What Rights Creators and Buyers Have to Artwork

Sharon Leah | Painter

Clementine Duet Clementine Duet SOLD

When someone buys a piece of artwork, who really owns it? The creator or the buyer? Under copyright law, the creator has the exclusive right to:

  • Distribute the work in any form
  • Make copies of the work in any fixed form (digital or print)
  • Display the work in pubic or on a website
  • Make derivatives of the work by modifying or changing an original work, and
  • Publicly perform the work (includes performing music, book readings, films, etc.)

If you’ve watched home improvement shows, the Property Brothers, for example, you may have noticed that all the artwork hanging in homes is blurred out. The Property Brothers would be infringing on an artist’s rights and violating most or all of the above if they made a copy (captured the work on video/film) and displayed it in public (on their TV show).

Creator’s Rights

Congress passed the Visual Artists Rights…

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