Someone wants to buy the copyright of my painting

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Someone wants to buy the copyright of my painting

Hi, I’m an artist. Someone wants to buy one of my painting as their business
logo. I want to ask how this normally works? How much should I charge? And
if they want to use this image on other products, like bags, I’d like to get cuts.

Thank you.

Asked on September 3, 2017 under Business Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It works very simply: you and they enter into a written agreement in which you transfer or sell the rights to your work for an agreed-upon price. The agreement can be short--it can fit on one page easily.
As to how much to charge: we can't advise you, because that is an artistic and business question based on very specific facts: i.e. how much do the rights to work like this, by an artist of your relative fame or reknown, go for? If you have friends or colleagues who have sold their art similarly, try asking them. That said, as a rule of thumb, if you are happy with the money, that's really all that matters. 
You can put other rights or requirements into  the contract and probably should. For example:
1) Do they have to include your signature or otherwise credit you?
2) Can you still use the painting as part of your marketing or artistic portfolio?
3) Are there any uses you are so morally opposed to that you don't want them using the art in connection with?
4) If you don't want them reselling the right to someone else, instead of selling them the right outright (since a sold right can be resold), the agreement can state you are giving them a perpetual (i.e. forever) non-transferrable (no resale, etc.) license to use the art.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption