Oklahoma City, OK asked in Copyright for Oklahoma

Q: if I made a design while in a group, if I left the group would it still be considered my design or the groups?

I was in an online group for a project awhile back and in the group I made a character design. I’ve since left the group and was wondering if the design would legally be considered mine or the groups? There were no contracts involved, and the character design doesn’t belong to the group, it was just included in the project

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1 Lawyer Answer
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
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  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: As the creator of an original work, you own copyright in the work unless there was an agreement that it was a "work for hire". There being no such agreement, you retain all rights in the work and should inform the group to that effect, and insist that your work not be included in the jointly developed project. If the group considers your work to be essential and is willing to pay you for it, you could either assign all rights or license its use in return for payment. Such an agreement should be in writing and clearly state the terms of licensing or assignment.

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