Legal question

  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

just curious...

if I do web work for a company, can I add the projects to my portfolio if i mention i did this while working for the company??

I'm not selling them, just 'showing them off' to future customers / employers.

thnx,
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yep for sure!

:D

As long as its your work of course, there are no legal problems to do that.
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the *only* thing I'd look out for is if you weren't freelancing and were the actual employee of the company, then I would definatly check with the higher powers to make sure it's ok, just to avoid any conflict/copyright stuff.

Better safe then sorry! :-D
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I use the websites i make at my fulltime job as well as the ones I make from my design company on the side.

i guess you could ask as I have had prospective clients contact businesses I use as examples to find out how they found the service. (lucky for it was always great! ;)
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hehe well if you're title is "Webmaster Supremeo of Choco Taco Enterprises" and your full time job was to make and mantain their website, I am *pretty* sure that it would be copyright Choco Taco, and not Webmaster Supremeo... Therefor you could run into a bit of conflict...just wanna be careful these days.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

he is just saying he created it, no owns it, thats where the big difference comes in.

same as the person who creates the Nike wesbite - doesnt own the design anymore - but he can still refer people to it that he was the designer... :wink:
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ok thnx,

my boss jokingly said he would sue me if i quit, of course he was joking but it got me wondering.


just to clarify, i am a fulltime employee of a web company, not a contract designer.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yeah as long as your not saying you own it - your quite safe. After all - well you DID design it and you have every right to tell the world :wink:
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

my boss made me sign this today after viewing my portfolio, i know most users of this forumn arn't lawers but if anyone has had to sign a similar document, any input would be appreaciated.

http://design-notion.com/img/contract.gif

---------------------------------
ATNO switched this to a link to avoid expanding the tables in the board.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ahh well thats another story.... you will need their written permission to use the websites you have made whilst in their employment as examples.
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thnx,

1 more question, is this a common document for employees of a web company to sign?

I know it's just business but I don't like the idea that i cannot show off my works.

if this is normal business practice than I will let it go, but if it is un typical to prevent employees from displaying their work then I will start agressivly looking for another employer.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Its generally not common practice but some larger companies can be rather anal over these things. I would suggest having a talk to them about your contract. Do you still work for them? What's your relationship like with managment?

My other word of advice is dont sign ANY contracts unless you FULLY understand the terms contained within. You have every right to take the document away and have someone (or several people) look it over for you and explain what it all means to you in simple terms.
  • b_heyer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ahh I was right!!! Mwhahahaha! :-P :-D
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Without that document however he has every right to use his work he produced there as examples. He never said he signed a contract when he asked his question (which in itself is pretty silly). :roll:
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

when i posted this i had not signed any contract, he cornered me today and had me sign. I am no lawer and thought best to sign and keep my job.

The company is very small, it consists of me and him. i do apx. 4 websites a month, we are not a huge cortpoation.

I gather from your posts that this is not normal and i should be concerned about his tactics.

one more qquestion, as I have signed today, does this mean all work up to date is safe from this contract, or does this mean that all work i have done thus far applies to this contract??


thnx for all the replies
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It can be normal. Truthfully I didn't have to sign anything on my new job, but I gave them my word I wouldn't design any sites for a competitor. That was good enough for them and good enough for me. However, if they asked me to sign a contract stating such I would.

The company is just trying to protect their interests, and since what you do according to your last post is somewhat small, don't worry about it. I'd have probably signed it too if I thought it meant the difference between being at a job I liked or out on the streets again.

The alternative would be freelance other non-related work -- do them to your best abilities and use those instead.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

id say that covers ALL work you have ever done for the company. id be concerned not that it states that it owns the copyright... but that they dont want you to EVER say that you created it. and thats wrong.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't know musik -- that agreement is not highly unreasonable, and does provide possibility to to get permission to do "somewhat limited" things with it. Gasolene hasn't really stated what kind of company it is or why they might feel this is necessary. It may be realistic for what they do.

For example, when I got my job, I was required to sign a paper that I needed to pass a 40 hour course to become a certified radiation worker, and if I didn't pass I could lose my job. I know. What does that have to do with web design? It has nothing to do with design, but has to do with the fact the my job will eventually require me to be allowed access to restricted areas and understand the regulations, safety proceedures and what-not in working around radioactive material. Will I ever be working with radiation stuff - nope -- no chance... but it is required since I will have to work with computers in those areas.

In addition, I also had to ascent to the fact that a background check would not show anything which would prevent me from unescorted access through a nuclear facility.

So what's my point? If there is a reason for the company to require such a thing as Gasolene is asking about, then there is probably a reason for it. At this point in the discussion, I'm not certain that Gasolene understands the reason for it. He may, but hasn't indicated such. If not, he should simply ask.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ATNO/TW wrote:
At this point in the discussion, I'm not certain that Gasolene understands the reason for it. He may, but hasn't indicated such. If not, he should simply ask.



:thumbsup:

Yes agreed totally. I think he should have asked about the contract BEFORE signing. Still you can enquire what the reasoning is behind it, explain to your manager that you would like to be able to show people the kind of work you can do.
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

his reasoning was to "protect his interest"

and no he will not let me display anything I have done, including personal projects I did for him.

I believe he is attempting to make it difficult for me to get another job, as I am not paid as much as this type of position typically pays.

He is also worried that I am doing side jobs for extra cash, instead of directing them to the company which I am under no obligation to do so.

he also claimed that before i signed the contract i was already in breach of copyright laws and I would be better off signing the document to avoid legal problems.

I was obviously intimidated and signed immedietly, which i regret.
  • The Apostle of God
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If I were you I would
  • Leave the company
  • Get a lawyer
  • Have that contract declared invalid by lawyer somehow. It is possible.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

meh, I would just leave. who wants to work for someone like that :roll:
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Being impartial -- I have worked on both sides -- not necessarily this scenario. OK -- so the boss feels threatened, or there is something at risk here. My first question would be "Why?". My second question would be "What?".

If there is no good answer to those (in regards to the management side), then the two prior suggestions are probably worth considering. If not, then there is something else underlying that Gasoline isn't telling us. I believe my logic is pretty sound on that.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yeah well i agree they must have a reason why - i dont know what kind of business it is - for the majority of the time there should be no problem to tell people you created something.

unless the boss is just an a****** :roll:
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

me and the boss get along fine, there are no underlying issues other than the fact that he feels threatned that I may make money showing a potential client a site I designed while under his employment. nor does he want me look for a job elsewhere siting work I've done while employed by him as he knows my portfolio is very small excluding work I've done for him.

He has told me that this type of agreement is common in this industry(which i know is BS). and even had the ordasady to say he was protecting me.
  • musik
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Post 3+ Months Ago

im in a bad mood so if it comes out in here im sorry. having said that it really really really sh*ts me about people like that - whats wrong with making some money on the side as long as it doesn't interfere with your work time. what kind of person does he think you are - what sort of intregity does this man think you have. your working for him - but you should be able to make a bit of pocket money on the side. i know for myself its the only way I can survive. my boss knows i have another company on the side doing design. at first he was worried about that - i said to him. if i wanted to run this business full time then i wouldn't be here getting a job with you - if i wanted to work more on it i would get a part time job instead. its a hobby - something i want to do on the side as well as doing it for work.

grr that really gets me. how are people supposed to get ahead if they don't take every advantage to earn some extra $$.

id be asking him what kind of person he thinks you are, because obviously he doesn't trust you. business is business but for heavens sake your a person too. not everyone is out to screw the company and do the wrong thing.

bah. anyhoo thats my rant :D
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, that puts you in a bit of a fix since you signed the contract.

Suggestion 1: if you get along with your boss and enjoy your job - live with it. Design other sites outside of work to enhance your portfolio.

Suggestion 2: find a new boss (i.e. employer) -- to us it doesn't sound like you're happy with your decision, and as it appears, most seem to think that was a pretty paranoid (dirty) thing for your boss to ask of you (including me).

In the end it's your decision.

You'll do fine -- just enjoy what things life puts in front of you and don't worry over the things you can't control.
  • Smilingwolf
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm not defending the contract by any means, but if you are working for a web design company, and you are commercially designing on the side, you have created several issues. I will use a real life example from another industry.

guy comes into retail store to have carpet installed. just one room now another later. installer goes out starts installing. helper says i can do it for you on day off and charge you less. helper takes money and does poor job. customer calls retail store and says "your guy really messed up my project, what you gonna do about it?"

From a management point of view you represent the company. From my personal pov, I would have told him where to put it.

Sorry post is so long.
  • Gasolene
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am well aware of conflict of interest issues.

I would never approach anyone i met through the company for a job. If they came to me, I would direct them to the company.

My concern was that I can not display my own work. this does not effect the company at all, it only means I have a harder time finding work with a thin portfolio.

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