Copyright Free

Why is this art copyright free? 

The art collection we've spent years gathering, digitizing and remastering was either never copyrighted or has expired copyrights. This places the artwork we've collected for you into the public domain, which allows anyone to use the art anywhere anytime without paying royalties, dues or licensing fees. Church bulletin printers, news agencies, marketing firms and moms have heavily valued our growing collection of royalty free* art since the Bush administration.  


Others say similar art is copyrighted. What gives?

We laboriously scrutinize copyright status of every image in our collection before giving it our Guarantee that it's copyright free (we even know the first names of our attorney's children). Next, a lot of well-meaning folks out there do not understand United States copyright law regarding art images, which protects creativity and not slavish (identical) copies of two-dimensional artwork in the public domain. To substantiate this claim further, a historical precedent was set with a landmark court case in 1999 to establish this very point.

The core point of the case: if a painting or picture is in the public domain, and someone creates a copy of it, that copy cannot be copyrighted. The only instance where the copy could be copyrighted is if the person were to create a substantially altered work based off the original. At that point, a new piece of derivative art is created, which can be copyrighted. We don't claim that the unique collection we've gathered for you is derivative, because we focus only on enhancing the artwork to its original beauty.  


*The true definition of 'Royalty Free' applies to copyrighted works with liberal usage agreements as opposed to 'rights managed' images. It's not our intent to be misleading when we use this term on our website. However, a lot of people will use the terms 'copyright free', 'public domain' and 'royalty free' interchangeably. For convenience and a more effective user experience, we use the term as well, but we truly mean that the image is absolutely free of any royalties, dues or licensing fees to us or anyone regardless of how the artwork is used. This same logic also applies when we use the word 'stock' as a modifier.