Copyright/Copyleft/Copy Center?


Hello web designers (and anyone else interested in the fun, FUN world of copyright)

For your clicking pleasure, I’ve assembled this handy dandy post o’ information and resources related to copyright for artists and designers. This is a dense topic and what is listed here by no means covers everything. But, hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

Copyright Basics for Designers

Basics from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)

A primer from the Graphic Artists Guild

Alternative Licensing

Creative Commons Licensing

Copyleft movement website and handbook.

Everything is a Remix: the excellent short film series we watched in class.

RIP: A Remix Manifesto: a fascinating look at the way remix culture is evolving how we think of copyright and creativity.

Sources for Public Domain and Alternative Licensed Media

Be sure to always check individual licenses to make sure they match your particular use. Also, attribute when required.

General Media


  • Flickr: millions of photos but somewhat unruly in organization.
  • PhotoPin: sometimes has more relevant search results than Flickr
  • Google filtered search: just be careful since following an image outside your search (as in clicking on “related images”) can lead you to copyrighted material.

Fonts/Web Fonts

  • Font Squirrel: all fonts are free and licensed for commercial use. Font Squirrel is also home of a web font generator that can be used to convert any font for use with the @font-face property.
  • DaFont: lots of interesting specialty fonts. Check the license.
  • Google Fonts: the evil empire has its fingers in everything, but, as with Font Squirrel, the fonts are all free and licensed for commercial use.

Fair Use

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use the Visual Arts published by the College Art Association.

Appropriation and Fan Art

This is a video of a panel at Comicon at 2012 with copyright expert Josh Wattles. It’s long-ish but worthwhile if you are interested in fan art or the appropriation of pop culture imagery in general. This one’s for you, Doug!


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