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Canva Licensing Terms in 2021

woman sitting at her desk looking at her phone for canva licensing terms

By far, one of my most popular posts to date has to do with the terms of use that you didn’t read before using Canva. The problem with this post is that it’s about a year old, and Canva has changed this licensing terms recently. So here’s a look at the Canva licensing terms in 2021.

So Canva is amazing. I use it too. But when you’re using Canva, you kind of have to wonder, “Okay, with all of the media available, what are the restrictions around using this stuff?” And really, it comes down to two things: free media and one design use.

Of course, free media is media that’s available to everybody regardless of whether you have a pro account. One design use material is also available. If you don’t have a pro account, you just have to pay every time you want to use it.

Does having a Pro account make a difference?

One question you might be asking is, “Well, I have a pro account. Doesn’t that mean I can use everything however I want to?”

Nope, you are still subject to licensing terms, even if you have a pro account. So let’s dig in.

Can you see an identifiable person in free media?

Here are things you want to keep in mind if you’re using free media on Canva. When you’re using photos, make sure and see if you can see an identifiable person. Canva has come out and said that they can’t guarantee that someone’s face can be used in a commercial setting if you can see their face or likeness and a photo. So using photos, you can see someone that’s identifiable, make sure and maybe look for more info or contact the photographer or Canva if you want to use it in connection with a business.

Free media restrictions

For Free Media, you can edit it however you wish, you don’t have to necessarily give credit, although it is appreciated, and using free media on books and posters and other promotional materials all okay, but you can’t sell unadulterated copies of free media on a poster or physical print or anything like that without “adding value.” But it has to be more than just taking the free media and slapping it on something and selling it or using it. You can’t just use that free media by itself to sell note cards or whatever it is. When in doubt, ask Canva. Of course you can’t resell any free media or other media on Canva on any other stock media platforms.

Creating logos in Canva

Here’s a big one, you can’t use any Free Media in connection with a trademark or logo. So don’t use that Free Media stuff in order to create a logo. And then finally, look for “editorial use only.” This means that you can’t use that material that says for editorial use only for business purposes, it can only be for things that are newsworthy, and you have to give credit if that’s the case.

One Design Use

Okay, let’s talk about One Design Use. Again, you can use this stuff in printed context on social media, ads, on posters, etc. Books and magazines are cool. Websites and videos are cool. But for that stuff, there’s a 480,000k file limit.

What you can’t do is this: use it in more than one design. That’s why it’s called a One Design Use license. So this means photos, elements that you see in Canva, you can’t use those things more than once. That’s why it’s called a One Use License. Now, my understanding when you go into Canva is that you can resize it and use it say in an Instagram post and an Instagram story. And that’s okay, that’s not more than one design.

You also can’t use this stuff on a standalone basis in connection with selling merchandise like posters and shirts and mugs. So that’s a big one. When in doubt, here’s what I want you to do.

Right inside Canva, you can see all of these things, all these elements, you’ve got photos, whatever it is on the left hand panel, right? If you click on whatever element you want to use, you see these little dot dot dots, the ellipse. Click there. And it might say “free for Canva Pro,” then click on this little eye in the circle. This tells you what you can and can’t do with this particular type of media. And it’s kind of broad strokes because it gives you “Yes, you can do these things” “No, you can’t do these things.” But then “learn more about this license.” And it takes you to the One Design Use License Agreement. So you can see what licensing agreements apply to certain types of media.

When in doubt, this is what I want you to do to check on the status of these different elements because what it comes down to is what license applies, and what are the rules under that license.

Using images alone

Something I want to highlight when it comes to any image over here is that if I were to take this image just like that and post it to Instagram, I would be violating the license and this is not super clear on their Terms of Use. But you have to at least create some kind of filter or add some elements to it to add that “value” to the photo and make the photo different. Just adding a photo by itself is a violation of the Canva licensing terms in 2021.

So there you go: an update on the Canva licensing terms in 2021 (and use restrictions). Hope that helps and I’ll see you next time.

What the SCOTUS Sales Tax Ruling Really Means

what the SCOTUS sales tax ruling really means spear ip fashion law internet law

Last week (specifically, on Thursday, June 21, 2018), the Supreme Court ruled on a South Dakota law relating to the collection of sales tax for online purchases. Cue a frenzy of brands and online retailers trying to decipher what this SCOTUS sales tax ruling really means. Here’s a breakdown of the decision.

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Client Query: How Do I Know If the GDPR Applies to Me?

You’ve noticed it, right? You’ve gotten bombarded with emails from all of the different services that you use. Pinterest, Etsy, GoDaddy, Instagram, Slack…they’re all updating their terms of service to reflect new privacy practices. But why? If you’re any sort of online entrepreneur, you know the answer. It’s the General Data Protection Regulation (or “GDPR”) coming out of the EU, set to go into effect on May 25, 2018. The GDPR is a new set of standards established by the European Union and mandates certain privacy practices. So, should you be worried about it? Depends. Here, you’ll find some info on who the GDPR applies to, what it covers, and (generally speaking!) some best practices for compliance.

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People Are “Total-ly” Suing Amazon for Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses

People are Suing Amazon for Counterfeit Eclipse Glasses

Those of you in the Nashville, Tennessee area remember the total eclipse that occurred last week. For two blissful minutes (or eerie minutes, depending on your perspective), the sun disappeared, the birds stopped chirping while the cicadas started, and there was a sunset on every horizon. After a flurry of “eye-popping” prices for eclipse glasses, some unscrupulous vendors began peddling counterfeit glasses — glasses that would not protect your eyeballs from the wonders of science. But is Amazon truly at fault?

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Client Query: A Celebrity Is Wearing My Brand

a celebrity is wearing my brand

“Client Query” is a brief segment in which a common client question is broken down and answered. This month, Spear IP tackles that “OMG” moment… “A celebrity is wearing my brand!”

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Contest Rules, Social Media, and the Law

Contest Rules Social Media and the Law

You’ve seen them so often that you don’t even pay attention to the rules. “Tag a friend in the comments to enter!” “Share this photo to enter!” But, like all contests and sweepstakes, contests that take place on social media are often governed by very specific rules. How many social media contests or promotions have you run or participated in that do not follow the rules?

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Proper Use of Client Materials in Marketing

Proper Use of Client Materials in Marketing

The ability for a client to view your portfolio is of utmost importance in client-facing industries. (Looking at you, event planning, graphic design, web design, and photography). One often assumes that she has free reign in posting clients’ projects for all to see. But, that is not necessarily the case. This post touches on some legal hurdles that apply to the proper use of client materials and the “quick fixes” that might save you from legal headaches when marketing your business.

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The Law & Email Marketing Compliance

Email Marketing Compliance and the law

Email marketing is nothing new. Services like MailChimp and Emma have been around since the early 2000s. What else came to us in the early 2000s? The CAN-SPAM Act, which lays out some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to email marketing compliance.

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COPPA & Making An App For Kids

Making An App For Kids

Making a website or app can take a tremendous amount of time, planning, and skill. But making an app for kids adds another layer — compliance. What is COPPA? And what are the extra steps in maintaining a website or making an app for kids?

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IP Planning For A New Business

IP Planning For A New Business

You’re starting a new biz. Congratulations! No doubt you’ve spent time figuring out your logo, the design of your website, etc. Have you thought about your intellectual property and doing some IP planning? It seems a little chicken-before-the-egg (do you register first or launch first?). And, yes, it’s a little less “sexy” than web design. But, IP planning for a new business could be one of those things where your future self will thank you if you actually sit down and do it.

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Why Your Notice to Facebook Doesn’t Work: A Lesson in Terms of Use

A Lesson in Terms of Use

Facebook, the world’s most popular (and populated) social network, has once again been buzzing with status updates where users declare their rights against Facebook and tell it what it can and can’t do with that user’s content. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but these status updates mean nothing. Why?

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