Web designers are always at risk with their work being copied, discredited or stolen. A copyright agreement is a way to protect your work and to restrict rules on some further modifications of your created product.
Copyright law varies in different countries. Hence, research copyright law, analyze it and use it according to your situations and clients. You may also want to consult a lawyer for this case.
This post will put a light on some areas which you can consider while creating a copyright agreement for freelancers.
A. Actual Ownership:
When you handover your product (website) to your client, be sure as to who will keep the ownership rights. Have a clause whether or not you will turn over digital files to your client or not. It is very common amongst designers to retain their artwork. These people ask their clients to credit their name as “website creator” or “website designer”. You can even charge an additional cost in exchange of originals. This will allow you to monetize your media costs, time required for file transfer, computer space etc while opting copyright agreement for freelancers.
B. Preliminary Design:
Normally, freelancers retain the ownership of all the preliminary design work. When you are creating a copyright agreement for freelancers, there should be a clause in your copyright agreement that protects your preliminary work in case a client rejects it after you have given it for approval. You can add your costs if the client fails to give your preliminary designs.
This problem takes place with most of the newbie freelancers. They have no clause regarding this. When they submit their creative designs to clients for approval, clients rejects the approval and instead uses the same design (or modifies it) later. Not only your creativity is discredited, but you also miss an opportunity to make money from it.
C. Promotional Copy Ownership:
You must include a clause in your copyright agreement for freelancers where you are allowed to use preliminary copies, unprepared samples, and final product of your projects in your marketing materials (mainly in your portfolio), design competitions or anywhere else. Such materials allow you to showcase your abilities and skills, and further help you to get more and more projects.
These were just three most basic areas that you must cover while creating a copyright agreement for freelancers . There are also some other topics which needs to be covered such as warranties, confidentiality issues etc. Consult your lawyer and settle down on those issues.
If you are looking for a step by step process to start your own freelance web design, you can visit our Complete guide to become freelance web designer to reach near targeted visitors. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.