The Intellectual Property Law Server

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Feb 25th, 2021, 11:34pm

Forums Forums Help Help Search Search Members Members Calendar Calendar Login Login Register Register
   Intellectual Property Forums
   Other
   Copyright Forum
(Moderators: Forum Admin, JimIvey, JSonnabend)
   Right to show work in portfolio
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Right to show work in portfolio  (Read 983 times)
brooklyndesigner
Newbie
*




   


Posts: 2
Right to show work in portfolio
« on: Nov 28th, 2005, 1:09pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I worked with a client to redesign their website.  The only contract provided was by me and made no statement as to copyright or ownership of the website design.  I put the design up in my portfolio as I do with all clients.  This client, however, has threatened to sue me if I do not take it down.
 
There is no contract.  There was no NDA.  I was a paid freelancer -- paid by project as stipulated by my contract.
 
This client paid me via paypal.  When he saw that I had posted the designs on my website he was able to take back his payment on paypal (after I had already cashed the check -- so now paypal has put a lien on my credit card).  He says he won't pay me for the work that is up publically on his website until I take down the work in my portfolio.  
 
Thank you for your advice.
IP Logged
Isaac
Senior Member
****




   


Posts: 3472
Re: Right to show work in portfolio
« Reply #1 on: Nov 28th, 2005, 1:58pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Under the terms described it seems to be that you would own the copyright your design.  However the word "redesign" suggests that the content of the web page you designed might include materials provided by your customer, and for which your customer does own the copyright.   Obviously I'm just guessing here.
 
Additionally you may be displaying trademarks or the name of your customer or in a way suggesting an endorsement or affiliation that does not exist.
 
Or not.  Those are the example ways in which your customer might have a legitimate interest in how his work is displayed on your web site.  
 
From a practical standpoint, I don't know if it makes sense to show the display work done for a disgruntled customer.   Doing so could result in some unfavorable word of mouth.
IP Logged

Isaac
brooklyndesigner
Newbie
*




   


Posts: 2
Re: Right to show work in portfolio
« Reply #2 on: Nov 28th, 2005, 2:20pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Of course there is their logo and because it is a product site there is a product shot.   The rest is a design that I created including text on the page.
 
I had understood that showing work in a portfolio is usually okay unless the client had me sign an NDA (which they did not).
 
They are very happy with the work.  I redesigned several sites for them.  They had a falling out with the marketing guy who hired me and now it seems they see me as on this guy's side.  In the meantime, my work remains on their site -- work they have not paid for.
IP Logged
Isaac
Senior Member
****




   


Posts: 3472
Re: Right to show work in portfolio
« Reply #3 on: Nov 28th, 2005, 2:38pm »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

Unfortunately, displaying work in an online porfolio results in the making of copies and distributing copies of the work to people who visit your site.   This provides a hook for a copyright infringement.    At least arguably even printing out the work to make a hard copy could be infringement although there might be ways around that issue.
 
You might consider putting a term in your contract giving you the right to display the work in a portfolio.   If a customer balk, you can consider whether you want to delete the term for a particular customer.    
 
Of course non payment is separate issue.  You may have the right to have the customer cease using your work.
IP Logged

Isaac
JSonnabend
Moderator
Senior Member
*****




   
Email

Posts: 2251
Re: Right to show work in portfolio
« Reply #4 on: Nov 29th, 2005, 7:59am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

I concur with pretty much everything Isaac has said.  The only thing I'll add is the following.  
 
Whether or not it makes sense to pursue the matter or simply agree to the client's demands depends on several factors, including the amount of money at stake, the value of this client, and the value of this site to your portfolio.
 
I'm in Brooklyn, too, so if you want to pursue anything with a local attorney, feel free to call me.
 
- Jeff
IP Logged

SonnabendLaw
Intellectual Property and Technology Law
Brooklyn, USA
718-832-8810
JSonnabend@SonnabendLaw.com
Pages: 1  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »
Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board