Artwork copyright

Hi … I’d like to use a painting on a home page for a UK based site - the painting is Darwin’s Preoccupations by Patrice Murciano. I guess it’s a famous painting with lots of prints, mugs, cusions etc all available to buy.

It suits my project so well and I’d really like to use it, even if I have to reference the copyright. That’s no problem.

Any advice or nudges in the right direction would be more than welcome. Thanks.


Hi Jason. I’m not familiar with UK copyright law, French copyright law, or frankly too much of US copyright law (where I reside). In my very limited experience I suspect there are a lot of variables. For instance is your site a commercial site or is your site a community of people that discuss artwork., etc. I would suggest contacting the artist (or his studio) and asking. Best of luck.

Thanks Dan. It will be a commercial site.

Copyright laws vary from country, but as a general rule if an image is still covered by copyright, not yet in the Public domain, then you will need consent from the copyright owner. That often requires compensation.

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In all EU countries, plus the UK and the US and many other countries, the normal copyright term is 70 years after the creator’s death (there are a few exceptions which wouldn’t apply here). Since the painter is still alive, you’ve a long wait before his works are in the public domain! As his work seems to be popular, he’d probably expect a substantial reproduction fee.

Thanks Doug. Thanks Peter. Much appreciated.