These guidelines are intended to provide a basic understanding of intellectual property rights, and how they affect the International Virtual Aviation Organisation. Staff members and users involved in the creation, use or distribution of images shall read and understand these guidelines.

a. Copyright protects the rights of authorship of any artistic, photographic, dramatic, musical, literary and visual works. Ideas cannot get copyright protection.
b. Copyright is attached on creation of the work, and is an automatic right and does not require paperwork, registration or an explicit statement.
c. Copyright gives the author the sole right to: reproduce the work, display the work publicly, edit or alter the work and distribute copies to the public by sale, rental or for free.
d. Giving credit to the source does not substitute the need to obtain permission to use the work.
e. It is common practice on the internet to display a copyright notice, usually followed by “all rights reserved” and/or the symbol © along with the year of creation of the work, to indicate that they reserve all rights of their works. E.g:

© 2018 International Virtual Aviation Organisation. All Rights Reserved.

f. Work becomes referred to as Public Domain once copyright protection expires, is waived, or not applicable. The work then becomes available for use without permission from the copyright owner. This is only applicable to the original work and adaptation of public domain might be protected by copyright. Further, one shall keep in mind that Public Domain is defined differently across countries.


a. A trademark is a sign capable of distinguishing the goods or services of a company or individuals from those of others.
b. Such signs include, for instance, words, personal names, logos, letters, numbers, colours, the shape or packaging of goods or sounds.
c. Trademark registrations give their owner exclusive commercial rights.
d. Therefore, a trademark is considered infringed when

  • A public confusion is caused when a similar party other than the registered owner uses a trademark, or
  • A trademark is used by a dissimilar party, is such a way that causes reputational damage to the owner of the trademark, even without public confusion.

e. “Fair use” may defended on two grounds;

  • either that the alleged infringer is using the mark to describe accurately an aspect of its products, or
  • that the alleged infringer is using the mark to identify the mark owner.


a. Creative artwork (images, videos, banners etc) used for any IVAO activity (under the name of IVAO, or any functional division, department or instance) must be created using either:

  • Work created by the author himself or herself.
  • Work free from copyright (e.g. under public domain)
  • An image for which permission to alter and create derivative works has been granted. (The original copyright owner must grant written permission with the knowledge that a non-profit organisation may distribute the derivative image internally or externally.)

b. Images must be free from any registered trademarks (as defined in 2.). Otherwise, explicit written permission must be granted by the registered owner to use the trademark.
c. Any author submitting his/her own image(s) as a whole (or part) work for IVAO or on IVAO’s different platforms (Forums, Social Media or similar) is granting IVAO a perpetual, shared, non-transferable license to use this image internally and externally, for free.

  • E.g.: An IVAO user submitting his image in IVAO’s Flickr.

d. Any IVAO Staff Member submitting his/her own work (image, video, banner, document, etc.) for IVAO while holding a staff title, for staff-specific purposes, on any platform, is granting IVAO a perpetual, shared, transferable and irrevocable license to use this work internally and externally, for free.

  • E.g.: IVAO-PRA1 creating a banner for IVAO’s Facebook, IVAO-TDAM creating training documentation or XB-FOC creating a tour announcement image for XB Division.

e. Anybody creating, providing or using artwork in the name of IVAO (under 3.c. or 3.d.), must be able to demonstrate that the image is free from intellectual property (copyright and trademark) restrictions if challenged.  


It is not difficult to seek permission to use copyrighted images. Several artwork websites provide contact details for authors of images, many of whom will happily allow their images to be used. Authors must grant written permission as referred to in 3.a.iii.

Alternatively, there is a growing number of sources of copyright free images such as:

http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ http://search.creativecommons.org/

IVAO Public Relations Department aim is to fix the root-cause and educate members, not to create a hostile 'checking-up' culture. Therefore, we will always assume goodwill and will not ask our members for copyright/trademark usage permissions, unless challenged. Any challenges to this policy will be handled solely by the Public Relations Director (PRD).

Anyone wishing to report a breach of these guidelines shall submit evidence to the PRD. If a breach is observed, the author will be asked to demonstrate his compliance with the policy. The PRD will then decide whether the image is compliant or not. If it is not, the artwork will be withdrawn from usage.

IVAO Board of Governors will have final say in the change and interpretation of this policy.
For any further assistance or questions, please contact:
IVAO Public Relations Department Director - prd@ivao.aero
IVAO Public Relations Assistant Director: prad@ivao.aero
IVAO Board of Governors: bog@ivao.aero