Law

Disputes with Friends

August 30, 2020 Paul Brennan
Law
Disputes with Friends
Chapters
Law
Disputes with Friends
Aug 30, 2020
Paul Brennan

Arguments between joint contributors– who owns what?



Brennans solicitors
Lawyers - commercial, property, IP, litigation, Will disputes

Show Notes Transcript

Arguments between joint contributors– who owns what?



Brennans solicitors
Lawyers - commercial, property, IP, litigation, Will disputes

Arguments between joint contributors– who owns what?


Often there can be arguments between joint contributors as to who owns
what.

Did Lennon and McCartney put all their creative effort into everything they did together, or did one of them compose the music and the other write the words?

Well, in the law of copyright, you hope it is one or the other, as anything else seems to end up in a fight, as Yoko will tell you. Suppose you can draw, and someone else has an idea for a book. The characters are his idea, but you will be creating a visual representation of those characters. Who owns what? 

The problem is that your contribution is not distinct from that of the author. The author wants to be able to promise his or her publisher that no one else has a right to use the drawings in the book, and believes that he has paid you quite enough, whereas you may not want him to use your drawings in other books, magazines or anywhere without further payment, or at all, if you are vindictive.

They may be your drawings, but because they are based on characters suggested by the author, it is probably unlikely that you have sole copyright. However, you may have joint copyright if you pass this three part test:
1. There must be collaboration—a shared goal.
2. You must put in sufficient creative effort, but it does not need to be
an equal contribution. It is the sort of creative effort that you would
need to create a copyright work of your own. Not that much, but not
just tracing.
3. The contributions must not be distinct or separate from each other. For instance, if one person does the music and the other the words of a song, these are two separate copyright works.
Of course, it would be easier to write down who owns what before you start, but what fun is that?

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