Client won't pay all the amount, can I keep some copyrights?


Annai

New Member
Hi everyone, I am hopping you can help me.

A client doesn’t want to pay me, can I withhold some copyrights?

I was hired to work on the branding of a UI app. At the beginning, I sent an invoice with the full amount with 3 separate payments due dates: 50% initiation, 25% second payment (UI screen competition) and 25% (website design-which client doesn’t want me to work anymore)
I created the logo, tag line, visual look of screens, icons and guideline book. All these was approve by the client but at the end of second delivery, before starting the web design, my client who also had hired a UI/UX team decided that she didn’t need my UI designs after all and now she doesn’t want to pay me for some of the work done and approved. She offered to pay me 70% of the second payment which I have accepted. Can I keep some of the copyright of the logo to negotiate full payment? For example, can she will have the copyright of the logo for the UI app but not for print or web. Any advice or thoughts would be very welcome.
 

fisicx

Active Member
You already own the copyright. Just because they have paid, it doesn't mean they now hold the copyright - you do - unless you have have assigned the rights to them.

The only exception to the above would be if you created the work as part of your job. But it seems you were a freelancer.
 

Paul Murray

Moderator
Staff member
For example, can she will have the copyright of the logo for the UI app but not for print or web.
You need a contract that states where they can and cannot use the branding. You retain the full copyright but having created 'work for hire' you provide them with an exclusive right to use your work commerically. Basically the client can't adapt or sell your work without your agreement, for that they would need to buy the copyrights from you.

It's hard to tie them to just the branding on the app UI though, since that means they can't use the branding or imagery online or in print, which basically prohibits them marketing it. I can't see any business agreeing to that. If it was me, I'd just suggest they just pay the full amount you agreed on and they can have full usage of the branding (but you retain the copyrights).

…now she doesn’t want to pay me for some of the work done and approved.
If the work is done, you should get paid for it, regardless of whether or not they decide to use it. That's not your problem, you completed your part of the agreement, they should uphold their half. But by accepting 70% of the second payment, I tihnk you've just lost any bargaining power you had with that client.
 

John_A_UK

New Member
Work for Money, Design for Love I found very useful relating to this https://www.amazon.co.uk/Work-Money-Design-Love-Frequently/dp/0321844270 I actually cribbed and customised the contract T&C's as the book suggests. That's what you need at the start of the project then you refer back to those terms as the 'bad guy'. Sorry to hear you have been messed around, perhaps go back to them, explain that you own the copyright, you'll sign it over for the remaining balance and conclude business there.
 
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