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limited portfolio rights for freelancers as part of the work-for-hire agreement

Active Member
Mystie C Member Since: Jul 2, 2018
1 of 9

Is there any way Upwork would consider a change in their work for hire standard such that the only the final agreed-upon deliverables belong to the client and the freelance retains portfolio and moral usage for their creations? This seems like it would be a more fair way to proceed? If not, Can anyone recommend a non-off-putting way to broach the subject of the freelancer retaining some limited rights in the proposal or other discussions? Thanks.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 9

re: "Is there any way Upwork would consider a change in their work for hire standard such that the only the final agreed-upon deliverables belong to the client and the freelance retains portfolio and moral usage for their creations?"

 

I'm sorry. That is not going to happen.

 

But note that you ALREADY have the right to negotiate an alternative agreement with clients. As long as you discuss the matter beforehand, you and the client can agree to any alternative to Upwork's standard agreement.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
3 of 9

In all honesty, I think most clients would be perfectly happy to have you include work you do for them in your porfolio.

 

(But you are correct in your understanding that you need to ask for permission.)

Active Member
Mystie C Member Since: Jul 2, 2018
4 of 9

Most clients are perfectly happy in my experience, however, it just seems like a fairer option to make this the rule instead of the exception. So I thought I'd try to find out why it was decided to be this way and not the other way around if there was any other in agreement or interested into making it so.

Active Member
Mystie C Member Since: Jul 2, 2018
5 of 9

Hi Preston,

Thanks for the quick reply. It just seems fairer to me for all parties, and I thought others may feel the same way.  So I thought I'd put the thought out there to see if it was a possibility especially if other people agreed. 

Best, 

Mystie

Active Member
Mystie C Member Since: Jul 2, 2018
6 of 9

Is it not the industry standard in general for the artist/designer to keep limited rights at least for the portfolio? Wouldn't it be better if Upwork re

Active Member
Mystie C Member Since: Jul 2, 2018
7 of 9

Is it not the industry standard in general for the artist/designer to keep limited rights at least for the portfolio? Wouldn't it be better if Upwork reflected the industry standard?

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
8 of 9

You are asking about "industry standards."

 

But Upwork is NOT an art/design website.

 

Upwork is a general purpose freelance website.

 

Alternatively, Upwork is a website primarily for programmers and developers, which allows artists and designer to use it also.

 

By the way, I have hired dozens of artists on Upwork. I don't like them wondering about portfolio rights, so I just tell them upfront that they can use everything they do for me in their portfolios.

 

But most clients probably don't think to do that. So if it's important to you, ask about it early in the interview/negotiation phase.

Active Member
Mystie C Member Since: Jul 2, 2018
9 of 9

I do, of course, realize that it is a freelance site, and yes, I"m mainly talking about art and design, but my partner also is a programmer and developer and when I asked his thoughts, he thought a limited rights default clause made more sense as well. On past projects he has done there has been open-code usage which could have been sticky without a limited-rights clause. When I do a project, not through Upwork, all of my projects include portfolio rights as well as any unused directions. 

 

I'm happy to hear that you tell them your artist clients upfront about portfolio usage. I have had little trouble myself. Nevertheless, I do mention it early in the process now after having  a misunderstanding with an otherwise delightful client. 

 

My point is that it would make more sense and be fairer to include the limited rights clause to any creator (be it of graphics or code or writing, etc.) and then have a non-disclosure if it is a more time-sensitive project. And I wondered if anyone else felt the same especially anyone who makes these kinds of decisions at Upwork. Perhaps this wasn't the place to inquire, but I thought I'd try here first.

 

If I'm understanding you correctly, you are saying that this does not seem to make sense to you. While this answer contributes to  the "if anyone else feels the same way part of my thread." It does not answer my "If Upwork has considered" part and as such has not answered my question entirely.  

 

I am thankful for your opinions and insight, however.

 

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