If I just finished working as a 3rd party contractor for a film production company, who owns my work product?

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2013

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If I just finished working as a 3rd party contractor for a film production company, who owns my work product?

No official contract for my work was ever made or signed by me. I worked on various documents and spreadsheets, then I would share these through online methods. Some were made and prepared entirely by me. Others began by them giving me a document which I then did additional work on by editing, adding and removing information. In legal terms, who owns these documents and spreadsheets? Is there a difference in ownership between files made by me and those in which they gave an original that I then worked off of?

Asked on November 16, 2013 under Employment Labor Law, California


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, if they (the third party contractor) paid you for you creating your work product, then they own it, unless they were under contract for the work with another contractor, which then would own your work product.  It was dumb of them not to enter into a written contract with you spelling this out, but that does not mean you can lay claim to work product you were paid to create for someone else.

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