All images created by the artist are intellectual property. The actual artwork and the rights to reproduce it are two separate items. Once a painting is sold to an owner, the original work leaves the artist's and dealer's hands but the intellectual property called reproduction rights remains the artist's property for as long as the artist lives, plus 50 years, unless those rights are transferred in writing. This means that if
the owner of the original painting wants to reproduce the painting, written permission from the artist needs to be granted. Also, the artist can continue to sell reproduction rights even though the actual painting is not in the artist's possession. This is the Copyright Act of 1976 effective January 1, 1978 and can be referenced in the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines."