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listing work as yours + subcontractors

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Phillip Wnuklisting work as yours + subcontractors
by on Dec 14, 2009 at 9:00:16 pm

what happens when I (the production company) produces work for a client and hire subcontractors ie. editors, web designers etc. when the work is complete i put it up on my web site and these sub contractors also post it as their work.


phil wnuk
executive producer
roark, pirsig & dobie

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Mark SuszkoRe: listing work as yours + subcontractors
by on Dec 14, 2009 at 9:45:57 pm

Um, you don't do that unless and until you clear it with the client first. Not only is it plain polite, good sense, it is just good business. If you painted someone's interiors on their house, don't you think they'd be mad if you just posted pics of their home on the web without asking? What if you revealed some security issues by doing that, and they didn't even know you did it?

When you do work for hire, there isn't any expectation that you have any right to use the images you worked with or made except those for which there is a signed deal memo, outlining what is cool and not cool. This need not be complicated, just a written memo that you have permission to use some part of the product in a limited way as part of your portfolio. And if the client says no, well, you have to respect that.

They are more likely to say "NO" if they find out you did this without asking first, and now have to ask retroactively.

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Mark SuszkoRe: listing work as yours + subcontractors
by on Dec 14, 2009 at 9:55:51 pm

As to multiple people using the same piece in their web reels, well, that's why you identify what you did on them, if you want the piece to be a true reflection of what you did. Having a note from the client that says: yes, you did the editing on this" would help if you got into a credits conflict with otuerh former team members.

Is that the question you were really trying to ask?

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Chris BlairRe: listing work as yours + subcontractors
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 3:52:08 am

We have a simple one page release that everyone involved signs when we do projects allowing us to use projects for self-promotion. Nobody has ever complained although a few companies will ask to see the samples on our web page prior to us putting them up. We always comply and have never once been turned down.

We also typically give credit where credit is due. So if we produce a spot for an ad agency, we attribut that in the description of the piece on our website. If we hire out a designer to design a logo, we give them credit on the design when we show it etc.

I know I personally dislike it when freelancers take a spot they worked on for us then put it on their website as if it's totally their own with no description of what their role was. It's deceptive and unethical in my opinion because it suggests to people that they were the creators of the spot, when in fact they maybe shot it for us or were a lighting director etc.

That said, there's little you can do about it without hurting feelings and messing up business relationships, so we typically just let it slide. The people that do that are usually smaller shops without the bells and whistles we have so we figure that most clients figure it out by comparing websites. If they don't from that, they'll usually figure out who did the bulk of the work when they visit our facility.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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Brendan CootsRe: listing work as yours + subcontractors
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 10:31:28 pm

I agree 100% here. Contractual language is almost always the best way to deal with these types of issues. Our contract spells out that we have the right to use productions for self promotion. While 1-2 clients have asked us to revise that part of the contract, most don't care at all - either way it's only fair and proper to ask upfront in advance. If it's sensitive work, such as internal communication etc., we usually remove the audio from the promo version so that people see our work but we aren't exposing our clients unfairly.

Like Chris said, if the work was for an agency or other intermediary client, we make that clear and don't just list the end client's name. The goal is to be fair, honest and upfront.

As for contractors using the work, we also use contractual language to control this. They can use the work (if our client lets US use it) but must specify their role.

Brendan Coots

Splitvision Digital

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