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Posted: 2/26/2007 2:25:58 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:34:29 PM EST
Fair Use

In my experience, if you are not selling or profiting from the work or subject of the work, and only using it as an example of you talent and style, you are covered by "Fair Use." YMMMV
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:40:59 PM EST
I had this happen too when I quit working at my job.

If you have a small image and a link to the site, then that is fair use - there is nothing they can do. You have a right to have examples for your portfolio.

My boss tried to muscle me - so I got a copyright lawyer on the phone. He gave me 3 ways to change my site - but I took the safest route because I NEVER wanted to hear from him again.

I need to redo my site because I have enough work now I dont need to ever link my old work.

BTW - I still hate my old boss - FUCKIN' ASSHOLE!!

http://robot44.com/portfolio/index.shtml

here is my uber safe page - with my own work as thumbnails and the rest as a resume.

FUCK MY OLD BOSS
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:44:36 PM EST
How much are they willing to pay you to remove it?
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:47:13 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 2:50:43 PM EST by The_Macallan]
If they payed you to produce it - they own it. Unless you have something stated in a contract, they have copyrights to it.

I've been down this road on the production-for-pay side.

Now if you produced the material on your own time using your own hardward and software - you own the copyright.


As far as the "fair use" - if they own the copyright and decide to take it down, you can't fight them. But as long as it's up and freely available, the gray areas of "fair use" may allow you to continue using it.

But again, if they paid you to produce it and it's hosted on their servers, it's theirs to do with what they like.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:50:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 2:51:49 PM EST by NoVaGator]

Originally Posted By VinnieBoomBah:
Fair Use

In my experience, if you are not selling or profiting from the work or subject of the work, and only using it as an example of you talent and style, you are covered by "Fair Use." YMMMV



I don't agree.

What you did for your prior employer sounds like "work for hire" to me.

I don't think fair use applies to self-promotion for commercial purposes

But I'm not a lawyer, so again....YMMV

Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:52:08 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 3:10:13 PM EST
OMG - sounds like some stunt my old boss would pull. I know he did it with this one guy.

Look - the fact is usually the site owners (clients) own the copy right. All the work you did there belongs to your boss or the client.

BUT - there is NOTHING stopping you from linking to the site and saying you did _______ on it. (design, html, css, etc).

Talking to the lawyer, a thumbnail is 110% within your rights. A 150x150 thumbnail of one or two pages of a site falls under fair use. Now - fair use is open to interrpretation - but unless your boss is rolling in extra doh, he wont be spending money to try to contest it in court.

My asshole boss tried to sick the CLIENTS on me - even after I agreed to take it down. Asshole. It back fired a bit, I explained what REALLY was going on and got permission from some of them.

Eventually - I stole one of his larger clients from him. Pay back is a bitch.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 6:16:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 6:27:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By ilikelegs:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

But again, if they paid you to produce it and it's hosted on their servers, it's theirs to do with what they like.


The small samples of work I did are on my website as server.
Does this make a difference?


It's still work produced as work for hire.

I manage the Independent Contractor/Work for Hire agreements with about 550 photographers.

I own the copyright for all images that they capture when working on my dime. If one of them wants to use one of the images in their portfolio, it's OK with me..... but they have to indicate the proper copyright.

It's bad business to selectively enforce your copyright.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 6:54:25 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 7:00:10 PM EST by The_Macallan]

Originally Posted By ilikelegs:

Originally Posted By The_Macallan:

But again, if they paid you to produce it and it's hosted on their servers, it's theirs to do with what they like.
The small samples of work I did are on my website as server.
Does this make a difference?

Can you "hide" it on another site or password protect it so they don't have access to it?

Or would that defeat the purpose of posting it online?



btw... if it's that one website you had a link to here a while back ("Xodus" IIRC), that was very cool - you do very good work.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:00:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 7:03:01 PM EST by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:04:57 PM EST

That's the one.


Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:28:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 7:32:38 PM EST by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:34:56 PM EST
Did you have a hiring agreement?
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:42:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 7:46:11 PM EST by ilikelegs]
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:42:58 PM EST
Very nice stuff.

First off - you arent contesting any of the copy rights. Put something in the footer that says to the effect that "all trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners"

You have a right to post about projects you worked on. A quick screen grab of a website or a thumbnail of a logo for portfolio purposes is within your rights.

Originally I had an indepth review of each site I worked on and the exact work I did. But I took that down to avoid ever talking to that asshole again. Fucker.

When I get time to add the new work from the past two years, i will have more indepth information.

That is my only advice to you. No one cares what software you used. You can put a list of programs you know on another page. But when you look at a project people want to know what you did - design, planning, coding, etc.

Still - nice stuff. My photoshop work is soooo out dated I am embarrassed. I should take a refresher course so my stuff would start looking different. I am in a rut :o(
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:50:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 7:54:18 PM EST by jrkarp]

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By VinnieBoomBah:
Fair Use

In my experience, if you are not selling or profiting from the work or subject of the work, and only using it as an example of you talent and style, you are covered by "Fair Use." YMMMV



I don't agree.

What you did for your prior employer sounds like "work for hire" to me.

I don't think fair use applies to self-promotion for commercial purposes

But I'm not a lawyer, so again....YMMV



There are 4 factors to be weighed for fair use, so no one fact is dispositive:



(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


However, this sounds like a work for hire, which would make the copyright status pretty cut and dry.

It is rarely a good idea to infringe and plan on using fair use unless you have a solid claim to it. Like I said, no one factor is dispositive, but commercial use does weigh heavily against fair use.

Not to mention that there may be DMCA implications here - your hosting company might be obligated to take the material down if they are given a proper notice.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:52:22 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Very nice stuff.

First off - you arent contesting any of the copy rights. Put something in the footer that says to the effect that "all trademarks and copyrights are property of their respective owners"


This does not insulate you against a claim for copyright infringement. All it says is that you are making no claim to copyright.


You have a right to post about projects you worked on. A quick screen grab of a website or a thumbnail of a logo for portfolio purposes is within your rights.


There is no absolute right to this. It is dangerous to give legal advice when you don't know what you are talking about.

Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:53:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 7:57:04 PM EST
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 9:11:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 9:15:37 PM EST by Mister44]

Originally Posted By jrkarp:

You have a right to post about projects you worked on. A quick screen grab of a website or a thumbnail of a logo for portfolio purposes is within your rights.


There is no absolute right to this. It is dangerous to give legal advice when you don't know what you are talking about.



Yeah - you do. While the client retains the copyright - one can use said work in their portfolio under the fair use clause of copyright law.

My wife is a lawyer. While she does mainly labor law, one of her classmates does copyright and trademark laws. When I had this exact problem he told me I just had to make some text adjustment but that I was 100% within my rights. I will try to find his email and ask for an explanation for you, if you wish.

Whats funny is - if its published work on the net - that copyright is retained by your client - not your boss (unless the work was for the company you work for - not a 3rd party client).

If you want to go the 'safe' route like I did - remove the pictures but keep the name, link, and what you did. Go around to ex-clients, give your story, and ask for permission.

If a designer couldnt use the work he did in his portfolio because of a pissy ex-boss - lots of us would have a barren black binder. Hell - make him shell out 300 bucks to have a lawyer right you up a cease and desist letter. Anyone can sue anyone - whether you win often depends on your lawyer. Because 'fair use' is open to interpretation, there is some grey area. But really - is your boss that pissy he is willing to dump thousands to try to strong arm you? Probably not.

ETA - fight for your rights. Find a copyright lawyer and get some advice. If you got someone on your side 'fair use' becomes your friend. Your ex-boss is no longer your friend.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 3:40:57 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 3:46:08 AM EST by jrkarp]

Originally Posted By Mister44:

Originally Posted By jrkarp:

You have a right to post about projects you worked on. A quick screen grab of a website or a thumbnail of a logo for portfolio purposes is within your rights.


There is no absolute right to this. It is dangerous to give legal advice when you don't know what you are talking about.



Yeah - you do. While the client retains the copyright - one can use said work in their portfolio under the fair use clause of copyright law.


There is no absolute right. Fair use is never a guarantee. Period. There may be case law that suggests that use for a portfolio is permissible under certain circumstances, but EVERY assertion of fair use is taken on a case by case basis, based on case law and the four factors I listed above - which are taken directly from 17 U.S.C. 107, which is the statute that deals with fair use.

I am a lawyer and I have a background in intellectual property law.

ETA: This issue can be settled in employment agreements or contracts, which is far better than litigation. A very simple clause can guarantee the artist rights to use for their portfolio while protecting the copyrights of the employer.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 3:43:11 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 3:44:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 3:47:26 AM EST by jrkarp]

Originally Posted By shotar:
I'll give you a better one. My company is demanding that I assign a domain name that I own to them. The only thing I have on the domain name is a direct link to the company website. What do you think about that?


Does the domain name contain a company trademark or is it substantially or confusingly similar to a company trademark? You didn't act in bad faith to profit from the domain name when you registered it, did you?
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:07:03 AM EST
i have nothing to add about copyright, but am curious how much you would charge for something like the xzodus site and how long it would take. one of our groups is in the process of outsourcing a site and the designer, in my observation, is dragging on it and may well be unable to deliver a product. it involves video clips and coordinating transcripts, and he seems to be having trouble with the presentation.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 4:26:01 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:44:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 5:47:18 AM EST by shotar]
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:46:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 5:56:50 AM EST by jrkarp]

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By jrkarp:

Originally Posted By shotar:
I'll give you a better one. My company is demanding that I assign a domain name that I own to them. The only thing I have on the domain name is a direct link to the company website. What do you think about that?


Does the domain name contain a company trademark or is it substantially or confusingly similar to a company trademark? You didn't act in bad faith to profit from the domain name when you registered it, did you?


No it does not contain a company trademark. The company slogan ( that I came up with BTW ) is " We Know People ". They do not own we knowpeople.com it belongs to some other entity. My domain is weknow(specific profession) for my legal practice group which I started. It now points only to the company website.


So on what basis are they making this demand?
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:47:50 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:53:05 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 5:57:22 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/27/2007 6:03:38 AM EST by jrkarp]

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By jrkarp:

Originally Posted By shotar:

Originally Posted By jrkarp:

Originally Posted By shotar:
I'll give you a better one. My company is demanding that I assign a domain name that I own to them. The only thing I have on the domain name is a direct link to the company website. What do you think about that?


Does the domain name contain a company trademark or is it substantially or confusingly similar to a company trademark? You didn't act in bad faith to profit from the domain name when you registered it, did you?


No it does not contain a company trademark. The company slogan ( that I came up with BTW ) is " We Know People ". They do not own we knowpeople.com it belongs to some other entity. My domain is weknow(specific profession) for my legal practice group which I started. It now points only to the company website.


Sp on what basis are they making this demand?


That I might through my own efforts build the brand, then leave the company.


I've got to think about this. There are several possible angles at play here, but I would need to know more.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 6:17:28 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 7:02:46 AM EST

Originally Posted By shotar:
I'll give you a better one. My company is demanding that I assign a domain name that I own to them. The only thing I have on the domain name is a direct link to the company website. What do you think about that?


I think it is bullshit.

Depending on how the domain name is worded vs their name (IF it is trademarked) they might have a case.

For example if the companyies name is widgets and you registered widgets.net. The courts have gone both ways with it with cyber squatters. In some cases they squatter kept the domain - in others they were ordered to hand it over.

I would sell it to him for a profit. Tell him it would cast more to hire a lawyer to write you a letter. If he doesnt want to pay - take the site down - make it blank. Dont be bullied.
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 7:16:18 AM EST
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 7:25:11 AM EST
Here - thought I would share. If you haven't figured it out, I am still bitter about my ex-boss and venom runs through my veins when I think about it.

Here is what it looks like when your boss is too cheap to hire a lawyer and decides to write a threatening letter himself. Note how he contradicts himself saying that he owns the copyright - and then that the client does. My wife, who is a lawyer, laughed at it, because he is trying so hard to sound official and lawyer-like, but failing.

Anyway - I was going to black out names and shit - but I don't fucking care who sees this or who knows. This was some therapy for me, so that I could comment at the end.

Enjoy this PDF - note it is nearly 1MB large.

mister44.com/projects/humor/David_Saga.pdf
Link Posted: 2/27/2007 7:30:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By shotar:
I'll give you a better one. My company is demanding that I assign a domain name that I own to them. The only thing I have on the domain name is a direct link to the company website. What do you think about that?


I'd tell them that if they wish to buy the domain from you, that you're open to offers.
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