Regarding copyright for a logo designed for me

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Regarding copyright for a logo designed for me

Hello, I had a friend of mine design a logo for me for free to use for my
photography business and I want to design merchandise using the logo to sell
things like shirts and hats. Do I need to have him sign some sort of paperwork
handing over the copyright ownership of the logo?

Asked on February 2, 2017 under Business Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you do need paperwork "assigning" (i.e. transfering) the logo and all rights therein to you. If you had hired him (that is, paid for it), you would own the rights as a "work made for hire"; when A hires B to design something, the rights in what A paid for belong to him. But since the friend designed it for you for free, you need him to formally grant you the rights.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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