GIPHY Art: Navigating Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues 

by Federica Rustico

12 min read
Last Updated: May 26, 2023

Well, well, well, it looks like businesses have finally caught on to the magic of GIPHY art. What can I say? It appears like brands have discovered the wonders of GIPHY illustrations (finally). But before you go crazy and start sticking GIFs onto every marketing campaign you have, there are a few things you should think about. Not to bring the mood down or anything but today we're discussing the legal implications of stealing someone else's creative work, not just which GIF will receive the most clicks. Even your favorite dancing cat GIF is probably covered by copyright law. No need to feel lost in the maze of intellectual property law as it pertains to GIPHY artwork, though; we're here to help. In this article, we will explain the fundamentals of copyright and intellectual property law and provide guidance on how to legally use GIFs in your advertising efforts. Put your feet up, kick back, and prepare to learn a thing or two.

GIPHY Art: Navigating Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues

What is GIPHY?

The way in which people connect with one another online has been fundamentally transformed as a direct result of GIPHY, the top search engine when it comes to searching for and hosting animated GIFs. Alex Chung and Jace Cooke laid the groundwork for the platform in 2013, and ever since, it has seen explosive growth in terms of user engagement. Users of GIPHY have the ability to search for and share animated GIFs, which makes it simple for them to communicate their thoughts and feelings in a manner that is more amusing and interesting to other people.

While GIPHY is the second biggest search engine after Google, GIPHY is distinguished from other search engines by the fact that its primary concentration is on animated GIFs. The website has a large library of GIFs that range from hilarious and quirky to poignant and heartfelt in their expressions. Because of this, it is an excellent tool for individuals who wish to enrich their online conversations with a sense of comedy or personality. Plus, its network of integrations and partnerships with social media and communications apps have greatly influenced the use of the .gif format.  

The enormous amount of daily active users for GIPHY is a clear indication of the platform's popularity. This indicates that GIPHY is one of the most extensively used platforms for online communication, and it has consequently become an essential component of the culture of the internet.

GIPHY was purchased by Facebook in 2020 for $400 million. This move demonstrates the growing significance of animated GIFs in the world of online media, and it's abundantly evident that GIPHY is not going anywhere anytime soon. It seems likely that GIPHY will continue to expand both in popularity and influence as a result of the increasing number of individuals who are turning to animated GIFs as a means of expressing themselves.

What is GIPHY Art?

The term "GIF art" refers to original creative works that have been developed for the sole purpose of being used as GIFs. The term "art" on GIPHY can refer to anything from simple animations to intricate works of digital art. It is essential to be aware that not all GIFs that can be seen on GIPHY are considered works of art because some of them are merely extracts from films or TV series. GIPHY art is one of a kind since it is created for the express purpose of being used on the GIPHY platform and with the understanding that it will be shared and used by other people.

Why GIPHY Artists Are Important

The artistic component of the GIPHY platform has grown to become increasingly important. It's a novel digital art form that gives creators new avenues for self-expression beyond the bounds of conventional media. Animators at GIPHY use their skills to produce GIFs that tell stories and convey feelings, often with a hilarious or offbeat twist. GIPHY artists add life and variety to the platform by consistently producing new and interesting content, guaranteeing that viewers will never run out of options.

GIPHY Artists are also crucial in increasing user activity and enthusiasm for the service. Since there is always something new to see, people are more likely to stick around and spread the joy of animated GIFs throughout their social circles. GIPHY relies on user participation to keep growing and evolving in the face of intense market competition. More than that, GIPHY provides an unprecedented platform for creatives to exhibit their work to a wide audience. GIPHY artists can gain exposure and a loyal fan base by posting and sharing their own original GIFs on the site. As a result, you may be able to connect with more influential people and organizations, as well as other creative professionals, who can help you further your career.

During the past few years, GIPHY has made an effort to acknowledge and support the creative community it serves by launching a number of projects and programs tailored to the needs of its members. For instance, GIPHY's "Featured Artist" program promotes the careers of chosen creatives by featuring their work prominently on the company's website and social media pages. There are tools for making and posting GIFs, as well as an Artist Dashboard, to facilitate the creative process and the dissemination of artistic output.

In general, GIPHY artists are an integral part of the platform since they create engaging content for users and open doors for themselves. GIPHY's rising profile means there are more opportunities than ever for creatives to make their imprint on the Internet and find success in the realm of digital art. If you want original works made for your brand, search for GIPHY artists to hire right on our platform, for free!

Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues with GIPHY Art

More and more companies are using GIPHY artwork in their advertising campaigns, so it's crucial to know what that means. Several factors must be considered before using GIPHY artwork in advertising campaigns, including copyright and intellectual property law.

GIPHY Art: Navigating Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues

Understanding Copyright Law

The fundamentals of copyright law must be mastered before moving on to the more complex areas of intellectual property law. The legal notion of copyright ensures that authors receive compensation for their efforts. That's why it's important to respect copyright laws when sharing any kind of artwork, whether it's a photo, a poem, a song, or anything else. While GIFs can be considered artistic works in their own right, this also includes GIPHY art, which frequently features the work of artists who have developed their own unique animations or other forms of visual media specifically for the GIPHY platform.

Authors are afforded a number of monopoly privileges under copyright legislation, including the power to prohibit others from duplicating, selling, exhibiting, or otherwise exploiting their creations (among others). This implies that without the owner's consent, you might be infringing on their copyright and putting your company at risk if you utilize their GIPHY artwork in any way for commercial purposes. To safeguard against this potential liability, it is recommended that businesses always seek out the original creator's permission before including a GIF into marketing materials.

Navigating Intellectual Property Law

Knowing your way around copyright law is essential when employing GIPHY artwork in marketing initiatives, but so is knowing your way around intellectual property law. Inventions, works of literature and art, designs, symbols, names, and pictures used in business are all examples of intellectual property (IP). Given the use of GIFs in corporate branding (see: Nike's "Just Do It" tagline), intellectual property laws like trademark infringement and trade dress protection may apply to them (i.e., when an image is used so frequently that its shape becomes associated with a specific product). A company can safeguard its commercial GIPHY creations and uses by familiarizing itself with copyright and IP laws.

Understanding Fair Use Doctrine

While using GIFs in advertising campaigns, companies should keep in mind the fair use doctrine, which protects parody or satire on a matter of public interest that does not include appropriation of another person's work. Fair use may insulate you from legal action by the original authors of the works you are utilizing without their consent. To be clear, fair use is not a guaranteed protection and is still open to judicial review.

The courts adopt a four-factor test to decide if a certain use of copyrighted material is fair use. The copyrighted work's nature, the amount and significance of the section used in proportion to the copyrighted work as a whole, and the impact of the use on the copyrighted work's marketability or value are all relevant considerations.

Even though the four-factor test can be helpful, there is no magic formula for evaluating whether or not a particular use of copyrighted material is fair use. Every event calls for a unique analysis of the facts. Instead of relying on the argument of fair use, corporations should get the creator's permission before using any GIPHY art. This can assist keep the company out of trouble with the law and prevent expensive litigation.

Copyright Laws Vary Across the Globe

When using GIPHY art for promotional purposes, it's crucial to be aware of the subtleties of copyright legislation in each nation in which you operate. When compared to countries like Canada and the United States, the European Union has more restrictive copyright rules, with narrower definitions of "fair use." Companies found in violation of copyright laws in the European Union (EU) may be subject to heavier fines.

In the United States, fines for copyright violations can be anything from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. To make ourselves clear, w hile GIF Stickers and GIPHY Clips are both powered by Instagram and TikTok respectively, their use in stories and TikToks is not met with any legal difficulties, you can use them freely. The issue arises when you use GIPHY artwork created by others in commercials or other marketing initiatives without the creators' permission.

Finally, before adding GIPHY art into your marketing efforts, it is crucial to conduct your research and grasp the unique copyright regulations in both your country and the country where the art was created. Avoid any possible legal entanglements by consulting an attorney and obtaining permission from the artist or copyright owner in advance, if possible.

How to Legally Incorporate GIPHY Art in Your Advertising Campaigns

You need the copyright holder's permission to use their GIPHY artwork in promotional materials. This necessitates making contact with the artist or owner of the artwork in question and requesting their permission before using it in any promotional materials. The owner of the copyright may want to be compensated for the use of their work, so be ready to negotiate licensing conditions and costs. To avoid any disagreements or legal concerns in the future, it is important to put the agreement in writing.

GIPHY Art: Navigating Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues

Remember that using someone else's GIPHY artwork without permission can lead to fines, legal action, and harm to your brand's reputation. If you want to use someone else's artwork in your marketing materials, you need to get their permission and follow the correct legal procedures. 

Guidelines for Using GIPHY art without Copyright Issues

The use of GIFs downloaded from GIPHY on your website or accounts on social media platforms may give rise to copyright violations. When using GIFs from GIPHY, here are certain guidelines that you should follow:

When you can use a GIF from GIPHY

Exceptions to when you cannot utilize GIFs from GIPHY

Wrapping Up

GIPHY has changed the face of modern communication in a profound way. It's a service that makes it easy to share entertaining visual content like GIFs with one another. Using GIPHY art is a terrific way to spice up your material with some humor or emotion, but it's important for businesses to be aware of the potential legal implications of doing so. More and more businesses are using GIPHY art in their marketing, but they need to be aware of the legal risks associated with doing so without first securing the necessary permissions. Trademarks, copyrights, and patents are all examples of intellectual property that need to be protected with extreme care by businesses. Companies can prevent any legal trouble associated with the unauthorized use of intellectual property by taking the appropriate actions to ensure compliance with intellectual property regulations. This involves getting permission from GIPHY creators, giving proper credit, and not violating anyone's intellectual property rights.

Furthermore, companies should be aware that the commercial use of GIPHY art may be governed by different rules than the non-commercial use. That is, businesses must get legal guidance to make sure they are not infringing on any intellectual property rights. To wrap up, companies using GIPHY images in their advertising should research the regulations associated. They need to be careful not to violate anyone's intellectual property rights by using GIPHY art without properly attributing it and not to use it in a way that gives the impression that GIPHY is endorsing or sponsoring them. Also, businesses should consult with legal counsel to be sure they are not violating any intellectual property rights while using GIPHY artwork for business purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I properly attribute GIPHY art in my marketing campaigns?

Adding the GIPHY artist's name and/or username to the caption or credit box is the right way to give credit where credit is due. 

Can I use GIPHY art in a commercial without the artist's consent?

If you want to use someone else's work for profit without violating their intellectual property rights, you need to get their permission first.

Can I use any GIF or Sticker I find on GIPHY in my marketing campaigns?

No, you need to make sure you have permission from the GIF's or Sticker's creator or owner to use it.