Guidelines for the use of Norwegian banknote and coin designs
Background and purpose
Norges Bank has the sole right to issue Norwegian banknotes and coins, cf. Section 13 of the Norges Bank Act. Furthermore, the central bank is authorised to issue commemorative coins in accordance with specific guidelines, cf. Section 16 of the Norges Bank Act.
Norges Bank shall promote an efficient payment system, cf. Section 1 of the Norges Bank Act. For cash to function as an effective means of payment, the public must have confidence that cash represents a valid means of payment. Norges Bank therefore has a responsibility to design Norwegian banknotes and coins so that they are difficult to copy and easy to distinguish from counterfeits.
The purpose of the guidelines for the reproduction of banknote and coin designs is to prevent the risk of confusing the reproductions with genuine banknotes and coins. Safeguarding public confidence in money and certain documents are otherwise provided for in Chapter 29 of the Penal Code.
Furthermore, the design on Norwegian banknotes and coins is subject to copyright protection pursuant to Act No. 2 of 12 May 1961 relating to Copyright in Literary, Scientific and Artistic Works, etc. (Copyright Act). The guidelines are designed to promote compliance with the Act. Any form of modification in design will in principle be in conflict with the Act unless the prior consent of the copyright holder has been given.
The aim of the guidelines for the use (reproduction) of Norwegian banknote and coin designs is to contribute to ensuring that:
- the reproduction is not confused with genuine banknotes and coin
- the copyright is protected
The guidelines apply to the reproduction of all or part of a Norwegian banknote or coin design, irrespective of purpose or method.
The guidelines do not apply to Norges Bank's information and communications activities.
2. Provisions relating to the risk of confusion
The guidelines set out below in 2.1 and 2.2 express Norges Bank's view as to how banknote and coin designs should be reproduced in order to prevent the risk of confusing a reproduction with genuine banknotes and coins and to prevent violation of the Norwegian General Civil Penal Code provisions on counterfeiting and making objects resembling money and the distribution of such objects (cf. Sections 367-369). Any dispute with regard to the interpretation and application of the provisions of the General Civil Penal Code will be decided by the courts.
2.1 Banknote designs
The reproduction of banknote designs must be done with respect for the status and role of banknotes in society and in a such a way that the reproduction cannot be confused with all or part of a genuine banknote.
a) Reproduction in printed media:
The reproduction of a banknote in printed media must comply with the following guidelines in order to avoid the risk of confusion (all the conditions must be satisfied):
- Banknote designs must not be reproduced as a "banknote" with an obverse and a reverse. If the banknote design is reproduced on one side, the other side must not in any way resemble a banknote design.
- The reproduction of banknotes must not be the same size as actual notes. If a reproduction is smaller, it must not be more than 50% as long and 50% as wide as the original. If a reproduction is larger, it must be at least 150% as long and 150% as wide as the original. These conditions also apply to the reproduction of part of a banknote design.
- Producing data files with the intention of reproducing all or part of a banknote design in printed media with a resolution higher than 72 dpi is not permitted.
b) Reproduction in electronic media:
The reproduction of a banknote in electronic media must comply with the following guidelines in order to avoid the risk of confusion (all the conditions must be satisfied):
- Data files (production or storage) for reproducing all or part of a banknote must not have a resolution higher than 72 dpi.
- If the complete banknote design is reproduced, the word "SPECIMEN" must be clearly printed diagonally across the reproduction so that the text covers not less than 50% of the diagonal length of the banknote and the height of the letters must be not less than 15% of the height of the banknote.
2.2 Coin designs
The reproduction of coin designs must be done with respect for the status and role of coins in society and in such a way that the reproduction cannot be confused with all or part of a genuine coin:
- The reproduction of the design on the side of the coin where the value is indicated must not be placed on a product made of metal or other material that could be mistaken for metal.
- The reproduction of a design on the side where the value is not indicated may be placed on a product made of metal or a metal-like product if
- "SPECIMEN" is marked in clear (conspicuous) print on the product, or the product is produced in a different size from the original design of the coin. The diameter must be less than 50% of the diameter of the original coin or more than 150% of the diameter of the original coin.
3. Provisions relating to copyright
The design on Norwegian banknotes and coins is subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act.
3.1 Applicable rules up to and including banknote series VII and for commemorative coins issued prior to 2018
The copyright is owned partly by Norges Bank and partly by the artist. The artist transfers the right to use the design (motif) to Norges Bank for the central bank's ordinary use of the banknote and coin design. The residual copyright, i.e. the right to use the work of art (motif) in another context, is retained by the artist. The copyright expires 70 years after the artist's death.
The right to modify or use all or part of a banknote and coin design in a context other than ordinary use by the central bank requires the prior consent of the copyright holder. The Norwegian Visual Artists Copyright Society (BONO) handles copyright matters on behalf of visual artists.
3.2 Applicable rules for banknote series VIII and new coin designs as from 2018
Norges Bank holds all rights to the reproduction of banknote and coin designs (motif).
The right to modify or use all or part of the design in a context other than ordinary use by the central bank requires the prior consent of Norges Bank. Such consent is not usually given if the banknote and coin design is intended for use in a commercial context.
For more information on the guidelines for the use of banknote and coin designs, contact Norges Bank's Cashier's Department, tel. +47 22 31 60 00.