having questions over copyrights. Another option is to seek legal advice from Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre available here which is a free resource recommended by DACS.
- Think of other avenues: There may be other options for you to work with such customers, whilst retaining the rights for your work and ensuring you are compensated for this fairly. For example, you could consider renting your artwork for specific purposes, against a renting fee, and would then have the artwork returned afterwards. This means you would charge a fixed fee based on the project length/needs and would avoid your art being used for commercial purpose afterwards without your consent.
What is Artfinder Copyright Policy?
Please refer to our Copyright Policy and Process here.