Be smart when using intellectual property

All designers use the creative property of others, we have to, time and budget constraints don’t allow us the luxury to sit for hours and draw, or head out with camera in hand to find the perfect photo for our ideas. But do you always read the small print on those user agreements? You should, others intellectual property is something that needs to be respected.

Here are some excerpts from a few samples of the fine print., excerpt from the standard user agreement:
Do not:
use or display the Content on websites or other venues designed to induce or involving the sale, license or other distribution of “on demand” products, including postcards, mugs, t-shirts, posters and other items (this includes custom designed websites, as well as sites such as

Have you ever used an iStock just to show placement on a product image on your website?, excerpt from the standard user agreement:
Service Bureaus: You may send a copy of any Nick’s Fonts font data along with your documents to a commercial printer or other service bureau to enable the editing or printing of your document, provided that such party agrees to delete the font or fonts from his/her/their system upon completion of your project.

Is your printer deleting your fonts after your job is finished?, excerpt of EverythingIsInStock’s user agreement
6. You MAY use my stocks as drawing references, however I expect to be given credit all the same.

When you do an illustration do you credit every resource you used?

Most of the time when you download fonts or images from the web you’ll see something like; Free for personal use or Not for commercial use. Remember, just because it’s for personal use doesn’t mean you can’t contact the creator and buy a license.

Be sure to read the small print, give credit where credit is due, and don’t be afraid to contact the creator or webmaster to ask questions.