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Then, the work must correspond to one of the 9 legal categories listed above. For graphic designers, the relevant categories are generally “a contribution to a collective work,” a “compilation” and sometimes a “complement” or “atlas.” Unfortunately, these categories are a bit vague. Under the Copyright Act, a “collective work” is “a work, such as a periodic edition, an anthology or an encyclopedia, which brings together in a collective whole a series of contributions that constitute autonomous and independent works.” A “compilation” is “a work consisting of the collection and compilation of existing materials or data selected, coordinated or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship.” Both parties dispute whether newspapers, magazines, corporate catalogues, advertisements or annual reports are collectors and whether the illustrations commissioned for such works can be considered loan work. Graphic design is a form of compilation author (see legalities of last month) and graphic design could therefore be considered a compilation for an annual report or website. Illustrations of medical textbooks can be considered as complementary works. In the absence of a full transfer of rights, you negotiate a copyright license. Licensing agreements are very factual and must be carefully crafted for each project. It is a lawyer who can help them develop it. As a general directive, here are some examples of possible arrangements that you can propose as an alternative to a work made for the lease (starting with the most favorable for artists and ends with the cheapest for customers). Finally, it is always a good idea to include an explicit provision that preserves your right to show your artwork for self-promotion purposes, especially in a work made for a lease, or if you assign copyright to your client or if you grant an exclusive license to your client. Most people think they have the rights to any work they have paid for. In the absence of a written employment contract, you may not necessarily have the rights to the work.
When an independent contractor issues a contract, it is guaranteed that you will get the rights to the work. When a work is made by an employee, the first part of the definition of the copyright code applies to a loaned work. In determining who is an employee, the Supreme Court of CCNV/Reid has identified certain factors characterizing an “employer-employee” relationship within the meaning of the Agency Act: 2. Does your work qualify as a specially commissioned, rental work? If you are asked to sign a work made for a rental contract, you may first ask yourself if the situation complies with the legal requirements to qualify as acting work. Often for graphic designers, the answer is probably no. As mentioned above, many contracts have old “boilerplate” of work for the rental language that is no longer viable. You can explain to your client that the work done for the rental language may not be valid and it would be better to use a legally flawless language relevant to the specific intentions of the client to the use of the artwork. Then you have a discussion about the client`s intentions and negotiate licensing provisions to grant rights to your work that corresponds to those intentions. For example, Microsoft has hired many programmers to develop the Windows operating system, which is simply attributed to Microsoft Corporation. Adobe Systems, on the other hand, lists many Photoshop developers in its credits.
In both cases, the software is owned by the company that employs. In both cases, true creators have moral rights. Similarly, newspapers regularly assign news articles written by their collaborators, and publishers write recognition to authors and illustrators who produce comics with characters like Batman or Spider-Man, but publishers have copyrights to the work.