Logo Artwork and Leaflet Design

Tracing copyright owners and asking permission.
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Logo Artwork and Leaflet Design

Post by clareroberts »


I have recently designed a logo and produced artwork for a leaflet for a new company.
They paid me a deposit to carry out the work but on completion of the artwork, the client did not like anything I had produced and stated that she didn't want to go any further and wanted a re-fund. We gladly obliged.

You can guess what's coming next......

The client has used the artwork we sent as proofs on her facebook page and website. She has slightly altered them simply by just adding her name in front of the logo but it would be obvious to anyone that they are our originals.

Please help!


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Post by AndyJ »

Hi Clare,

I would be inclined to send the client an invoice for the amount that you would have charged had she accepted your work, along with a note saying, "I see that you've changed your mind about using my artwork.. " and reminding her that you own the full copyright in your work, and that she has already infringed this by using your work without permission. Indeed her continued use of the artwork would be grounds for aggravated damages due to the flagrancy of her actions, should the matter ever reach court.

Depending on your original terms of business you need to consider what you would have done about licensing your work had the commission gone ahead normally. If you had intended to assign the copyright to the client, or had intended to issue an exclusive licence*, then the amount invoiced should reflect the fact that you would have effectively transferred your copyright. I know the artwork is unlikely to be of any use to you for other purposes, but if this client goes on to create a multi-million pound business using your artwork, then you need to be fairly recompensed for your time and creativity.

Clearly you have a cast iron copyright infringement claim should you wish to go down that route, but I suggest it would be cheaper and simpler to use the small money claims approach, assuming that the client refuses to pay your invoice. That way you are likely to get a default judgment for non-payment of a bona fide invoice. The client has effectively agreed to the contract by using your work. Obviously you need to keep copies of all your correspondence, your artwork especially if there are any preliminary sketches or drafts, plus screenshots of her website and any other evidence of where your artwork has been used, in order to support your claim. You shouldn't to get solicitor involved, as the money claims process is intended for individuals to handle their own claims and you can do it online where the fees are cheaper.

*Although the link to Wikipedia is to an article on Candian copyright law, the descriptions of the types of licences are the same as in UK copyright law.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007
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