Need Legal Advice!

Need Legal Advice!

Post by Brian Eggerts » Sat, 20 Jan 1996 04:00:00



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

 
 
 

Need Legal Advice!

Post by Eric Mil » Sun, 21 Jan 1996 04:00:00


I think your position is correct, but you should hie thie to a lawyer.

Files are sometimes transferred for an extra fee, I understand.
I've heard of fees up to three times the price of a regular job.

 
 
 

Need Legal Advice!

Post by Guy Morto » Tue, 23 Jan 1996 04:00:00


The design work would be your intellectual copyright I should
imagine and provided that you can prove through backups of drafts
etc that you developed the design ideas then you own them and they
can't pinch them without having a contract signed by you that gives
them the right to do so.

On top of that, ownership of the fonts, programs, disks, etc remains
with you and you are not obliged to give them to your client, in fact if
you did you'd be breaking copyright yourself. If they want to use
them they'll have to buy their own copies of everything, plus buy the
rights to use your files.

I'm not a lawyer and I could be completely wrong, but I think this is
the way it goes.

--
~~
~~  Guy Morton / Image Alchemy

~~  WWW:  http://www.alchemy.com.au
~~

 
 
 

Need Legal Advice!

Post by Michael M. Lawle » Sat, 27 Jan 1996 04:00:00




> 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
http://www.veryComputer.com/~raceart

 
 
 

Need Legal Advice!

Post by Tom Ha » Sat, 03 Feb 1996 04:00:00






> > 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
> http://www.veryComputer.com/~raceart

Gentlemen:

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
it.

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.

--

 
 
 

Need Legal Advice!

Post by John Gerec » Mon, 05 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Couple of comments:

1)  Hire a lawyer who is skilled in a) Business and/or b) copyright
law for this.  Free advice is generally, but not always, worth what
you pay.  They money you pay for a consult will not be too high and
you might just get the answer quickly.

2)  I'm a photographer and there is a similarity in our situations.
The critical phrase in photographic copyright law is:  "WORK FOR
HIRE".  If your "contract" uses those words, the photographer gives up
his copyright by law.  In virtually all other cases, the photographer
retains his/her copyright protection for all photos taken by him/her.
The basic concept, as I understand it, and I may be wrong, is that if
the photographer is working "for hire" he/she is simply an employee of
the company (or whatever/whoever signed the contract).  As such, there
is an understanding that anything produced while an employee of the
company belongs to the company.

Otherwise the photographer is "self-employed" and is responsible for
all the "benefits" that go with being an employee (taxes, health,
retirement, etc).  Therefore he/she owns ALL rights to the creative
work that he/she does not give/sell away.  And the photographic
copyright law is VERY explicit that the creator of the image owns all
rights that are not given/sold IN WRITING!

I realize that there is a HUGE area of law that is going to have to be
litigated insofar as computers and graphics are concerned, but maybe
this helps a little.

Good luck!!

================================

Part about doing work for another has been snipped.

Quote:>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