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Re: a client is violating my copyright as a designer how can I deal with that

martina_boshra
Active Member
Martina B Member Since: Dec 9, 2016
1 of 19

Hello,
I am currently working on a contract with a client (I am designing a logo for her), whom  I

couldn't reach to her in a couple of days, while we are very close to the end of the project but she just stopped contacting me,

I looked into her company Facebook page to find that they are using the logo that I designed

without informing me or even complete my payment (she set two milestones one for 20$ and

funded it, and the other is for 180$ not funded)

she even modified the logo color, I message to her telling her that "I'm trying not to rush

into conclusions here, but the act of modifying, replicating posting the logo before I get my payment and deliver the files to you myself,
violating my rights and the legal copyright, so I hope you have an explanation for such act"

my question what should I do if she keeps ignoring me,

should I launch a dispute?

and how could I start the dispute?

 

Regards,

Martina Boshra

petra_r
Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
BEST ANSWER
2 of 19

you  own the logo until it is paid for, so at the moment you do own it.

 

HOWEVER, if you handed over the logo against a non funded milestone you can't raise a dispute, as you can only dispute what was funded, which is why you should never hand over anything against an unfunded milestone.

 

The client could also argue that what you handed over was for milestone 1, and that is all she paid for, and hence she owns what was handed over for milestone one.... (if milestone one was indeed released)

View solution in original post

martina_boshra
Active Member
Martina B Member Since: Dec 9, 2016
3 of 19

I didn't handes the logo to her all I've been giving her so far is noneditable PDF file to present all the concepts I designed, and screenshots

she recreated the logo using a software probably coral draw she took advantage that the logo is quiet simple and recreated it's icon ,she doesn't even know what the font I used.

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 19

If you send somebody a logo within a non-editable file, then it means you sent somebody the logo.

martina_boshra
Active Member
Martina B Member Since: Dec 9, 2016
5 of 19

let me explain that again what I send to the client after designing a couple of logo concepts  is a PDF presentation that is in a low quality to show each of the concepts and take notes from the clients on it he\she can't  use/extract the logo from that presentation he\she just give an opinion,

this method is very common between designers and doesn't justify steeling the logo concept from the designers.

afifield
Community Guru
Amanda F Member Since: Aug 8, 2015
6 of 19

Yeah, that is common to do when making a logo to show the client the progress. I usually show as a low res jpg or low res pdf that is non-editable.

 

For such a lower amount for a logo though I personally would have not made milestones and got the client to fund in full before even showing it so that way the money would be there for you to request for release once you saw the client took the logo and started using it without responding. 

 

To avoid this issue when having milestones, it maybe a good idea to draft a contract that says the concept selected cannot be used until final files are released at which time the client will be then given owership and what ownership includes and have them agree to this at the start of project. But milestones for a small project doesn't make much sense, and I'd just get the client to fund 100% of the project upfront. 

 

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
7 of 19

I would contact the client and politely say that you were surprised to see that she is using your work, since you haven't been paid and still legally own the design. Tell her that you assume this was an oversight or she just got busy, since she has obviously accepted the work, and so you'll wait 48 hours to take any actions on the copyright violation to give her the opportunity to make payment.

 

If she doesn't pay in that time, then you can send takedown notices to have your design removed from Facebook, their website, wherever else they may be using it.

 

In the future, never do the bulk of the work on a project for a tiny milestone. That's often a set-up by a client who doesn't plan to pay for the full project. If the draft design you hand over accounts for 80% of your time on the project, the first milestone needs to be funded for 80% of the project price.

martina_boshra
Active Member
Martina B Member Since: Dec 9, 2016
8 of 19

I just check thier website and the logo is there as well, if she didn't respond how can I take the logo off thier website and the facebook page?

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
9 of 19

@Martina B wrote:

I just check thier website and the logo is there as well, if she didn't respond how can I take the logo off thier website and the facebook page?


 This page has instructions. You can also find more information by Googling "DMCA takedown notice"

 

https://nppa.org/page/5617

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 19

If you were paid anything, then I strongly urge you to not fight the client unless you had specific language in place in a supplemental contract that stipulated that she can not use the files you provided as the basis for creating final logo files.

 

If all you have on your side is your expectations or your understanding of an industry practice, then it does not matter.

 

Upwork has clear language in its default contract. That language states that all intellectual property belongs to the client once it has been paid for.

 

If you provided logo ideas on proof pages, and the client paid for those files, then the logo ideas belong to the client, unless you can produce a written contract that says otherwise.

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