Q: Can an artist rescind permission after giving it?
I'm working with a team of volunteers on an unpaid passion project. One of those volunteers did a lot of artwork for us and gave us permission to use it. Now, about 9 months later, he is telling us that he wants all his artwork taken out of the project and completely redone. This puts a significant amount of strain on the art team still working with us and delays the project's release. Can he legally rescind permission and do we legally have to replace all of his artwork or does his permission in the past hold up? Unfortunately, we don't have a contract but we have a lot of evidence of permission in the past and we even released one version of the project with his artwork included (this was while he was working with us), so we have a lot of people who can back us up on that front as well.
You may have a problem. However consider the rights of co-authors as addressed here:
A: There may be grounds to argue that from his behavior he granted an "implied" license. The difficult question is to figure out the scope of the license, meaning the terms of the license. Best to work with a copyright attorney to see where the balance can be drawn. If there was a license, even implied, and your group relied on it to its detriment, would it have a contractual claim against the artist? If the artist can be found liable under contract, you may be in a good position to bargain with him as to the terms under which your group can make use of the works.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.