Copyright Office

Artistic Works

Copyright applies to all works of an artistic nature including, but not limited to, photographs, paintings, sculptures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, cartoons (static not moving animations), logos, engravings, sketches, blueprints and buildings or models of buildings. Protection is also given to works of artistic craftsmanship which can include crafts, embroidery, ceramics, woodworking and jewellery.


Using Artistic Works

You can use an artistic work for certain purposes such as educational use, research or study or criticism or review. For more information see Using Copyright Material.

You must properly acknowledge any artistic work that you use.

 

Ownership

Physical ownership is different to copyright ownership. Copyright is generally owned by the artist or creator of the work, but it can vary depending on factors such as employment or licensing agreements - see copyright ownership for more information. When you purchase an original artwork, you will only own copyright if there is an agreement to that effect.

If a photograph, portrait or engraving is commissioned for a fee, then the person commissioning the work will own copyright unless an agreement is made.

 

Rights of Copyright Owners

Copyright owners of artistic works hold the right to reproduce, publish, communicate or broadcast their works. There is no right 'to perform' artistic works, you do not need permission to exhibit an artistic work, if the copyright owner has already made it publicly available.

For more information see Rights of Copyright Owners.

 

Duration of Copyright

  A B C D
  Published or made publicly available during the author's lifetime. Published or made publicly available posthumously Created anonymously or under a pseudonym Copyright expired if...
Artistic Works
Life of the artist + 70 years.
70 years from the end of the year the work was first published or made publicly available. Artist died before 1 January 1955; or Category C work published before 1 January 1955
Engravings Life of the engraver + 70 years. 70 years from the end of the year the work was first published or made publicly available. Work published in the engravers' lifetime and the they died before 1 January 1955; or
Work not published during engravers' lifetime but published before 1 January 1955; or
Category C work published before 1 January 1955
Photographs
Works made for, or first published by a government, or in which copyright is owned by a government, lasts for 50 years from the end of the year of first publication.

 

Updated 10/07/11(HT)

top of page