Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › When Do I retain the rights to my work and when does the client get them. › Along with the above infor
Along with the above information a key issue regarding “work for hire” or employee and/or contractors, and copyright ownership: without contract or work agreement stipulation, for the most part, anything you acquire, edit and produce using another company/business owner’s equipment, taking their direction and creating according to their stipulations, you are acting as an employee and not a contractor, and your work belongs to them. There are exceptions, but only a legal agreement will stand in your favor when in doubt.
If your contract/production agreement stipulates what you do is a “work for hire” it’s theirs to do with as they wish, any time they wish, and you have no say. Your only defense would be if you have something in writing and they blatantly disregard such stipulations.
If you contract work (wedding, commercial, etc. ) for yourself, or for another, use your own equipment and creative directives in the production of the final product, and you have obtained the necessary and required releases, signed contract acknowledgments, etc. to the limits of any other copyright materials your production might contain (released or no – commercial music, for example, signage, trademarks, etc.) the creative elements, music you created and performed, graphics you created and designed, content you videotaped and edited are yours from the moment of their existence. It doesn’t hurt, of course, to claim and defend your copyright anytime you share, sell, make public on web sites, etc. your ownership with the date and name.
There are or can be exceptions, and ANY agreement, contract or commercial/creative production done by you should so state. This will not always keep things out of court, but will often provide the necessary deterent or defense in the case of a misunderstanding or infringement claim by you or another party.
I am NOT an licensed or practicing attorney or legal counsel. This information is NOT based on ANY degree or certification to practice law, or to give legal advice. It is given in the spirit of sharing from experience and not intended to be taken in whole or in part as sound, accurate or otherwise appropriate advice. Use any or all of it as you will at your own risk, holding Earl Chessher harmless and without liability for any application to which you may apply it – including the death by vehicle of your pet dog, horse, pig or cat.