Melody Roberts on Who Owns The Design

In Who Owns The Design, Billboard Insider asked for comments on whether an Out of Home company should restrict the uses of  the creative it generates.  Out of Home Creative’s Melody Roberts comments:

I haven’t listened to the OAAA legal seminar, so I can only provide insight into how my company, Out of Home Creative, handles situations where the client wants to use my designs for other advertising platforms.

First, it is important to understand that (some) clients assume that when they pay a designer as an independent contractor, they will automatically own all intellectual property rights in the designer’s work product. This is not correct; the designer retains ownership of the intellectual property in her/his work unless and until the designer signs a written agreement that transfers ownership of the intellectual property to the client.

As an outdoor advertising design firm, whether I design one advertisement or a campaign, I am coming up with the concept(s); therefore, if clients want to use my ideas and scale them to other mediums, my firm should be compensated.

To avoid miscommunication with my clients, I have clauses in my proposal and agreement specific to how the client can use my designs for advertising other than OOH.

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