This is an excellent article by gsprendergast about the danger of copyright infringement on book cover images and how to avoid it.
Recently I’ve had to explain image copyright to a couple of people. No fault of theirs really – we can’t all be experts on everything – but it certainly underlines the importance of working with a reputable designer who can properly advise you. If you DO insist on making your own cover, or getting your brother who is quite good at scrapbooking to do it, what follows is a kind of primer on copyright.
Edit: some people reading this article have been getting confused, so let me stipulate up front – YOU DON’T NEED TO OWN THE COPYRIGHT TO AN IMAGE TO PUT IT ON YOUR BOOK COVER. YOU NEED A LICENSE TO USE THAT IMAGE. PURCHASING IMAGES FROM REPUTABLE STOCK IMAGE PURVEYORS GRANTS YOU THAT LICENSE. ALL MY COVERS AND THOSE OF MANY OTHER REPUTABLE COVER DESIGNERS ARE DONE WITH PROPER LICENSING. An artist or photographer can also grant…
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