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Clients who are stealing your copyright rights

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
11 of 20

@Robert J wrote:

So if you spend three months writing a book and then you aren't given credit for writing it, but someone you don't know takes the credit and takes all the money the real writer is due, that's okay??? No wonder writers can't make a living.


 If you want to write a book and receive the credit and profits, then you should self-publish. How is it that you have been on Upwork for 2+ years and don't know how these transactions work? 

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
12 of 20

re: "So if you spend three months writing a book and then you aren't given credit for writing it, but someone you don't know takes the credit and takes all the money the real writer is due, that's okay??? No wonder writers can't make a living."

 

I understand that you feel upset right now.

 

But you are now better informed about Upwork's rules and default contract stipulations regarding intellectual property rights.

 

Some options that are now open to you include:

 

1) Do and say nothing more. You have created a thread which is clear and informative to all who read it.

 

2) Reject Upwork's current status quo and explain why things must change, to better reflect your view of how copyright should be handled on the platform.

 

3) Embrace your own right to establish any type of intellectual propert/copyright agreement while using Upwork.

sergio-soria
Community Guru
Sergio S Member Since: Dec 19, 2017
13 of 20

@Robert J wrote:

So if you spend three months writing a book and then you aren't given credit for writing it, but someone you don't know takes the credit and takes all the money the real writer is due, that's okay??? No wonder writers can't make a living.


Bud, are you being serious? Sorry, but those are the rules here in Upwork. It's very clear in the ToS. The clients owns the rights. Didn't you read the ToS? It applies to everyone of us, not only writers.

2591126f
Community Guru
Vivek K Member Since: May 28, 2016
14 of 20
I would personally not want to work with a freelancer who insists that they would keep the IP rights of the work. That curtails my freedom to do whatever I want to do with the product.For Example-I would not want to wait for my freelance graphic designer's permission to get my logo re-coloured . Its none of their business.Also, It would be such a waste of time to answer notices of IP-Rights violations, especially for the work I paid for.
There may be different reasons for other clients wanting to have IP rights of work transferred to them.

However ,There is absolutely nothing wrong in a writer or any other freelancer wanting to keep their copyrights. More power to them.The only issue is that it should be discussed and agreed before a contract is made .There is a default standard contract, If a user did not read or understood it before signing up, how is that a fault of the other party?

There are two things that you can do, if you work on upwork in Future:
1. Ask for a price that is suitable for your work, fully knowing and taking into account the fact that you will pass all rights to the work once it has been paid.
2. Ask Client to sign a different contract before you take on their work.

Calling a client, who has paid agreed price, thief( for your failure to fully read/ understand the terms) is not a solution to anything.
tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
15 of 20

@Robert J wrote:

So if you spend three months writing a book and then you aren't given credit for writing it, but someone you don't know takes the credit and takes all the money the real writer is due, that's okay??? No wonder writers can't make a living.


 Precisely. You factor that in and set your prices accordingly. If the length and amount of research associated with a book mean it takes three dedicated months to complete the project, then you charge $25-30k or more and it's time well spent.

 

Writers who price appropriately have no trouble making a living.

kat303
Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
16 of 20

@Robert J wrote:

Clients should not be allowed to post such jobs. NO WRITER SHOULD BE ASKED TO GIVE UP ALL COPYRIGHT RIGHTS. She won't even let me show it in a portfolio for God's sakes!!


 ---------------------

Freelancing is a work for hire situation. In this type of situation, when a client pays for completed work, it then becomes theirs and they can do whatever they feel like with it. And that is also why we as freelancers, if we want to add that job to our portfolio, we have to ASK the client. Because the client now owns ALL rights to that work. Of course, if you deliver the completed results to a client, and the client didn't fund escrow, or didn't pay you then you still own the copyright and there are forms to use to take that job down if used elsewhere. But that's ONLY if you did not get paid for the job.

 

If you want to still own rights to jobs you do, then you need to have a contract created, preferably by a lawyer, specific to owning the copyright. And the client must agree and sign that contract. Be prepared though, that it will be very rare for a client, to hire a freelancers and not have the rights to the work done. Be prepared that once you present that contract to a client, you will probably Not get hired. 

 

The client did NOT steal your work, it is theirs. If you are harassing the client, the client can report you and you can end up having your account suspended. If that happens, you don't have to worry about owning any rights to any work you do on here. 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
17 of 20

@Robert J wrote:

Clients should not be allowed to post such jobs. NO WRITER SHOULD BE ASKED TO GIVE UP ALL COPYRIGHT RIGHTS. She won't even let me show it in a portfolio for God's sakes!!


 Why not? The write is of course free to decline if those terms don't suit him.

 

There are a lot of very successful ghostwriters who would probably be quite disgruntled if you were able to impose your personal preferences on them and make it harder for them to connect with high-paying clients.

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
18 of 20

OP, it's almost impossible to believe that you have the decades of professional writing experience you claim and yet are so naive and unprepared for the business aspects of the field that you view this as attempted theft and were surprised by it.

 

Did you not read Upwork's default terms? Did you not enter into an explicit agreement regarding the rights to be transferred before writing a whole book? 

boshoffirene
Community Guru
Irene B Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
19 of 20

Why would someone give you a book to write - probably telling you what it should be about, and possibly even giving you an outline - expect to pay you for the book, and then give you credit as well? Upwork provides a work for hire situation, where you are hired and paid to do a job. Once the job is done, you are paid. End of the story. Anything created for the client during this period becomes the client's intellectual property. In other words, HE/SHE owns the copyright. This, essentially, is the contract Upwork has set down for any job, and the contract you agree to once joining Upwork as a freelancer. And as far as Upwork and the client (and most freelancers) are concerned, that is that. Anything you and the client agree to outside of this contract is between you. If you have not agreed on anything outside of this contract, you have no leg to stand on. 

kfarnell
Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
20 of 20

"Why would someone give you a book to write - probably telling you what it should be about, and possibly even giving you an outline - expect to pay you for the book, and then give you credit as well? "

 

That's a different matter entirely. Being credited doesn't imply ownership. And this does happen.  Not often, admittedly (only a handful of times to me), but if you have a particular skill, qualification or are well known in a specific field, using your name can increase sales in comparison to using the client's name. 

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