Contracts for Creatives | Who owns what?

Part 6

Usage rights: what you own and what you give up

Can I feature this in my portfolio? Can my client use my work anywhere without consent?

Assuming you haven’t agreed to a “work-for-hire” situation with your cli- ent, by default you own the final creative work you have made for your client.

Which means, in your contract you can (and should) define what usage rights you give up and which ones you retain.

For example, can your client use the final design work in any area around the world? Or are they limited to using it only in a certain geographical area?

Can they use it online and in print?

Can they resell your work?

Can they use your work later as a portion of a larger project?

These questions (and more) all have to be defined in your contract for the best possible outcome.

Most clients will push for the most ownership and highest clearance for usage possible. Negotiate with them, working to understand why they need/want the rights they do.

 

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