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Questions about the usage of someone else's work


What is a License?

Under copyright law, a creator may give others permission to use his work. Normally, this is done with a license (also called a "right of use"). In commission situations, such a license is often a matter of course; after all, the client must be able to use the work. If a designer designs a poster for a theater, the theater may of course distribute the poster in the city after payment. In situations like this, the purpose and destination of the commission are considered. A license may be subject to all kinds of conditions. Often a fee for the creator is negotiated.

Licenses can be agreed upon verbally, but it is recommended to put that agreement in writing. This is even mandatory when granting an exclusive license. A much more far-reaching way of allowing others to use a particular work is the transfer of copyright. In that case, the creator loses the copyright and the other party can determine what happens next with the work based on the acquired copyright. Also, a copyright transfer can only be done in writing. This is because the consequences of a transfer are significant, as the creator no longer has any control over his own work. Only the moral rights remain with the creator. Moral rights include the right to oppose changes to your work, and opposing the use of your work without mentioning your name.

The Copyright Act contains some clauses that further explain what an exploitation agreement must meet, and are intended to strengthen the position of the artist in relation to the business operator. These clauses are part of the so-called "Copyright Contract Law. This includes, for example, obtaining a fair compensation, transparency towards the author about the exploitation of his work, or the possibility to recover the rights in case of inadequate exploitation of the work. For more information about the Copyright Contract Law, you can also contact the Federatie Beeldrechten.

When you join Pictoright for full copyright management, you commission Pictoright to grant licenses to users of your work on your behalf. Pictoright also collects the fees for this, which are then distributed to you. Click here for the Pictoright affiliation form-complete.