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  • Roth
    Reply to What do you think of my video game cover art?
    Roth
    This is inferior to the original in every way. PD made some very good points already to do with hierarchy, and energy. There are basically three elements, the figure, the name, and the background, so...
    Today, 12:14 AM
  • Roth
    Reply to Logo for a supplement company
    Roth
    This is a bit of a stretch. It's like you saw the H in the weights, ran with it, hit a creative wall and tried really hard to make the rest fit. The logo and name are out of proportion to one another...
    Yesterday, 11:50 PM
  • extraordenary
    Reply to What do you think of my video game cover art?
    extraordenary
    Professional designers either create the images themselves, or get it from someone else with respects to the copyrights. Designers often make sure that the image they have is royalty-free so they don't...
    Yesterday, 11:14 PM
  • graphic91
    Reply to What do you think of my video game cover art?
    graphic91
    Umm...really? I know about the design rules, but where to look first? There's not that much information or "look-at-mes" on it and it's just the cover of a video game. Most people who want to...
    Yesterday, 10:34 PM
  • Lucifer
    Reply to Your thoughts on this logo?
    Lucifer
    I like it. I like the way you've done the spacing.
    Yesterday, 10:32 PM
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  • Portfolio of work & copyright issues? Please help!

    Hello, I designed a site for a client while I was employed at a teeny tiny rinky dink startup web agency. The owner has no idea about how to run a company, communicate or manage. We had some differences and parted ways. I received many compliments on the site design and included a screen shot of it in my online portfolio. I just received a phone call from that owner telling me that I need to take down the screen shot. Instead, I went in & blurred the name of the client & any other recognizable details. Where do I stand legally?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by morea; 07-12-2007, 07:53 PM. Reason: edited as requested by OP.

  • #2
    Is it really THAT good of a site that you HAVE to have it in your portfolio? Could you easily replace it with something of equal or greater value to your portfolio? Or is it just a decent filler-page?

    I wouldn't risk it since you created it while under their umbrella of business. Seems like he is a jerk and his way is the highway. I don't think I would risk it...
    Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

    Comment


    • #3
      It IS that good a site! Seriously. People respond to it with "OH!" and I also built it with a lot of technical considerations, to make it search engine optimized (that's how they found it, because I had uploaded it to a separate site to show a potential employer who wanted to see it in action). It really speaks to my skill set, especially since I'm new to web design / development, and I gained skills quickly (the owner even said that as she was ending our "relationship"; she said I was very talented and surprised her). I guess I can go through the site materials & delete all references to the client & remove the meat of her content (it's all about penis & sex anyway), replace it with lorem ipsum & replace the photos.

      I'm hoping to repurpose the site for a client in LA who loved it. If that happens, it's just a matter of time before there's a new live version and this problem is averted.

      But, legally, I have a right to at least a screenshot, don't I? From what I've read in intellectual property discussions, unless I signed a waiver, I do retain rights to my creative work. Sure the client retains a right to her content, but as long as that is hidden...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by margarita
        I'm hoping to repurpose the site for a client in LA who loved it. If that happens, it's just a matter of time before there's a new live version and this problem is averted.
        This was going to be my next idea. Just use a different logo and change out the place of business name throughout the copy.

        Originally posted by margarita
        But, legally, I have a right to at least a screenshot, don't I? From what I've read in intellectual property discussions, unless I signed a waiver, I do retain rights to my creative work. Sure the client retains a right to her content, but as long as that is hidden...
        Honestly, I have NO idea. I am an artist not a legal attourney. Sorry...
        Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

        Comment


        • #5
          afaik if you created anything on their time and got paid for it, it's all theirs.
          i'd make a pisstake logo and name and find/replace
          The beginning is always today.

          Comment


          • #6
            Which owner served the C&D? Website or Business?
            Work created while being paid by a Business usually belongs to the business (work for hire) unless you, or they, sign a waiver otherwise - such as a freelancer doing contract work might do. Depending on the contract for the website work, the owner of the website may actually own all rights. And they do own all rights to the content. Your best bet, if it is the owner of the website that is asking you to remove it, is to ask permission to use it and in the future clearly state in your contract that work you do could possibly be featured in your portfolio.

            Comment


            • #7
              I received a phone call from my previous employer telling me that the client wanted me to pull it and that "she was giving me 24 hours to do so". I never signed anything. I was a paid employee but without any contract or legal parameters, provided no parameters of any kind. I told her verbally that it was my own design work, unless I sign a waiver, which would require different compensation. That's the way it worked when I was a model, if my image was used solely for instruction that was one thing and if they were going to sell it that was another thing. I made it clear to the owner that a screenshot was an appropriate item for my portfolio. Whether or not she communicated that to the client was not my concern.

              I think of my portfolio as a resume, an expression of facts. I'm not trying to run a design shop, so it is just a record of my work for potential employers to review. Since they were lo-res screen shots, only of the front page and not any of the meat of the site, that seemed appropriate. Originally, I had them linked to the site so that people could see the live design, but my ex-boss tried to change the code and then everything was a mess and wasn't indicative of my work, so I linked to a version of the site that I uploaded elsewhere. I did this just before a job interview, at the request of a potential job (which I did get) and then had to leave town unexpectedly for a family emergency. I forgot about the whole thing, and I'm still in the midst of taking this family member to/from the hospital and caring for her.

              I'm thinking that from now on I'll have a PDF that a potential employer can review of work like this. I'm also considering making a Flash file so that they could see an interactive view but that doesn't show up in search engines.

              Now, I'm just ticked at this point. Instead of leaving a "threat" on my voicemail, asking me would have been more appropriate, especially considering things about the job that I haven't gone into. These things have led me to decide that I'm going to have to take some legal action of my own. Sorry to go off on this. I woke up again this morning at 4am, stressed about the experience with this previous employer. I'm feeling pretty raw and probably too emotional to make much sense. Combined with the family stuff, I'm exhausted.

              I appreciate all of your input on this issue. We're really lucky to have this site. When I think of all the times that I've felt up against the wall and alone with some issue, and this forum exists... well, I really appreciate this.

              Also, I think we designers deserve better than we're getting. We should have a right to a RECORD of our work, whether we did it within an agency or not. It is a record of our abilities. It is how we provide tangible evidence of our skills, style and capabilities. If it appears in our portfolio, it is understood that the content is that of the client, as we are clearly communicating what our role was. If the law doesn't say this, it should.

              Thanks again. You guys are a big help!

              Comment


              • #8
                it seems a little odd they're so intent on getting you to remove it... after all, you're not claiming copyright or wanting to use the EXACT same site for somone else... you're just showing what you've done... they still keep the copyright don't they?
                imagine if a famous artist did a commission piece for a company... the artwork is still attributed to the artist.. and the artist can still refer to it as theirs forever more... so why not a website? the comnpany can say they own the piece but they can't stop the artist from saying they did it can they?

                for the sake of least hassle, i'd do what i and others have said.. use the same structure but replace the logo/name and any other pertinent info with some of your own.
                the situation does stink. when i was at art college, i signed a contract right at the start that anything i created for the course or on their property, was copyrighted to them and belonged to them. i forgot about this of course when i created a huge piece on ufos and other phenomena and am absolutley gutted they won't let me have it back.. but i suppose i did use all their resouces to make it. My working contracts have had a similar clause in them to some degree but there is a kind of understanding that it's 100% ok to use artwork in my portfolio as i'm not a competing business to who i'm working for, if you catch me drift. actually if they told me i wasn't allowed to use a piece in my portfolio, unless they had a scaryass meat head with a bike chain with them, i'd tell them to get screwed.

                oh and hellyeah this forum rocks!
                The beginning is always today.

                Comment


                • #9
                  here's how i look at it. If I designed it, I can display it. If someone finds a law against me showing off work I created, they can sue me and I will listen as a judge tells me that something I created cannot be shown off by me. That's my opinion.
                  My Site

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by carter the artist
                    here's how i look at it. If I designed it, I can display it. If someone finds a law against me showing off work I created, they can sue me and I will listen as a judge tells me that something I created cannot be shown off by me. That's my opinion.
                    WORD.

                    Although I'm worried about whether or not such a law exists... I'd like to know for certain. I received one piece of advice from a lawyer saying that since I did it while employed by said agency, that it belongs to said agency. However, I read in the book put out by AIGA that that only applies if a contract outlined that. There was no contract, and I agree with you. It is a representation of work done, a visual resume is what a portfolio is, not a theft of content. No misrep involved. I'll just have to keep an eye out for proof.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The way I see it is Regardless of who "Owns" said artwork, an artist/designer what have you, needs to have some way of saying, YES, I did this and be able to add it their portfolio. That way we can get more jobs. Heck, actors do the same thing with a demo reel, could you imagine being in a big motion picture, but not being able to use a snippet of said footage for your reel? People would think you were just a bit player. Same thing applies to us. Our portfolio is a way of saying "I worked on that", and that allows us to remain gainfully employed.
                      My Site

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There is a difference, at least from a legal point of view between most designers and most artists.

                        Artists are almost invariably working as freelancers. If you are working freelance then, without a contract that assigns ownership, you own any work you created.

                        Most designers, on the other hand, tend to be working for a company (though some certainly are freelance) - this is called "work for hire." When you are doing work for hire, the company that you work for owns anything that you may produce.

                        Your use of the work in your portfolio may fall under Fair Use provisions (we don't have that particular law in my country, so I'm not sure about it), but probably not.

                        Basically your use of work done for previous employers relies on the fact that most people aren't arseholes, and are quite happy for you to do so. Nonetheless, without a contract saying otherwise, your previous employer owns that work and is perfectly entitled to stop you from using it.

                        Even if the work were freelance, any supplied logos, images and text are the property of the client and they can tell you that you can't use them.

                        Though, as I said, most people aren't arseholes...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Since the work was done while working for another company, you can't put it on your public website. IHowever, you can put it into your CV or resume and on your personal portfolio that you show clients and potential employees.
                          It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by budafist
                            Since the work was done while working for another company, you can't put it on your public website. IHowever, you can put it into your CV or resume and on your personal portfolio that you show clients and potential employees.
                            That's not entirely true.

                            The law's pretty much the same whether you're putting it on a website or in your portfolio case. It's just that if it's in your portfolio case, that former employer will probably never know

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hewligan
                              It's just that if it's in your portfolio case, that former employer will probably never know
                              Well, close enough...
                              It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" Winnie the Pooh

                              Comment

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