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Who owns it??

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Mick Haensler
Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 12:49:50 pm

Hey everyone. I have a part time job with an event arena creating content for and managing their Digital Signage network. I create everything in my studio and truck it over there for offload. Since I am an employee of the arena but the content is created on my gear using my software as well as my content library, who owns the final product?? Not a big deal, just curious what everyone's thoughts are.


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Nick Griffin
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 1:11:47 pm

I think you've already said it all: You're their "employee." IF you were there sub-contractor and IF you have a contract which gives you some property rights, this would be at least a potentially different situation.


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Mick Haensler
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 1:42:32 pm

Thanks for the input Nick. That's kinda what I was thinking. Now how about this, who owns the "project" files? For instance, all of the menus for the concessions are now digital and change on a weekly basis. I have templates designed to make this pretty simple. If I decide to leave, am I obligated to hand over my templates? Wouldn't really matter since they are done in Motion and this place doesn't have a Mac and will most likely never get one. Besides, I really don't care, they've paid me for the work and have treated me well. If I ever left I wouldn't have a problem handing the whole shootin' match over to them. Just curious as I might want to renegotiate my deal with them some time in the future.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Walter Soyka
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 3:16:14 pm

I think Nick's response still applies. All this work probably belongs to the employer.

Even if you were a contractor, ownership of these materials should be negotiated upfront; trying to negotiate it after the work has been done and paid for could get messy.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Mick Haensler
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 3:44:24 pm

Thanks for the reply Walter. As I said previously, I wouldn't have any problem handing over all the work so no risk of messy. I'm not a believer in holding content hostage when the client/employer has already paid for the work once. I was just curious for future reference. This is a unique situation in that a lot of additional work outside of my position is thrown my way as well as a bounty of contacts for other work as well. They can write their own ticket as far as I'm concerned. I was just curious in that this work has given me an idea for another business that would be structured quite a bit differently. Thanks again for the input.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Scott Carnegie
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 5:46:08 pm

Anything you create under their employment as a part of your job with them they own, final renders, project files, etc.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Nick Griffin
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 6:29:33 pm

[Scott Carnegie] "Anything you create under their employment as a part of your job with them they own, final renders, project files, etc."

Uhhh, maybe yes, maybe no. It can be argued (as it has been here before) that project files are work method and not work product. But I think the earlier points are more important -- if you leave, leave on the best terms you can. That's a potential source of future work and referral. A ticked-off client, feeling that they've been ripped off is not.


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Mick Haensler
Re: Who owns it??
on Jan 21, 2011 at 7:17:42 pm

[Nick Griffin] "- if you leave, leave on the best terms you can. That's a potential source of future work and referral. A ticked-off client, feeling that they've been ripped off is not."

Agreed. I've never understood the mentality of folks who would rather create bad blood on a principle that may or may not be justified, than to just turn the stuff over and leave on good terms.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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