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Can we refuse their request? Surely, we have some rights to the work we produced. It was not part of the original agreement for us to hand anything over.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
They did not specify that that they wanted high res images so if they want that they will have to pay.
Either that or you could say we lost them due to disk error. :)
Not sure how legal the above are, only rought rough suggestions. Seek legal advice.
For freelance or commissioned work, copyright will usually belong to the author of the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, (i.e. in a contract for service).
Not sure if that is the current statute.
It depends on what was agreed between you, although it looks like the inverse is true contrary to my original post - so if it's not mentioned, then you own the copyright.
But clearly you had a contract of service, what did it provide for?
I just can't decide what to do!
Generally honesty is the best policy. Can you just be straight with them and put it exactly like that? In other words:-
"Look guys, we did it at a really cheap price on the assumption we'd get the return production business. We're happy to give you the high res originals, but to be fair to ourselves we should really charge something to make the fee a little more realistic".
I'm sure you can do better than that, but you get the gist.
If I were them I would think that perfectly fair.
Then again, if you're not talking about very much money, then it could be seen as a little petty.
1. They did not agree upon high resolution in the beginning. They called for "design of the CD packaging and CD artwork and production of the CDs and packaging." You gave them what they paid for, period. Anything further is grounds for a new contract for new demands.
2. You can demand royalties through a royalty contract to where you get a portion of the money whether you reprint or someone else does.. because it remains to be YOUR work. You hold all rights to the artwork unless you SPECIFICALLY stated in the contract that you forfeited those rights. So this method of royalties can compensate for them not staying with you in the first place, if they decline to stay with you. If you choose this path, you need a lawyer (pretty cheap for this need!).
You have to make the decision whether you want to demand producing further work, since a) it was your work. b) you offered them a cheap price in the beginning.
In my opinion: never let anyone toss you by going to other production people with YOUR OWN work. That's like a slap in the face. They'll prolly end up getting it produced in Taiwan for all you know.
[edited by: Travoli at 2:27 pm (utc) on Nov. 3, 2003]
1. I will be the only one producing your products as long as you decide to keep my design.
2. If you want to go to another company with my artwork, I will write up a Royalties Contract, in which a portion of profits comes back to me, for my sacrifice, since I did not originally sacrifice rights to my design.
3. @$%# off. :)
Don't let them have an inch, or they'll take advantage of your generous services. Where would they be without your design?
In Australia the copyright is with the author of the work. You can then "assign" it to others. How you negotiate the assignment is up to you - if for free, for a fee, limited assignment etc.
Perhaps you can say something along the lines of "generally we assign you to use the work but we don't hand over the original files, however if you really want them we're happy to negotiate a fee for this assignment". Win win but you're not being taken advantage of.