What is Copyright?

Copyright is the legal right that protects the use of your work once it has been created. It ensures your artwork is protected and prevents people from using it without your permission. If you create a an artwork, this protection automatically lies with you.

What Does It Do?

It stops people from copying or adapting your work without prior consent. Your work is copyrighted from the moment it is created, and lasts a varying amount of time depending on the type of work. If someone would like to use your artwork they must contact you first as the legal owner of the work.

What Does it Mean for Artwork/Paintings?

With artworks or paintings, it  remains with the artist unless they sign it over to the new owner of the painting. Buying the physical painting does not give someone copyright of the painting; you (or your agent) have to transfer copyright to the new owner in writing.

Once you have sold your artwork, you then relinquish the right to reproductions and, most likely, the right to make another identical or very similar painting.

Note, however, that the purchaser may be able to defend their right to having a unique image, even if you retain the copyright.

For example, if you have created ‘limited edition’ prints, you can never produce more than the number originally stipulated.

Read more on the Government website here

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