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Copyrights law in Singapore

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johnnychan85
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Copyrights law in Singapore

Postby johnnychan85 » Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:20 pm

Hi,

I am new to copyrights law in Singapore and need some advice. Our company has assigned a job to a designer but she wants to take full ownership of the copyright of her art work so that it can only be used for a specific purpose and in a specific event. She does not allow the company to use that design in other occasions and not to be printed in other means other than the previous agreed format. E.g. If the design is to be printed on a poster, the company has no rights to print it in the company's catalogue? Is she legal to make such a claim? And what is her chances of suing the company for doing so?

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x9200
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Re: Copyrights law in Singapore

Postby x9200 » Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:34 pm

johnnychan85 wrote:Hi,

I am new to copyrights law in Singapore and need some advice. Our company has assigned a job to a designer but she wants to take full ownership of the copyright of her art work so that it can only be used for a specific purpose and in a specific event. She does not allow the company to use that design in other occasions and not to be printed in other means other than the previous agreed format. E.g. If the design is to be printed on a poster, the company has no rights to print it in the company's catalogue? Is she legal to make such a claim? And what is her chances of suing the company for doing so?

If she is the author, what you can do with her work depends on the agreement you have with her. If you have no agreement then you are basically *beep*. You have completely no right to use her work and all depends on her.

This agreement may have a form of a separate agreement which defines your right of the use in specific fields of use or distribution or if she is an employee of your company and what she designed is under her employment terms (scope of her work) then this typically belongs to the employer.

If no agreement or the employment dependence then, yes, she can sue you and probably win with no major sweat. Be aware that violation of IP rights could be also a criminal offense.

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nakatago
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Re: Copyrights law in Singapore

Postby nakatago » Mon, 19 Jan 2015 12:38 pm

johnnychan85 wrote:Hi,

I am new to copyrights law in Singapore and need some advice. Our company has assigned a job to a designer but she wants to take full ownership of the copyright of her art work so that it can only be used for a specific purpose and in a specific event. She does not allow the company to use that design in other occasions and not to be printed in other means other than the previous agreed format. E.g. If the design is to be printed on a poster, the company has no rights to print it in the company's catalogue? Is she legal to make such a claim? And what is her chances of suing the company for doing so?


Sounds like you're screwing her over ownership.

* Did you agree to her terms?
* Did she go over such terms in your offer to her?
* What does it say to the document you all signed?

curiousgeorge
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Re: Copyrights law in Singapore

Postby curiousgeorge » Mon, 19 Jan 2015 7:38 pm

Anything created - be it art, a song, a book, computer code, a photo - has a copyright automatically in favour of the creator.

It is not uncommon, in some industries that commission works, to specify in the contract the specific uses of that work. Can it be used for marketing? On TV? Without credits? Viewable by the public? Can it be reproduced in any form?

It is also not uncommon for companies to request a "buy-out" of the intellectual property/copyright. This usually attracts significantly higher fees. For instance, a photographer takes a shot of a celebrity. Your newspaper wants to run it. He may allow them to use it for "any purposes" for a fee (and usually will because it will go public), or he might barter specific uses (not on the website, for instance). He might also bargain hard to keep the rights to sell it to another newspaper.

In your case, there are small ways to improve your situation.
1) In the contract, there is a probably a clause about your company providing the brief. Hence you own the concept. Tell her you will get is drawn elsewhere.
2) You might, in your brief, require your company logo. Which is copyrighted/trademarked to you.
At least in these two instances, she cannot use the work for anything either.
3) You tell her you want exclusive use for...[list of things you want to use it for], and offer a reasonable fee. Then tell her that more work will come her way if her fees and conditions are reasonable. Even agree a much higher fee for using it in instances you haven't specified.


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