stock illustration and illustration assignments from Laughing Stock
stock illustration by Blair Thornley
General Statement Regarding Copyright

Please respect our artists copyrights. Copyright is legal protection artists are granted by the government of the United States and the International Berne Convention, among other protecting statutes, laws and standards. A copyright is a way an artist can claim authorship for the unique and original work they produce, and for them to earn a fair livelihood by controlling the usage of their creations. Through a lifetime of dedication, passion for their work, and creative talent, an artist serves society, by giving vision to concepts, dreams, and feelings.

Copyright law derives from the Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 8, which extends protections and rewards to artists for their authorship. As of January 1978, the current copyright law became effective. It is a federal offense to infringe upon an artists work. Severe penalties can be levied by the courts up to $100,000 per infringement. For a thorough review of the copyright laws please go to You may also want to refer to The Graphic Artist Guild’s Hand Book: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (to order call 1-800-500-2672)

What is a Copyright?

A copyright is actually a group of individual rights given to an artist, so that each specific use of an image is transferred separately to a buyer. Fees are negotiated based on the extent of the use granted. Any rights not specifically transferred remain the property of the artist. Ownership of an original piece of artwork confers no additional rights, unless otherwise transferred by the artist in writing. An artist holds these rights for their lifetime plus 50 years.

Derivative Works

A derivative work is one that is “recast, transformed or adapted” according to copyright law. A derivative work created without the permission of the copyright holder will most likely constitute an infringement. A litmus test is often based on “person in the street” criteria: if a lay person deems the original work and the derivative work to be similar, most likely an infringement exists. A jury is asked to rule on similarities, not differences, in determining an infringement.

Out of respect for the artists’ rights and for your own self protection, infringement is a serious offense.
We have had several infringement settlements to date, one of which settled in the six figures. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these matters, it is always wise to inquire first. Thank You.

When did that wondrous mystic art arise
of painting speech and speaking to the eyes,
that we, by tracing magic lines are taught
how to color and embody thought. ---
William Massey

Laughing Stock


Laughing Stock is an illustration services agency specializing in rights-managed stock illustration, illustrated stock animation, and custom illustration assignments. Search for original stock images, stock animation, review artist portfolios & illustration projects, and assign custom work with our outstanding roster of over 150 illustrators. Complete illustration resources for professional creatives in the publishing, advertising, design, corporate, and new media markets. © Laughing Stock 1993-2013. Rights-managed stock illustration: Images can not be used without proper licensing.
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