New London, CT asked in Contracts and Business Law for Connecticut

Q: How do I understand the meaning of certain terms in a freelance agreement?

I'm a freelance graphic designer trying to get my client to agree to allow me to use portions of an upcoming project for my portfolio. They agreed to add some language to the agreement but it doesn't seem to say anything about that. I want to make sure I understand it. Here is the updated text: "Designer’s work shall be considered “work for hire”, owned entirely by Client. Client shall retain all ownership, rights, title, and interest in the final deliverable provided by Designer (the “Work”) and may use the Work for any purpose at their sole discretion. Designer shall not use the Work, or Client’s name, logo, likeness, or other identifiable information without express written consent from Client, which may be withheld at Client’s sole discretion."

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Alan Harrison
Alan Harrison
  • Milford, CT
  • Licensed in Connecticut

A: I'm a Connecticut intellectual property attorney. I would be glad to discuss this with you off line. You are correct that the added language does not say what you want in order to do what you want.

Nicholas Arthur Matlach
Nicholas Arthur Matlach pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Providence, RI
  • Licensed in Connecticut

A: A "work-for-hire" arrangement does not adequately address your desire to utilize portions of the project for your professional portfolio. This is a standard concern for freelance designers, as portfolio work is essential for demonstrating skills and attracting new business.

You may consider proposing an amendment with the following language, or something similar:

"Designer retains the right to use limited portions of the Work for promotional purposes, specifically within Designer's professional portfolio. This includes online displays and printed materials. Client's name and any confidential or proprietary information will be excluded."

Key Points:

- Copyright vs. Usage Rights: The "work-for-hire" clause ensures the client owns the copyright. The proposed amendment allows you to demonstrate your work without infringing on their ownership.

- Importance of Portfolio: Emphasize to your client that portfolio usage is an industry standard and vital for your professional success.

- Confidentiality: Reassures the client that showcasing your work won't compromise their confidential information.

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.