Can a designer sell copyright on request?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a designer sell copyright on request?

I have client that has a web design business. He is planning on designing websites. He would like to sell

Asked on September 1, 2016 under Business Law, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

This is perfectly legal, as long as it is clearly disclosed to customers and prospective customers: there is no law requiring that the customer must get the copyright (or trademark, or any other intellectual property) and it can be retained by the designer. But because the norm is that the copyright etc. *does* belong to the person who paid for/commissioned it/hired you, you have to make sure that the notice of this is very prominent; if it's buried, hidden, or obscure, then if a client challenges it, there is a good chance a court will side with them, since they could rely on the normal practice and law regarding copyright, etc. unless they are provided notice, in advance of signing up with the desiger, of the different policy. IF they sign up with or hire the designer after having notice that he/she retains copyright unless it is separately purchased, then they would be held to have agreed to that.

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