Terms of permission

for use of copyrighted visual art works


An artist’s copyright is valid for 70 years after his/her death. After that it is permitted to use his/her works free of charge. This time limit only applies to the authors’ financial rights, not their honorary rights (see Article 4 of Act No. 73/1972).


Requirements for permission

  1. In order to obtain permission to use copyrighted visual art work an application thereon must be sent to the office of Myndstef, the Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association (myndstef@myndstef.is), specifying for what purpose the work will be used and in what quantity.
  2. If works by 10 authors or more are used, Myndstef can provide contracts with all authors. See “Collective contracts”.
  3. An application must be submitted and we then grant permission of use. If any questions arise, please contact the Myndstef office.


Terms and conditions 

  1. A fee according to the tariffs ensures the right to use the agreed work in accordance with the terms and conditions.
  2. A work shall be republished unchanged, that is to say, it is not permitted to write on/over or onto the work, nor to cut or change it in any other way.
  3. The name of the author shall be displayed in the following manner: © Author’s name/Myndstef
  4. When a copyrighted visual artwork is used on the internet it may not be larger than 600 pixels in height or width.
  5. The user shall send a copy of the relevant publication/path to homepage to Myndstef no later that on the day of publication/display.
  6. Myndstef sends an invoice and with the payment of said invoice, a permit of use is granted automaticly. 



Special terms

In specific cases authors make additional claims for the use of the copyrighted works, for example special conditions on the display of a specific text or name and a claim to receive colour samples for printing for approval. The Myndstef office provides information on such special claims of authors.


Authors’ honorary rights

The name of the author must always be mentioned when a visual artwork is displayed and it is also prohibited to change the work or misuse it in any other way. General rules of the Copyright Act are applicable, see Article 4 of the Act No. 73/1972. It is pointed out that these author’s rights are not transferable. In isolated cases it is however permitted to alter an author’s work to adapt it to a specific design or setup but in such delimited cases the author's permission is always required. Myndstef serves as intermediary for such requests.


Collective contract

Myndstef can arrange contracts covering also the rights of authors who are not members of Myndstef, the Icelandic Visual Art Copyright Association. This applies among others instances where several visual artworks are used in a publication or on the internet. Such a collective contract allows for a general permit which would be complicated and time-consuming to obtain if it were negotiated individually with each author. The responsibility for such a collective contract rests with Myndstef as it ensures that the authors are paid their fees.


Guiding tariffs

The Myndstef tariffs are for guidance and may be deviated from, both raised and lowered. For the use of visual artwork in marketing/advertising the fee is negotiated specially and based on the extent of the intended use.


Reproductions without fee

In certain cases it is permitted to use a copyrighted work without prior permission or payment. This applies when copyright according to the Copyright Act is cancelled or when there are special exemptions in the Copyright Act on such use without fee, see Chapter III of the Copyright Act No. 73/1972.


Prohibited use of copyrighted visual artwork

If the terms according to these tariffs are not respected, Myndstef may, on behalf of the author concerned, claim damages in the form of a raise of the tariffs by up to 100%.


Not included in the fee

The tariffs of Myndstef applies only to the copyright fee as its use is specifically defined in each instance. A fee for a copy that is to be used for printing, publication or display in an electronic environment does not fall under these tariffs and the making of such a copy must be paid for separately.  The party receiving permission of use according to these tariffs cannot share the publication right with others, for example by downloading copyrighted material for use for educational purposes.


How to use the tariffs

A fee according to the tariffs depends on the media where the visual artwork will be used, such as publication in books, other printed media, on the internet etc. If the use cannot be attributed to any media indicated in the tariffs, please contact the Myndstef office.


The tariffs are updated on 1 January every year and are linked to the consumer price index less housing.


When making one copy of a copyrighted visual artwork, a separate contract shall be made.



  • When published material is reprinted or a comparable publication of the same material is made, for example on DVDs, CDs, film and more, a discount amounting to 50% applies. If a work is republished in another language but otherwise unchanged it is a reprinting.
  • Use of copyrighted visual artwork in several media:
    When a visual artwork is used for publication in several media a full price for the most expensive media shall be paid. For other media a 20% discount is usually applied provided that all publications are used simultaneously.
  • Repeated use of the same visual artwork 
  • No additional fee shall be paid for the use of one thumbnail referring to a larger copy of the same publication.
  • If the same work is displayed more than once in one publication a 50% discount applies to additional displays.


Hafnarstræti 16, Po. Box 1187, 121 Reykjavík - Tel. 562 7711 - myndstef@myndstef.is