Have you finally found the perfect clipart image but you are wondering if it is really free? Did you find yourself even more confused after reading over the legal terms regarding the use of the clipart? You’re not alone! To help put things in perspective, below you will find a summary of the major types of licenses that clipart providers will base their licensing policy on.
- Royalty Free – Generally a copyright will exist on the clipart but the image can still be used in most personal, educational and non-profit work. You cannot use royalty free clipart in commercial works – meaning anything that produces income.
- Public Domain – Public domain clipart generally doesn’t have a copyright or the copyright has expired. This means that the clipart is public property and available for anyone to use for any purpose.
- Rights Managed – This is a more outdated form of licensing for clipart today. Rights managed clipart must be purchased. Once purchased, the clipart can be used one time within the licensing terms. If you want to use the clipart again, for any purpose, you must pay additional money.
Since clipart may have additional terms and conditions that vary from each provider, it is always a good idea to contact the owner of the clipart and ask them what you can and cannot do with the clipart if you are unsure what the legal terms allow.