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Re: How do you handle lack of authorship?

barman-elizabeth
Active Member
Elizabeth B Member Since: Apr 26, 2019
1 of 15

Hi all - I think I may know the answer to this question, but I'm still new enough to this that I want to check w/ more seasoned people.... I recently wrote an article that I was told (in writing) I would receive authorship on. However, once the article was posted to the website it shows the name of the client as the author & I've been unsuccessful in attempting to get a response from him. Is there any recourse here & even if there is, is that worth it? I think I understand from others' questions that, as long as I make my best attempt to verify w/ the client, I can go ahead & put the piece in my portfolio, so in the long-run, does it really matter to have authorship attributed? 

 

Thanks!

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
2 of 15

re: "Is there any recourse here?"

 

No.

But there may well be recourse elsewhere.

 

re: "even if there is, is that worth it?"

 

No.

 

 

re: "I think I understand from others' questions that, as long as I make my best attempt to verify w/ the client, I can go ahead & put the piece in my portfolio, so in the long-run, does it really matter to have authorship attributed?"

 

If you put the article in your portfolio, I seriously doubt anything bad will happen to you. The client promised you authorship, but your agreement did not stipulate portfolio privileges. However the client didn't give you authorship when posting the article. So you could morally justify this by saying you claimed portfolio privileges when the client didn't live up to his end of the bargain. Some people might say this is a completely bogus thing to do, but it sounds reasonable to me.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
3 of 15

Preston H wrote:

Some people might say this is a completely bogus thing to do, but it sounds reasonable to me.


Indeed, and without the client's permission, she is not allowed to put it in her portfolio either.

Best not to tell freelancers how to get into trouble with Upwork?

barman-elizabeth
Active Member
Elizabeth B Member Since: Apr 26, 2019
4 of 15

There's really a potential issue of getting 'in trouble' w/ Upwork by including a piece in my portfolio w/o authorship even if I submitted the work through Upwork, so there's that track record, as well as having it in writing in my correspondance w/ the client that it would be attributed? Dang. I had no idea. 

 

So, how do you handle that then, may I ask? Do you include as part of your contract that you will have authorship &/or rights to use in your portfolio? Or is there a different/better way to get to the same end?

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 15

Yes. If you want to include something in your portfolio, you need to ask for and receive permission if that work was something you did for a client, and thus the client owns the rights to the work.

 

You can always ask for permission after you create the work. But it will be more convenient to ask as part of the original contract arrangement.

 

Of course if YOU own the rights to something (such as an article you write specifically for the purpose of adding it to your portfolio - with "yourself as a client" - then you don't need to get anybody's permission to add it to your porfolio.

 

Upwork's portfolio system actually has a formal system for adding a portfolio piece and LINKING it to an actual Upwork contract. That is the best way to include your Upwork work in your portfolio. When you do that, Upwork clients actually receive a request for permission.

 

You CAN try using this button. It doesn't cost anything, and won't hurt to try.

The client may grant explicit or implied permission, in which case Upwork officially lets you include the item in your portfolio AND links it to your job in a way that makes it even more "official-looking" than if you just uploaded some random file.

mwiggenhorn
Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
6 of 15

If you wish to include an item in your portfolio that links to an Upwork client, Upwork will automatically ask the client for permission to add it. So you really don't need to ask the client.  Just try to add it and wait a week or two to see if it appears.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 15

Mary W wrote:

If you wish to include an item in your portfolio that links to an Upwork client, Upwork will automatically ask the client for permission to add it. 


Only if she clicks "yes" to the question if the contract was done on Upwork while adding it. People get around it by not linking the contract. One of my freelancers did that which was fine by me because I already told him he could if he wanted to.

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
8 of 15

Elizabeth B wrote:

There's really a potential issue of getting 'in trouble' w/ Upwork by including a piece in my portfolio w/o authorship even if I submitted the work through Upwork.


Oh yes! Which is why you can automate the process when you add the piece to your portfolio. You will be asked if you did the contract on Upwork, and when you click "yes" - the client is asked for their permission. Unless the client actually DISAGREES, that permission is considered granted. 

 

That is the correct way to go about it.

 

I am at a complete and utter loss why someone who knows FULLY well that that's the case and that this could lead to very real trouble, would consider advising you to just add it without permission. 

 

barman-elizabeth
Active Member
Elizabeth B Member Since: Apr 26, 2019
9 of 15

Thanks .. that's all really helpful info! I'll look into that w/ my profile.

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

Elizabeth B wrote:

There's really a potential issue of getting 'in trouble' w/ Upwork by including a piece in my portfolio w/o authorship even if I submitted the work through Upwork, so there's that track record, as well as having it in writing in my correspondance w/ the client that it would be attributed? Dang. I had no idea. 

 

So, how do you handle that then, may I ask? Do you include as part of your contract that you will have authorship &/or rights to use in your portfolio? Or is there a different/better way to get to the same end?


Upwork's default contract terms say you transfer all rights to the client, and that would include the right to claim authorship (and thus, the ability to include in your portfolio). Unless you agree in advance to alternate terms, those terms dictate any work you do through Upwork. 

 

If I want to be able to use something as a sample, I include a term in the agreement that I can use it under specific circumstances (never in an online portfolio, of course). Even in ghostwriting contracts, I typically include a provision allowing me to use a certain portion of the work as privately-shared samples. 

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