LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Intellectual Property Law - Art Equivalent of MIT Licence?

Discussion in 'Intellectual Property Law Forum' started by Simon_H, 8 September 2016.

  1. Simon_H

    Simon_H Member

    Joined:
    8 September 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I found a template for a Code Work For Hire contract on the web that really matched what I wanted in a contract so I went through it and significantly swapped stuff around and re-worded it to match my work which is art for interactive media.

    I've spent so much time researching and the agreement is almost complete. The one thing that still stumps me was the reference to a licence in the section that prevents the ownership of intellectual property that isn't specific to the Client's project. It was almost exactly what I needed to protect my work to have non-exclusive usage rights, but the catch is that it's talking about software when I need it to be about art.

    I've spent a lot of time trying and failing to find an equivalent licence. Am I missing the perfect licence somewhere, or should I be taking the MIT licence and changing it to suit my needs?

    If so, is it legal under Intellectual Property Law to do so?
     
  2. Kim Walters

    Kim Walters Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 July 2016
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    4
    A contractor's agreement for the supply of services (say, artwork for interactive media) should have provisions (for certainty) as to what happens with the intellectual property in the artistic works that are supplied to the client. Unless one assigns/transfers in writing the ownership of the IP, the default position is that the creator owns the IP in the work and the client in consideration of payment has an implied licence to use the work.

    "Work for Hire" contracts are usually associated with United States copyright law and the United States Copyright Act of 1976.
     
  3. Simon_H

    Simon_H Member

    Joined:
    8 September 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

    Joined:
    28 April 2014
    Messages:
    1,716
    Likes Received:
    402
    I agree with Kim above.

    I would add that DIY in this area is particularly high risk.

    So, if you are going to DIY, then allow me to make a few suggestions.
    1. Be clear on the Choice of Law clause.

      This clause will specify which body of law will be used
      to interpret your contract in the event of dispute,
      such as if payment is late, or incorrectly calculated,
      or if they use your work in ways that are not "part of the deal".

      It will also impact on your position as an unsecured creditor in the event the hirer/ producer goes bust.
      Ask yourself - could you afford to run a commercial debt action in, say, Delaware, or California?

    2. Be sure that you specify in which currency you will be paid, and over what timeframe.

    3. Further, make sure that your minimum fee is both fixed and express,
      and that getting paid is not contingent on reaching a particular market-derived threshold,
      such as gross sales, or X number of units units shipped).
      If you are not on a fixed fee (for example, that is, if you are on some kind of points deal)
      then you want your money to flow from dollar one of the first unit moved.
     
    Kim Walters likes this.
  5. Simon_H

    Simon_H Member

    Joined:
    8 September 2016
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Tim, those are some really useful tips. I hadn't actually considered that to reference the law of a state would be the deciding factor of how a contract is interpreted.
     

Share This Page

Loading...