How to license Visual Art

August 20, 2020

Whether you are looking at rolling out an innovative marketing campaign, developing a new product line or enhancing your visual identity, the right artwork is a powerful way to help convey your story.

A specific licence or permission may be required for the use of artworks under such circumstances. The Copyright Agency Visual Arts team (previously known as Viscopy*) can support you throughout the whole process of licensing artworks from handling artists’ approvals, to advising on the most appropriate licence to suit your needs and using Indigenous art in the culturally appropriate way.

Why do I need a Visual Arts pay-per-use licence?

A Visual Arts pay-per-use licence allows you to reproduce artwork whilst respecting the artist’s rights and rewarding them for their contribution. While your annual Copyright Agency Licence covers your in-house use of text and images for day-to-day business operations, such as scanning and emailing, the use of artworks for promotional purposes, website uses or other projects requires a tailored approach due to the specific scale and requirements they entail.

When you wish to reproduce an artwork, it is crucial to ensure clear agreements are in place with the artist(s) to ensure the needs of both parties are met. The licensing process allows the copyright owner and the licensed organisation to reach a mutually beneficial, and legal, agreement.

How does it work?

We make the licensing process as easy as possible for you. With a dedicated expert team and access to works by over 50,000 local and international artists, we are in a position to hep you find the right match for your organisation, project or product – whether that is working with a local artist from your region or finding the artworks that best embody a given concept or visual theme.

We have developed a four steps process to support you end-to-end:

1. Search
Do we represent the artist whose work you wish to use? Find out by searching our visual arts member list by name. Or, you can browse our collection of Australian and New Zealand members’ works available for image hire.

2. Request
Once you’ve found the image or the artist, send the details of the artwork you wish to use and how you want to use it (e.g. reproduction on a brochure, website, annual report, merchandise, etc.)

3. Quote
We will provide you with a quote and any additional information you need.

4. Issuing the Licence
If you are happy to proceed, we will organise the licence and issue an invoice to be paid within 30 days of issue or before the artwork reproduction is made (whichever is sooner).

Need some inspiration?

We work with a wide variety of customers to licence artwork for a range of uses, big and small. Organisations that have secured a Visual Arts pay-per-use licence with the Copyright Agency for the use of artworks include Qantas, Gorman, the National Gallery of Victoria, the ABC, Testra, Australia Post, Lexus and the SA Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure – amongst others.

You can see some of these projects we have licensed artwork for here.

Feel free to contact our Visual Arts team on 02 9394 7600 if you have any questions about the visual arts licensing process, or visit our help centre for more information.

*Copyright Agency and artists management company Viscopy merged on 30 November 2017 and are now Copyright Agency.