Are Canva Images Copyright Free?

When starting out with the idea of a new brand, it’s important to keep an eye on the legal side of things.

When designing with Canva which provides you such a wide array of images, elements and features to work with, it can always be confusing to figure out what is free and legal to use. 

Are Canva Images Copyright Free?

Keep reading to make sure you are using the right images, elements and features available to you!

This article has all the ins and outs of Canvas copyrights, before you start creating your eye-catching new brand. 

What Is Canva?

With the help of expertly created templates, you can quickly and effortlessly create invites, business cards, brochures, lesson plans, Zoom backgrounds, and more using the free visual design site Canva.

Canva offers tens of thousands of no-cost, expertly crafted templates that are easily editable using a drag-and-drop user interface.

To use Canva, just upload your photographs, drag them into the template of your choice, and download the document to your computer or smartphone. 

Your Canva creations can be used for an array of occasions. From Instagram posts to that all important, impressive presentation Canva has a template for everything!

Difference Between Trademark And Copyright?

Intellectual property includes copyright and trademarks. It can become confusing when both appear identical. Let’s briefly discuss copyright and trademarks and their differences.

Copyright

The primary goal of copyright is to safeguard the creator’s original creation. A work of art could be a picture, a book, a piece of software, an article, etc.

The owner is granted the right to replicate their work or make money off of it thanks to copyright.

The guiding premise is straightforward: “If you produce something creative or new, you must decide what to do with it.”

You must register first and get a license from the relevant government in order to obtain copyrights.

Copyrights give the author or creator the power to decide what happens to their work right up until 70 years after their death! Yes, that long.

When using a copyrighted work on Canva, the author has given permission for their work to be reproduced and reworked in order to make a profit. 

Trademark

Protecting a term, phrase, symbol, or device is the basic goal of a trademark. A brand’s name, emblem, tagline, or slogan can all be trademarks.

Coca-Cola, Apple, and so on, are well-known examples. Trademarks assist businesses in clearly differentiating their goods from competitors’ goods on the market.

A company or person must first register their product which must meet the government requirements. Trademarks essentially prevent a work, whether logo, slogan or other, from being used in other ways.

Often a company registers for a trademark in order to gain an advantage on competitors by ensuring their branding cannot be stolen. 

Does Canva Have Trademarks Or Copyrights?

Whilst the company name and brand ‘Canva’ may  be trademarked, the images and stock on the site do not. They do, however, have copyright if they are created by another author or creator. 

Canva images, elements and features do hold copyright. But this doesn’t mean you cannot use them for your own needs. This is due to the Free Media Licence.

But we’ll get into that shortly. For now, just know that any stock on Canva contains copyright, not trademarks. 

What Is A Free Media License?

What Is A Free Media License?

You may use the free content for both free and paid purposes because it comes with a Free Media Licence. This material can also be changed and edited to fit your needs. 

The free media license, however, forbids the sale of prints or other tangible products that contain unchanged copies of the said content without adding any value.

And this is the license’s most crucial component.

To put it another way, you are welcome to utilize any of Canva’s free content and resell it on print-on-demand websites like Redbubble or Merch by Amazon, but you must make something profitable out of the free materials you use.

Premium Vs Free Plans

Content at Canva comes in two flavors: free and paid.

They provide two primary pricing options, including a free plan that gives you access to millions of themes, pictures, movies, and graphics but excludes the premium content.

You have unrestricted access to premium tools and content after upgrading from the free plan to the Pro.

If you decide to upgrade to Canva Pro you will have unlimited access to all that Canva has to offer without paying a single use fee.

This means you will pay either a monthly or annual subscription for the Free Media Licence which gives you access to commercially or personally use the works of other creators on Canva. 

However, if you are not a sizable business with a regular income, this may be an unnecessary cost as Canva subscriptions can be rather expensive. 

Remaining with the free plan is where some issues may appear. You may find that when you have chosen your desired template or element that there may be a single use fee.

This grants you with the Free Media Licence for one specific use. If you wish to use the template or element again, you will have to pay another fee.

This is fine for one-time uses such as class presentations but if you are trying to print 60 business cards, for example, you will have to pay this small fee 60 times. 

Whether you pay for the premium plan or stick with the free basic plan there are tens of thousands of templates, elements and features available to you. Just be aware of the added costs.

Final Thoughts

So, are Canva images copyright free? No. All images, features, elements and graphics are subjected to copyright protection. 

However, you can use any of the stock on Canva for commercial and noncommercial purposes without fear of copyright infringement. This is due to the allowances of the Free Media License Agreement. 

You can now get to creating your own fun, colorful graphics without fear of copyright on Canva! 

Justin Shaw
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