I see a lot of discussion on this issue here within the Forum and figured I’d contribute a little topic to help clear up some Myths.
Let’s take a sample gig.
" I will design you a logo for $5 "
Now, sellers, here is what you should know.
- The buyer owns all rights to your image/design.
- The buyer can use it however they want.
- The buyer can sell it or license it.
- Having a disclaimer saying otherwise DOES NOT matter.
Why is this? I’ll explain.
Once you design a logo to someone’s specifications and money changes hands it becomes theirs. You can NOT stipulate how they use it or what they do with it. You effectively become a sub contractor. Picture this. If I designed the logo that ‘Coca-Cola’ uses I could not sue them now for altering, re-selling or doing what they want with it. Why? Because it was designed for them to use.
Now, here’s where all the confusion comes in.
If you have a gig that says…
" I will let you pick/use a Logo from my portfolio for $5 "
Then, you still own the rights and are simply licensing some of your work for a set cause.
I keep seeing discussions on people getting mad their designs/graphics are being re-sold or used for… well… whatever the buyer wants. The truth is that once you actually create something to someone elses specifications it becomes theirs, not yours. It doesn’t matter what kind of disclaimer you write on the gig.
So. Points to take home…
- If you design a logo for someone else it’s theirs to do with what they will. You’ve become a subcontractor working towards someone elses blueprint.
- If you let someone CHOOSE a logo from pre-existing ones you have created you still own the rights.
If you are uneasy about this than you shouldn’t be selling your art.
Feel free to discuss or debate but the law is the law and none of use can change it. Questions or scenarios are great. I’ll try and answer what I can.
( I should also note that although I’m not a lawyer, my real life job focuses on this type of thing and intellectual property right cases are rampant. So I do have a understanding of this system… somewhat )