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Defining Copyrights

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#1 divaone


    Apprentice Designer

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 01:22 PM

I have some general questions about copyrights regarding the contests. It's such a big issue but I've been unable to find the details listed here.

Unless agreed on beforehand, usually the creator holds the rights to all work created. I've noticed one contest where the client asked for the rights of full ownership - anyone who entered the contest agreed to this simply by posting an entry. I don't think most people consider this before posting a new contest or entering one.

My assumptions:

If I enter a contest, I own the rights to all unlayered, uncompressed samples as well as the final product, chosen as a winner or not. Because of this, while I give full permission to the client to use the design, I still can post design wherever I choose - say a portfolio. The client cannot claim this design as his own.

The grey zone begins after that point. The client assumes he can use the design wherever he chooses, even to resell in spite of any negative feelings this may bring. Does the designer have the right to reuse any part or all of the design for future projects? This would need clarification to avoid conflicts. I don't see this as good practice unless the designer specifies beforehand this is a possibility (I do have one exception to this rule, tho!). The same question holds for the client. Can he destruct/reconstruct the design, use parts, etc. on other projects? As a designer, I would not want to see this happen and can see some copyright issues arising.

I would like to see some details posted (both inside the forums and in the main section of the website) regarding copyright and fair use. It could be done on a case-by-case basis, but that may lead to mayhem.

Also, off-topic but important IMHO, what are the general thoughts about clients here holding the same contest at other contest or freelance sites? I believe I saw one thread where this was brought up.

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#2 divaone


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Posted 13 May 2004 - 04:31 PM

Have there been any new developments that I've missed - or - perhaps, do any admins or mods have any answers to the proposed questions / situations? Thx
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#3 bigyou


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Posted 19 May 2004 - 03:54 PM

I ain't no admin or mod but here's what I think.

In real life, source files are never given to a client. Someone once made this comparison to me : When you go to a restaurant, do you ask the Chef for his recipes. I don't think so. It should be the same for graphics. You get the final result for a given use only. If you want to use it again, you have to call back and pay again. That's how it is in design studios and probably how it should be on the net too. But it seems to be the general rule on the web to give the source files. I won't be sad if this changes. Believe me. But while I wait for things to change, I myself get to give source files since it seems to be the only way to get bussiness done on the internet.

As far as reusing logos is concerned, I personnaly think that this is a no-no. Once you have sold an identity, you can't use it for any other client. Of course you can put it in your portfolio, that's for sure. I don't think anyone will ever get mad at you because his/her logo his displayed on your portfolio site. If you are not sure about this, than before you sell/give something to someone, make sure you specify that the design may be used in a portfolio/showroom.

My 2¢ ...

#4 Neupix


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Posted 19 May 2004 - 10:37 PM

Hi divaone, sorry for not responding to your comments.

We are in the process of creating a detailed outline of all contest policies, copyrights, privacy statements and useage policies.

To address some of your issues - since it is the designer that is producing the work, it is ultimately up to them how they want to sell it. I, as a designer, feel that once I have sold my work to someone, that the design becomes theirs to use however they want. I make sure however, that I have written permission from the buyer that I am able to post the work in my portfolio as something I have created.

Also, unless contests are low-cash/non-cash prizes, they will not be held anywhere else. This is because we now guarantee and hold all contest funds, therefore making the contests hosted on this site only.
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