View Full Version : OT Credit where credit is due?

06-03-2004, 08:25 AM
Hi all I've resently read a few articles about a video that was done by a London firm (shall remain nameless) but basically they have took all the credit for a production even though a friend of mine was contracted by them to produce some of the design work. His first big gig if you like.

In all the articles I've read and about this video not once has his name been mentioned as one of the main designers for the charaters in the production :rolleyes:

Does this happen alot in the UK? Or else where for that matter what is the legal position for this type of thing? I would of thought he should of got a mention but all I see is the main firm that contracted out to him taking all the credit.

Needless to say he is more than a little **** off as he is a freelance and the credit would hopefully keep at least some work rolling in.

06-03-2004, 09:21 AM
I was listening to guy talk from ILM a few weeks ago. He said that you have to clock up a certain number of hours on a film before you make the credits. Not sure if that has any baring on your friends case??

06-03-2004, 12:28 PM
Unless the credit details are worked out in the original contract, the company is under no obligation to give credit to the artist. They paid him, they own it. Unions are (at least) effective in getting artists' credit, if nothing else, since union shops -are- obligated, under a collective bargaining agreement, to give credit to artists who fulfill certain criteria (usually a minimum amount of time spent on a project).

ILM is union, but it's an obscure chapter and I'm unfamiliar with the deatils of it's agreement.


06-03-2004, 12:35 PM
I'll add that if this firm liked your friend's work, and anticipate working with him again, they'll probably change their practices or find it hard to attract top talent.


06-03-2004, 03:27 PM
I would have thought that a company is entitled to take the credit for something they produced, no matter who they hired to help them.

06-03-2004, 07:57 PM
Exactly. Credit is a courtesy, not a protected right. But discourteous businesses can be avoided.


06-03-2004, 08:32 PM
I think if they liked his work, he could put pressure on them next time to include a credit. Probably a good time to raise this issue would be at the begining when negotiating the fee.

06-03-2004, 11:30 PM
Cheers for the information gents, intresting comments jamesl as well. :)

06-04-2004, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by jamesl
They paid him, they own it.

This is oh so true in the US as copyright laws for so called work for hire neglects all personal rights to a piece of art once you got payed for it. I believe though that here in europe itīs different. at least i know from germany and france. Here an artist never looses copyrights on his work no matter how much he got payed. often when the contract doesnīt include that a contractor even has to ask permission to reuse a piece of art for a new campaign or project although he allready payed for it. Iīm not sure how the UK handle this though. Any insiders can report?

06-04-2004, 01:47 AM
In Australia the copyright belongs to the person who commissioned the work. However if you produce work such as a painting or photography and then sell it, you still retain copyright.

06-04-2004, 01:48 AM
MrWyatt, in Ireland (I think GB is the same), it really depends on the trade and / or company you work for... An architect usually retains copyright on a building design, whether (s)he's employed directly by the builder or if he's working for an architectural firm. A mechanical design usually doesn't retains copyright, it usually stays with the R&D and manufacturing company. Personally, I always make sure its addressed (and favourable ;) ) in the contract.

sorry to hear about your buddy badllarma

06-07-2004, 06:53 AM
Work for hire issues can, in some cases, really come back and bite the artist if they are working for a slimebag.

With copyright issues being so touchy a courteous and respectful approach on both sides of the aisle really makes life much better for BOTH parties if they are interested in maintaining relationships and profitability.

I have actually avoided some Work for hire situations where the conditions were just not favorable to my future growth. I have been self-employed for over ten years and am an excellent person to work with and in this span of time have developed a sense of the particular environments that are favorable to work in.

In this particular case as outlined by badllarma there is so little that has been mentioned about the actual terms of the contract that the artist has signed or agreed to that it is hard to make a judgement call. But at face value I would say that the video developers are perfectly within their rights not to mention or give credit to the artist in question- ethically though if they are intent on maintaining a relationship with this artist it is probably in their best interest to give him some form of credit- this may actually save them a few bucks on the next project.

If this was me- my pricing structure would be increased slightly on the next job to compensate for the lack of credit. Normally if you can get exposure this has value that should rewarded to the person giving credit.