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Designer For Hire: Who Gets the Files?

by • May 10, 2016 • No Comments

With the relaunch of the Shapeways Designer For Hire program, we are seeing extra
and extra
createers and clients coming together to turn it into incredible
3D printed objects. Whilst that
is clearly a excellent thing, extra
individuals coming together in addition
means extra
opportunities for misunderstandings. (Buzzkill sentences like that
are a reason that
lawyers aren’t always invited to parties.) Lauren covered a few of big areas of misunderstanding with her 8 Questions Your Client Doesn’t Know to Ask You. This post is going to only address one area: who owns the files and the copyrights at the end of a create job?

Thinking of this in advance can assist head off a number of disputes, and getting an agreement in writing can be actually advantageous. You may see “getting it in writing” and immediately ponder
to by yourself
“but contracts are tedious.” You are right. Contracts are tedious. But like other tedious things that
manage to stick around like seat belts and automated data backup, they can in addition
be quite
useful in a pinch.

Getting this sort of thing in writing assists at very least two purposes. First, and most
likely
most
significantly, it forces the createer and the client to get on the same page preceding time and money are spent. If they don’t agree, it is much advantageous to understand
that
preceding a job begin
s than to wait until the end. Second, once both sides have agreed in writing, it manufactures it simpler to resolve disputes that
do come up at the end of a job.

Who Gets the Files?

The initially question to address is who gets the files at the end of the job. Many createers expect that
they can store the files for a version, while clients expect that
they can get the files at the end of the job. This obviously turn it intos the opportunity for misunderstanding. Hashing this out at the beginning of a job can avoid lots of heartache at the end.

When you are discussing files, manufacture certain
that
you are specific. There is a big difference between getting an .stl file for a version and getting a fewthing with a bit extra
data like an .obj file.

In addition, there is a distinction between having possession of the files and being able-bodied to use the file going forward. Regardless of who has the files, how they are utilized
is most
likely
governed by copyright. Which, naturally, raises the question of…

Who Gets the Copyright?

Especially if the version is nonfunctional and decorative, it is most
likely
protected by copyright. In most
cases, the createer can own the copyright in that
version when it is turn it intod (assuming the copyright exists).

The copyright gives the copyright holder the faculty to control things like how most
prints are created
of the file, or if the file can be adonlyed in the next. Talking of what – if anything – takes place after the commissioned print is created
can assist shed light on how significant doing these types of things are to the client.

If the client wants extra
than a set number of printed versions at the end of the job, they can most
likely
need
both the 3D version file and a few sort of license to the copyright that
protects the version. There is a lot of flexibility to what the terms of that
license can be. It can restrict the client to producing precise
copies via a createated printing service (like, say, Shapeways), need the client to report to the createer each time a print is created
, or allow the client to modify the file freely. If the client quite
wants full control of the version, they may actually need that
the createer transfer the copyright to the client.

What is the Answer?

Every createer-client relationship is various, so there is no single answer that
can apply to each situation. If you have a specific question, it may be useful to consult a lawyer preceding moving forward with the agreement. AIGA’s version contract can in addition
assist as a excellent jumping off point for discussions between a createer and client. As a bonus for createers, once they decide that parts of that
contract they want to use it can only become their default client agreement.

Ultimately, the most
significant thing is to discuss these inquiries
at the begin
of the relationship. If the client and createer are on the same page, it can be a swift discussion. If they disagree, it gives them the opportunity to work it out at the begin
of the relationship. Sometimes that
disagreement can be resolved by the createer charging an extra fee for extra
rights or access to files. Usually the createer and client can come to agreement, although a fewtimes they cannot. In either case, it is always advantageous to discover that
at the begin
of a job than at the end.

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