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who owns the artwork that I generate?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum:' started by cannon303, May 23, 2011.

  1. cannon303

    cannon303 New Member

    Hi guys I'm new here and require advice or opinions on the following situation: I'm a freelance graphic designer and I designed some business cards for a client a couple of years ago, They recently approached me to quote for a straight reprint. This is probably my first mistake because I just passed on the printers quote and didn't put any cost for myself. I thought (as I do other bits of work for them) in the spirit of the relationship I wouldn't charge them anything, I also passed on the printers contact details, simply because if I wasn't charging them anything I certainly didn't want to be spending any time overseeing the printing. Anyway to cut a long story short, the client wanted new business cards with different details (not a straight reprint) and went direct to the printers who set them for them, The client is unhappy with their efforts and I have offered to set them at a small charge. The client doesn't want to pay me for that and so have asked for my original files from the original business cards I designed a couple of years ago. They say because they paid me for those original business cards that therefore means they own the artwork and templates. I would have thought that I still owned the intellectual copyright here but would love to hear what you think.

    Thanks in advance

  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

  3. cannon303

    cannon303 New Member

    thanks for your reply yes very interesting read there. I'll certainly look into setting some terms and conditions. It seems that the default rule if you dont have any T's and C's is unclear as to who owns it which is a shame because what started out as an allbeit naive gesture of goodwill on my part has very easily left me in a position of being unreasonable. I'll give them their files this time although I do still think they have played a bit of a game here.
  4. squeezee

    squeezee Member

    Send them a 72dpi jpeg. Unless you have specifically signed over the rights it still belongs to you. It probably isn't worth the hassle though.
  5. Minuteman Press

    Minuteman Press Moderator

    Folk who operate without t&cs are very brave - this should be a lesson to you. Let them have the artwork - and decide your terms when the scenario happens again.

    We always allow rights (following payment) - just seems the reight / ethical protocol (having experienced same as a client).

    Now photography, don't get me started on photography...
  6. cannon303

    cannon303 New Member

    I like the 72dpi idea LOL! the bottom line though is I can send them the artwork but can't send them the fonts as they are paid for. I can send them an outlined version but then they still wouldn't be able to reset the artwork for other versions of business card eithers. And yes quite right no T's & C's = bit of a muppet, leason learned!
  7. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Did you charge them for the cost of the fonts? If not email the artwork minus the fonts and explain that your license for the fonts runs to commercial use but not distribution.
  8. cannon303

    cannon303 New Member

    Yes in the end that's what I've done and guess what, they are going to buy the fonts! My quote for altering the contact details for some new business cards is a third of what they are going to pay for the fonts. It seems they've dug their heels in so far that they are actually going to spend much much more money just to save face.

    Some people just make me :icon_lol:.
  9. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Sound like muppets to me! Youre probably best off without them.

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