Be smart when using intellectual property

All companies use the creative property of others sometimes, they have to, time and budget constraints don’t allow for an illustrator or photographer on every project. But do they always read the small print on those user agreements? They should, intellectual property is something that needs to be respected.

Here are some excerpts of fine print.

iStock Content License Agreement:
No Products for Resale. Unless you purchase an extended license, you may not use content in connection with any goods or services intended for resale or distribution where the primary value lies in the content itself including, without limitation, cards, stationery items, paper products, calendars, apparel items, posters (printed on paper, canvas, or any other media), DVDs, mobile applications or other items for resale, license or other distribution for profit. This includes “on demand” products (meaning products in which content is selected by a third party for customization on such product on a made-to-order basis), including, without limitation, postcards, mugs, t-shirts, posters and other items (this includes the sale of products through custom designed websites, as well as sites such as and

You can’t use an iStock image for a t-shirt design that you are selling unless you purchase a license to do that.

Adobe Fonts Font Licensing FAQ:
Does my client need their own font license to use the designs?

No, not if you are creating graphics or documents that have rasterized or properly embedded font data, such as a PDF, JPEG, or PNG. However, if your client needs to have the font installed to edit your design, they will need their own license, either through a Creative Cloud subscription or as a desktop license purchase.

You can’t use a font your designer put in your document unless you buy your own license.

So, read the fine print, make sure you know what is allowed for the intellectual property you want to use, and don’t be afraid to ask if you aren’t sure what all that legal language means.