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Work Vs License


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#1
Kalai Selvan

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Hi!!

Simple Question... The work that i do, am i the owner or the client?

Any light on this would be helpful (Remember at the moment we don't have any agreement on this)

Thanks
GISGURU

Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#2
christine.skl

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Great question.

While studying GIS at the Uni I learned that, our faculty usually kept the copyright to the programming part, but not to the data (government data in China belongs to different departments, eg. when you are programming a GIS system for landuse department data always belongs to the land use department). That's how it's solved here at least.

Christine

P.S. the forum says it's your birthday - Happy Birthday:)
Christine

#3
Charles Syrett

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There's no golden tablet anywhere that says one way or the other. It's completely up to you and your client in each case. It's best to make this clear at the quotation stage, because everyone has different assumptions -- some assume you own the work, some assume they do. My own preference is to give my client complete rights (i.e., they don't need to pay user fees), but also to retain my right to re-use the original files for other work. In almost 30 years of business, I've never had a problem with this approach.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

Hi!!

Simple Question... The work that i do, am i the owner or the client?

Any light on this would be helpful (Remember at the moment we don't have any agreement on this)

Thanks
GISGURU



#4
David Medeiros

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There's no golden tablet anywhere that says one way or the other. It's completely up to you and your client in each case. It's best to make this clear at the quotation stage, because everyone has different assumptions -- some assume you own the work, some assume they do. My own preference is to give my client complete rights (i.e., they don't need to pay user fees), but also to retain my right to re-use the original files for other work. In almost 30 years of business, I've never had a problem with this approach.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

Hi!!

Simple Question... The work that i do, am i the owner or the client?

Any light on this would be helpful (Remember at the moment we don't have any agreement on this)

Thanks
GISGURU



I tend to use this approach as well, though I'm not as good as I should be about spelling it out up front. This also seems like the most diplomatic default in situations where no formal ownership agreement has been spelled out but the questions is asked once work has begun or is finished.

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#5
James Hines

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Simple answer is that you are the provider. Anything you do for your client belongs to the client, you should only use what you did for your client as part of your portfolio unless the client says otherwise.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#6
Dennis McClendon

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Legally (in the US), in the absence of a specific written "work for hire" agreement, you retain copyright in any map or illustration that you produce for a client. Now obviously, a negotiated agreement between you and your client is the best guide, but because of the legal presumption in favor of the creator of a work, I think Hasdrubal's statement is too strong.

In practice, I think of a particular expression of a map (colors, typefaces, selection of features) as being specific to a client, but definitely not their property to transfer to another cartographer to work with or to update. Obviously, I'm much more protective of linework that I drew from scratch than of linework that I generated from a public-domain data set.
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#7
Kalai Selvan

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There's no golden tablet anywhere that says one way or the other. It's completely up to you and your client in each case. It's best to make this clear at the quotation stage, because everyone has different assumptions -- some assume you own the work, some assume they do. My own preference is to give my client complete rights (i.e., they don't need to pay user fees), but also to retain my right to re-use the original files for other work. In almost 30 years of business, I've never had a problem with this approach.

Charles Syrett
Map Graphics
http://www.mapgraphics.com

Hi!!

Simple Question... The work that i do, am i the owner or the client?

Any light on this would be helpful (Remember at the moment we don't have any agreement on this)

Thanks
GISGURU



I tend to use this approach as well, though I'm not as good as I should be about spelling it out up front. This also seems like the most diplomatic default in situations where no formal ownership agreement has been spelled out but the questions is asked once work has begun or is finished.



I mean once the data is Completed..

Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#8
Kalai Selvan

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Great question.

While studying GIS at the Uni I learned that, our faculty usually kept the copyright to the programming part, but not to the data (government data in China belongs to different departments, eg. when you are programming a GIS system for landuse department data always belongs to the land use department). That's how it's solved here at least.

Christine

P.S. the forum says it's your birthday - Happy Birthday:)


Thanks for that Christine

Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#9
Hans van der Maarel

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Once the work is created you have the copyright. At that time it can be transferred to your client, or not. That is something that you can negotiate with the client. There's also the related author's rights, which cannot be transferred. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know the gritty details of it, but there's a lot of information on Wikipedia:
Intellectual Property Law

One thing that's worth considering is adding a clause regarding copyright to your terms of service and/or a general contract that you can use with your clients. A local law firm should be able to help you out with that.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#10
frax

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I think it is very important to have these things spelled out when you agree on a job. My standard policy is to try to give the client a full unlimited non-exclusive license for modification, publication and distribution. If you the client requires that all rights be transferred to them, try to at least get a license to use the map for portfolio/marketing purposes, if nothing else!
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#11
CHART

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In my modest business model, I consider myself the service provider (cartographer) and the recipient of my work the Client.

In my proposal I always state 'The data provided by the client to 'me' is the exclusive property of the client'. That way the client knows I won't use their corporate data on another job etc...

As for the rights over the work delivered to the client that should be laid out before the project starts.

Some clients may not allow you to use the deliverable (what you provide the client) in any way (even for self promotion). Some industries have none disclosure clauses. For example a map you produce for a geological company for a specific claim is considered a 'secret' for 10 years.

Another thing that might play in the way you prepare a proposal is the actual 'deliverable'. Most companies like to 'own' what you provide them (full rights). Keep that in mind when you put a price on your job. Always state what you will be delivering in your contract. That way if you don't include, for example 'a ILLY color ramp or full symbol template' in the deliverable it remains 'your intellectual property'. You can always negotiate a new deliverable with your client if he wants that information latter.

As for the experience you gain with every job ... well that is yours.

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Chart

#12
matt

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Once the work is created you have the copyright. At that time it can be transferred to your client, or not. That is something that you can negotiate with the client. There's also the related author's rights, which cannot be transferred. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know the gritty details of it, but there's a lot of information on Wikipedia:
Intellectual Property Law

One thing that's worth considering is adding a clause regarding copyright to your terms of service and/or a general contract that you can use with your clients. A local law firm should be able to help you out with that.


I agree w/ the above. Ultimately (and we've had our lawyer work w/ us on this) it's what you stipulate/agree to in your contract. For liability purposes, we technically retain ownership and rights to all our work vis-a-vis our contract agreements (although not enforced). This enables us (the consultant) to maintain control over how the data/mapping is used. That way, if the client reproduces 'our' product and passes it on to others, and a lawsuit over the mapping arises (never has), we can point back to the contract and cite the client's unauthorized use of the product. It's one of those unfortunate C.Y.A. aspects of doing business in a potentially litigious environment.

- Matt

#13
Kalai Selvan

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great Discussion!!!!

I am really happy and i know what i need to do to sort out the issue.

Thanks
GISGURU

Thanks and Regards
Kalai Selvan


#14
natcase

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Just one further note for future readers of this thread: check the copyright laws in your country and in your client's country. Signatories to the Berne Convention (which is most of the world these days) agree that copyright protections will be applied to all works published or performed in their jurisdiction, as if they had been created within their borders. Thus, US law applies to all copyrighted works from England, meaning they come out of copyright earlier in the states in many cases than in the UK. So for example, GISGURU needs to know US copyright law when doing business with US clients, because once the intellectual property crosses the line into the US, US laws apply.

Nat Case
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