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Copyright for Animation

When working freelance, how do I decide who keeps copyright of the work I am making? How do prices change if my client requests full copyright?

If I create a character under regular employment is their a way to buy back the copyright to that character when I'm no longer employed there?>

Best Student Answers:

When operating as a freelancer, the artist keeps copyright unless the agreement states otherwise. The contract should also state for how long the copyright is granted for (set amount of time/or infinite,) and for what purpose it is used for. If the purpose changes outside what is stated in the contract, it would have to be renegotiated, as the price would increase to accommodate more usage. If client requests full copyright, similarly, the price would increase. In Canada, I think you would also keep authorship and moral rights. [Yes, you would!]

Copyright should always be EXPENSIVE. I would argue that it's more expensive than the artwork itself. When pricing copyright, you must keep in mind: the effort put into the artwork, the time it took you, the estimated sales the piece would generate, the copyright owner's ability to change the piece, how many people will see it, and the copyright owner has no responsibility to credit you after they own the copyright. It is fair to charge a minimum of 1,000$ as a copyright fee (which is quite cheap, especially for a large company). I would advise that when doing freelance commissions, you as the artist should always hold the copyright.

Technically should be possible if the company is willing to negotiate.

More Information:

Taking the copyright for your character(s) with you might depend on whether they were being used by your employer or not. The rights would belong to your employer until they released them, but they may be more receptive to negotiating if they don't have plans for the character(s).