Why is it important to obtain the proper rights clearances? Our clients value provenance and legitimacy, two pillars we pride ourselves on.


Copyright Law protects artists and creators from exploitation and plagiarism, with the ethos that they should benefit from their original work. In most countries the copyright lasts the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years after death.


Bridgeman Images takes care of everything to avoid copyright problems


To ensure your projects and campaigns are not beset with infringement issues later, it is vital that every work is cleared and licensed through the appropriate channels.


View of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre painting by Hubert Robert
View of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, 1796 (oil on canvas) / Hubert Robert / Bridgeman Images




As a general rule, for works created after 1 January 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. 

According to the United States Copyright Office, the term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors. These include whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, you need to consult the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). 

For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication. Or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published before 1978, the terms vary depending on several factors. 

Take a look at U.S. Copyright Office guidance.




Life of the artist plus 75 years.


Australia, Brazil, Israel, Japan, Norway, Peru, Russian Federation, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey


All provide protection for the life of the artist plus 70 years.

In Japan, artists who were nationals of the UK, US and other Allied war nations before the Pacific War have been awarded an extension of copyright term of a further 3,794 days.




This information is a simplification of current legislation for guidance purposes and is subject to change. Bridgeman Images does not offer this as legal advice and takes no responsibility for its interpretation by third parties.


Useful contacts


UNESCO have a wealth of information on international legislation including a news bulletin area and a database of national copyright legislation.

WATCH gives advice on how to trace UK and US copyright holders.

ARS (Artists Rights Society)

Bridgeman Images USA team: newyork@bridgemanimages.com