> > Hello All:
> > I hope I am posting to the correct group. I am a * graphic
> > designer who for the last two years has been doing a weekly newspaper for
> > a Medical employment company. Every Friday I delivered the art boards to
> > them so their printer could pick them up. The owner has now decided to do
> > the work in-house since he is expanding. My question is in regards to who
> > has the right to all the computer files. We never drew up an agreement as
> > to this (I wish we had, but thats another long story). I have looked
> > through the Graphic Arts Guild Handbook for help. It doesn't really
> > address the situation exactly, but it did give me the impression that the
> > art boards are the Medical Employment companys1 and the computer files are
> > mine. All the artwork and programs and fonts are all mine and were
> > purchased by me (as well as all equipment). The only thing supplied to me
> > were the actual art boards to paste the artwork up on.
> > ANY advice would be appreciated! E-mail or post here. I WISH I would have
> > drawn up a contract, but I look at it as a valuable lesson.
> > Thanks in advance!!
> > Brian Eggertsen<<<
> I too am a *r Brian. But legal advice I cannot give. Just some
> insight as to how it works in my opinion.
> IF.....you have been getting paid to do the FOR this company, they retain
> the rights to it. You are selling them a product. It is theirs.
> IF you have been selling them THE RIGHTS to your artwork, you retain the
> rights. This however has to be agreed upon BEFORE work begins. With no
> written agreement, the work is theirs to keep. If you try to use your own
> work for something else, and they have their little copyright symbol on
> it, they could sue you. Sticky situation. I wish you the best of luck
> resolving it.
> Mike Lawless
> RaceArt/Lawless Designs
Neither lawyer nor doctor am I, but I do run a small publishing service
company and deal with the in-house thing all the time.
Brian does own the computer files (assuming he owns the hardware and
software that created them) and the medical company owns the boards. I
would suggest that Brian do a couple of things. In the future, draw up a
contract that specifies who owns the work. But spilt milk is spilt.
Brian, why don't you try to educate the client that their better off not
bringing the work in-house. Buying a Mac and throwing it at a secretary is
not going to get them a better product. The computer is merely a tool, but
the knowledge and creativity and experience making the tool sing is why we
hire designers and compositors. Convince them of this. IE sell them on the
idea. If they truly are expanding, they'll need to hire a full- or
part-timer, that could be you.
Second, if they are solid on the in-house, you are under no obligation to
GIVE them the COMPUTER files, especially since there is no contract
specifying this If the relationship is one you want to maintain, you
SHOULD give them the files with your blessing. You might even ASK for a
payment. Before you go in, think this all through, be prepared with
concessions, but also know what you're bottom line is, where YOU draw the
line, and stick to it. They'll respect you for it.
You could also sell them on training. IE, make some money training their
in-house person. The trick is to keep a good relationship if it's worth
If they are **s****s, keep the files. Let them rebuild the files. Hope
this helps. Keep your chin up. Let us know how it turns out.