It doesn't matter whether the creator is a company or an individual - creators of original content have legal rights over their content and content can't be used without the creator's permission.
Content you see online is usually protected by one or more intellectual property rights (IPRs). IPRs include copyright, trademarks, designs and patents.
Although different countries have different details in their IPR laws, generally the main purpose of all IPR laws is to give creators of original content exclusive rights to use their content and the right to take legal action against those who use it without their permission.
IPRs are economic rights - you can buy and sell your 'property' to make money, and you can take legal action for unauthorised use and claim money in damages. In some countries, content creators might also have moral rights such as the right to be identified as the creator and the right to stop your content being used in a derogatory way. And in some places people also have more personal rights to control images of themselves, under rights of privacy and publicity.
- Copyright gives the creator of original content the exclusive rights to use and exploit that content. The rights usually start on creation and can be licensed or assigned. Depending on where you live, you don't always have to formally register your copyright.
- A trademark gives a person exclusive rights to use a particular phrase, name or logo if these are being used to set products or services apart from those provided by others. These rights are often registered.
You can read country specific IPR information here:
You may also like to see the other articles about our Content Policy for Envato Elements.
- Introduction to our content policy
- How is content protected
- What to do if you believe content is being used without permission
- Envato's role in the process
- An example DMCA takedown notice