Overview and Disclaimer

Reproductions of the works of art in the Rapozo Gallery are the copyright of Wayne James Rapozo de Costa and/ or the Rapozo Gallery.  In addition, rights to images of works of art where the artist is alive or has died no more than 70 years ago ultimately belong to the artist and/or the estate or heirs of the artist. Images on this website may be used for personal use.  No reproductions may be made for any commercial purposes without  the express written permission in advance from of Wayne James Rapozo de Costa and/ or the Rapozo Gallery and where relevant the artist or his estate or heirs.

Overview of copyright law

As a general principle, copyright with respect to the image of a work of art is owned by the artist, regardless of who owns the actual artwork during the lifetime of the artist and the 70 year period mentioned below.  There are exceptions to this rule, such as work that has been specifically commissioned by a client or completed for an employer during and under relevant terms of employment, in which case copyright stays with the commissioner or employer.

During the lifetime of the artist and the relevant 70 years period, where a work of art is bought from the artist, a gallery, auction house, collector, none of the foregoing persons or the buyer of the work has the right to reproduce it (whether for prints, post cards or books and the like).  A painting or other work of art on the one hand and the copyright of the work on the other hand are two entirely separate property rights. With some exceptions, such as China, copyright period generally lasts for the artist’s lifetime and for seventy years after their death.   So long as works are in copyright anyone wishing to reproduce them has to seek the copyright holder’s permission. Artists can, however, in limited circumstances sell their copyright. Sales of copyright must be put in writing; otherwise sales are invalid and cannot be legally enforced.

Images of works beyond the copyright period belong to the person lawfully creating the image. Hence, the owner of works in a private collection has ownership over the images of the works owned in the collection.

Galleries and publishers are generally entitled to reproduce images of an artist’s work in order to facilitate selling or trading it through advertisements, catalogues, JPEGs for emailing to clients and uploading onto their website, but they are not entitled to profit from the reproductions itself  of a work of art during the artist copyright period.