Can I Use Artwork on My Cover Without a Contract?

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I purchased artwork for my book cover. Nothing was agreed between myself and the cover designer. Do I own the rights to the artwork so I can use it to publish my book? Do I need to ask for permission from the artist? Thanks.

Unless the artist gave you permission, in writing, to use his or her work for profit, you can’t do so. If you sold an article to a magazine, you wouldn’t want them to assume they own all rights when rights weren’t discussed. You need to contact the artist and get something in writing from him/her before proceeding.

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