Charlotte, NC asked in Copyright for North Carolina

Q: In NC, does the company own copyright of creative works if no contract was agreed upon?

I worked as a 1099 Photographer with no contract or agreement for a company in NC. I was wrongfully let go (They are now claiming was a mistake), but my images are still being used for marketing and promotions even after I asked for a cease and desist. After a long wait, the companies legal representative finally got back to me.

They are claiming they own the rights to my images. This is what they wrote, " The employer holds the copyright on creative works (like photography) made while on the job as “work made for hire.” The general NC rule is that, unless there was an agreement to the contrary, the employer holds the copyright on creative works (like photography) made while on the job as a “work made for hire.” As an employee if she did not start off the relationship with a different understanding, and then company owns the copyright to the photos she took while on the job for ."

I was never a W2 employee so I am not understanding why they would ever own the copyright.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: It is possible their response is a canned one and uses the term employee.

It is similar rule with contractors involved in creative work

you should contact a local attorney who is familiar with the local regulations

in general the work done for pay tends to be owned by the payor, the one that pays

best luck

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