What is Artwork Copyright?

Making a difficult term into less of a concern ☁️

Copyright is an automatic right that is applied to the content creator. This will allow the copyright owner to protect against others copying or reproducing their work. Artwork copyright will protect your creative works from the moment it has been created. Copyright protection lasts for the life of the creator plus an additional 70 years.

So if an image is free to view on the internet…unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean it’s free to reuse as your release artwork.

This is a misconception we run into a lot. If you’re looking for artwork to use for your release, doing a Google Images search and picking an image you like isn’t enough to make sure you have the appropriate rights for it. This also applies even if the image you’re using is only part of your artwork.

E.g. if you took a screenshot of a character in ‘Star Wars’, and used them in artwork where you’d made the rest of it yourself, we’d still need to ask you to remove the character, as that image is owned by someone else.

For more common mistakes to avoid so you don’t have artwork copyright issues, click here.

Where can I find free artwork?

Head to our article on the topic of finding free artwork.

There are lots of websites that host free archives of images that you’re allowed to use commercially. Some of the most well known are:

There’s lots of others out there that a quick internet search will reveal!

📌 Please note! If you use an image from one of these sites there’s a chance that we may still need to ask you where it came from. If this happens, just send us the original link you downloaded the image from (so be sure you make a note of where you got it from) and we’ll be able to confirm it’s all okay for us to upload to stores. No problem!

Check out the full RouteNote Style Guide here!

If you have any further queries, feel free to get in touch with us!

See also:
Can I use blank artwork for my release?
Can I credit an artist in my release artwork?
How can I prevent my artwork from being misleading?

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