Rights to artistic property

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Rights to artistic property

I am an artist who made a logo for a friend. The art is completely original. He
got sponsored by a large company and they paid an artist to draw a new logo for
him but it looks exactly the same as mine. Even though the logo is for my friend,
don’t I still have rights to protect my art?

Asked on October 14, 2016 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If your friend paid you anything for the logo, or if you gave/gifted it to him, then you have no rights to the logo: work which was paid for is "work made for hire," and the rights belong to the customer/client, and if you gift anything, including intellectual property, you give up all rights to it and they can do anything they like with it.
Only if you specifically reserved rights to the logo--didn't sell or give him all rights--might you still have rights; if so, you have whatever rights you specifically reserved, and could potentially take legal action for violation of your copyright or other IP rights.


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