Did you know copyright for ‘artistic works’ in Australia is automatic and logos are classed as ‘artistic work’ therefore copyright of the design is actually owned by the creator!!!

So who owns the copyright to your logo design?

Did you check this prior to choosing your designer or read their contract/ terms and conditions to see if they transfer copyright on design completion.

Most logo designers will have a clause in their contract about copyright transfer so it is worth looking into.

My terms and conditions for example state:

‘All designs and their copyright remain the property of Radge Design until final payment has been received. The client assumes copyright and reproduction rights for the final design upon final payment and completion of the project. Unused design concepts remain the property of Radge Design and may be used for other clients in the future. Radge Design retains personal rights for the use of completed projects as examples in their design portfolio and marketing materials for Radge Design (unless other arrangements have been made).’

Which means you can do what you like with your logo in the future once you have paid for it in full. Not all designers transfer full copyright, they may only licence it to you which can potentially limit what you can do with it in the future. For example you need to own the copyright of the design:

  • To be able to trademark your logo
  • Or to modify or update it in the future; even something as simple as changing the colour

So before booking your graphic designer for your logo ask the questions, check that you will own the final design and not be simply renting it.

Reference: Australian Copyright Council, Logos: Legal Protection. Feb 2017. Info sheet G028v11

Originally Published on LinkedIn, June 2019

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