Index Register Members Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Go Back   Sweatdrop Forums > Main Category > Coffee Lounge > Copyright laws.
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 17-02-2012, 11:49 AM   #1
fredorourke
Registered User
 
fredorourke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Posts: 23
Default Copyright laws.

Okay I am writing to those who are professional artists or who have some Copyright now how.

I have a friend who is starting out as a Graphic Designer. She worked for a company awhile back under their marketing team. She got the job through the Job centre and was employed on a normal, everyday staff contract. The exact same the sales team got, the telephonist. Or anyone that joined the company.

Now during interview stages she told them her degree and what she was interested in. So any company would, they took advantage and got her to do some flyer designs and eventually even worked on a prototype new website. She got paid her contractual hourly rate like the contract stated.
So when she left the company (over a yea almost ago) she posted the work she had done for them on her online website in her portfolio section.

Almost a year later the company have demanded she take it down as it's owned by them allegedly. Now I can understand of it stated that in the contract but surely images should be allowed to be posted within a portfolio (print or online otherwise) otherwise how would anyone get work?

Just my friend is not sure where she stands really and doesn't want to tell them to do one or go to court as she isn't actually 100% what to do.
She has taken the stuff down but is trying to look into ways to get it posted back up if it isn't breaching any copyright laws or anything because at the end of the day. She never signed it over so the intellectual property is hers.

She has told me she is trying to get in contact with the Design Council but no luck yet.

So was wondering if you lovely people here at Sweatdrop know anything?
__________________
Goddess Hecate, work thy will. Before thee creatures great and small, let the unclean thing crawl!
fredorourke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 12:29 PM   #2
Wayne
Purloiner of shooies
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Dewsbury
Posts: 1,916
Default

Generally if you created the work then it belongs to you and nobody can order you to take it down or use it without your consent.

If she made this for somebody else then under fair use she should be able to use it in her portfolio since she is the artist.

http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/co...t/p09_fair_use

The company may well own trademarks, and that's maybe what it's about but I mean what artist would agree to work for a company that won't even allow it's artists to use their own work in their portfolios?

Got any links?
__________________
Wayne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #3
Darth Mongoose
The DupliKate
 
Darth Mongoose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cumbria, England
Posts: 1,940
Send a message via AIM to Darth Mongoose Send a message via MSN to Darth Mongoose
-->
Default

It may well have stated in her contract when she got the job that any work she produced for the company the company would own the rights to. For example, Stan Lee does not own the rights to the X-men even though he invented them. He invented them for Marvel and so as per his contract, Marvel owns the rights to them. Similarly with Alan Moore, he doesn't own the rights to Watchmen, which is how DC are making prequels against his will. There was also that occurrence last week where a Marvel Ghost Rider artist was asked for compensation for selling Ghost Rider sketches at cons for personal profit.

One thing that an artist or designer must be careful of is where the ownership lies when they produce something under another company's banner. It is entirely possible that in the small print when she joined the company it said that anything she did for them would belong to them even if she wasn't employed as a designer originally.
__________________
Darth Mongoose is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
MoonShadow
Registered User
 
MoonShadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 244
Send a message via ICQ to MoonShadow Send a message via Yahoo to MoonShadow
-->
Default

What Darth Mongoose said. It depends entirely on the contract she signed. It is perfectly possible to sell your rights to reproduce, exhibit etc. for a work. Otherwise, what would "exclusive" even mean?

Fair dealing is deliberately ill-defined in British law; the intent is to let the court decide on a case by case basis if things get that far. However, none of the provisions that are made allow for the public exhibition of a work that you have given exclusive exhibition rights for to someone else. There *is* a provision for private study, so you should be able to get away with bringing a copy to an interview, but putting it in a public portfolio is out - assuming that is, in fact, what the contract did, your friend should check it. Your friend could, of course, link to wherever this company is using her work rather than hosting copies of it herself.

The CDP act is actually surprisingly readable and clear, you can find it here.
__________________
MoonShadow - toothycat.net
MoonShadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #5
aqws
villainous.
 
aqws's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: London
Posts: 663
Send a message via AIM to aqws Send a message via MSN to aqws Send a message via Yahoo to aqws
-->
Default

As per earlier comments, that's impossible to say without the contract. If she signed some kind of NDA she's doubly screwed. I've done design work for a car company and Nintendo (through other design companies) which will never see the light of day. I can't even tell you the name of the car company and I can't put Nintendo on my website.

What she can do is put the name and logo of the design company on her website client list.
check Joanna Zhou's site or Zarina Liew's for good examples. This tends to be how designers show off when they worked on conceptual stuff which the company doesn't want released, when the project was handed over to another designer to complete, or when the work was made by a team.

~John~
__________________
aqws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
fredorourke
Registered User
 
fredorourke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Posts: 23
Default

Ooooh thanks for that MoonShadow!! I've forwarded this on xD
__________________
Goddess Hecate, work thy will. Before thee creatures great and small, let the unclean thing crawl!
fredorourke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 02:03 PM   #7
Scorpio
Improve or die tryin'
 
Scorpio's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,426

Sweatdrop Admin
wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by aqws View Post
As per earlier comments, that's impossible to say without the contract. If she signed some kind of NDA she's doubly screwed. I've done design work for a car company and Nintendo (through other design companies) which will never see the light of day. I can't even tell you the name of the car company and I can't put Nintendo on my website.
I always thought NDAs were related to the content of the work in progress, ie not disclosing who you're working for whilst the project is underway and obviously not posting any work online before public release or never if it doesn't get greenlit. I suppose the only reason could be that companies don't want rivals poaching freelancers, but once a project goes live into the world the creator should automatically become public knowledge?

It seems slightly unfair of a client to provide work and then deny the freelancer the opportunity to enhance their career by mentioning the collaboration. One would assume basic etiquette allows a respectful acknowledgment of the partnership. I've worked on several projects which I haven't posted online (eg no public fanfare of 'I did this for so & so') but which I do keep in my personal portfolio as evidence of my experience.

The other situation I can imagine companies don't want are designers taking advantage of hazy boundaries. I've known people who created a tiny flash banner for, say, Vodafone under exact instruction by an agency of what text and imagery should appear, and then went round and listed "Vodafone" on their own portfolio as a client . Similarly, some designers are hired to slightly readjust an existing website layout for a company and then put the entire thing in their portfolio as if they're taking credit for the corporate branding, logo, photography and user interface.

@fredorourke
That example seems very odd, and I couldn't imagine why the company would not allow your friend to display work she rightfully created as part of her personal portfolio. Even though the company owns the rights to their logo, website etc, she is simply using the imagery to as a demonstration of her creative skill for future work and this has no relevance to the company, their site content or competitors.
__________________

Joanna Zhou
:: website :: livejournal


Scorpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 02:19 PM   #8
MoonShadow
Registered User
 
MoonShadow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 244
Send a message via ICQ to MoonShadow Send a message via Yahoo to MoonShadow
-->
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpio View Post
the creator should automatically become public knowledge?
Depends entirely on the wording of the NDA. There's nothing in British law to force things to be this way or otherwise, however good or bad it might be if there was.

Always read before you sign; if you don't like the terms, don't sign.

Quote:
One would assume basic etiquette allows a respectful acknowledgment of the partnership.
One would hope so, but there are no such guarantees in law, and once the cease and desist letter comes, that's pretty much a sign etiquette and respect have gone out the window right there.

I agree there might not be any good reason for the company to have been quite so restrictive, but that does not at all mean that they haven't.
__________________
MoonShadow - toothycat.net
MoonShadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 04:28 PM   #9
Aramaki
Old and Bald
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Rugby, Warwickshire
Posts: 5
Default

Because she was a salaried member of staff at the time, the letter of the law is with the company I'm afraid. Though there may be legal counter arguments for the particular use in question, I think it might be worth trying something else first.

Perhaps she could try writing a polite letter to the company (probably to the Marketing Director) apologising profusely, she was totally unaware etc etc.. Then say that because she is so proud of the work she did for them, she would really appreciate it if they would give permission for her to display the work in her porfolio, and that she would be happy to display words attributing their copyright plus any other wording they may wish to add regarding the campaign in question etc etc.

An approach like this might produce something that satisfies both parties, and it should at least help restore some goodwill to the situation.
Aramaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #10
Laura
BACK IN THE GAME
 
Laura's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Cambridge, UK
Posts: 12,897
Default

I completely agree with Aramaki.

Prime example; I'm in the middle fo constructing a website full of work I have done over the years, and it is purely at the discretion of my company (and require disclaimers and logos plastered all over the place) that I can host them, because the work I did for them is owned by the company. It was work created on their premises for their business, and they paid/pay me per job as a member of their staff of their payroll. I am owned by my contract, ofc. . So is my work.

We also had to wait a LONG time to get permission for works to get released, and some works I cannot name what job they were for, due to my NDA/contract.

I agree it was a noob error and it is unlikely that this was done in malice or anything. However, companies have huge bucks and the copyright is with them, I assume, due to their reaction. I woud take them down pronto, write and explain the error, and hope that permission is granted if they get to see the light of day on her website again.
__________________
Laura is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Copyright? Hokagefoxnaruto Sweatdrop Central 1 27-03-2010 09:56 AM
webcomic copyright? Maku-neko Coffee Lounge 6 31-07-2006 02:56 PM
Copyright Tina Lee Coffee Lounge 2 25-02-2005 01:28 PM
Doujinshi and copyright laws Freddy Sweatdrop Central 23 13-01-2003 08:10 AM
Copyright Banzai Coffee Lounge 9 04-08-2002 10:31 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.