I had a cool talk with my creative friend about something called licensing. Licensing is getting permission to use something, like a font or artwork, but you have to follow certain rules. Let me explain with an example. Imagine going to different theme parks. Each park has its own rules for renting lockers. You pay and get a key, but it doesn’t mean you own the locker. You’re just borrowing it for a while and have to follow the rules. The same goes for using things like stock images or fonts online. Sometimes you pay for them, sometimes you don’t, but you’re still just borrowing. Some licenses let you share what you’re using with someone you hired, like a copywriter or designer, but often you can’t. That’s why designers want you to buy a license for the fonts or artwork before they use it.

Many businesses don’t do this. They think everyone uses the same rules or that changing an image from a photo to a drawing makes it okay. That’s not true. You always have to get permission to use someone else’s work, even if you plan to change it a lot. The U.S. Copyright Office has rules under “fair use” you can check.

There are lots of things that need licensing, like famous characters, celebrity images, or other artists’ work. If you don’t follow the rules, you could get in trouble. So, always check the rules or ask the owner for permission. Also, learn about work-for-hire laws in your state. These steps will help you stay compliant and avoid potential trouble.