My illustrator designed the cover of my book, but my publisher did not want to use his cover. They wanted their illustration department to do it. What I didn't know was that they copyrighted the cover and the interior of the book. Does this mean I can't use that cover or my illustration ever again?

  • Welcome, Rick. We're not lawyers, and even a lawyer couldn't say without seeing your contract. So it's difficult to say. Can you add more detail to your question? Mar 1, 2014 at 1:39
  • 3
    The publisher has copyrighted the illustration that their illustration department came up with, right? Mar 1, 2014 at 11:41
  • This is tricky. You should ask them. I, personally, think that it is yours and theirs. Jul 1, 2014 at 6:50

2 Answers 2


It's their cover and their interior. Naturally they would copyright those.

If the rights to your book ever revert to you, you can publish it with whatever cover and interior you can get the rights to.


Normally you are the automatic copyright holder of original content, and assign publication rights (territory, language and media-specific) to a publisher or publishers for an agreed period. The publisher's copyright would extend to the layout and design, I would have thought, unless the contract has been drawn up to assign copyright entirely to them. Check your contract terms.

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