Did you know that, if you have a virtual assistant or contractor, then you don’t automatically own the copyright to any work they created for you?
I read about this in Shireen Smith‘s book called ‘Legally Branded’.
This may not seem too important right now, but imagine you get a graphic designer to create a logo and brand imagery for you. Then, BOOM! Your company takes off and you get rich!!
Then, out of the blue, you get a copyright letter from your contractor’s solicitor claiming you need to pay them royalties for the use of the logo that they created for you!
and that’s just the start…
Copyright extends beyond logos – anything created, designed or written by someone else is covered under UK copyright law (I don’t know about other countries sorry).
How to Own the Copyright of Work Created By Your Virtual Staff
Luckily there’s a simple and free solution to this, just ask the contractor to sign an Assignment Of Intellectual Property Rights document.
You can get a template here: https://seedsummit.org/intellectual-property-assignment/ (I am not affiliated with this company- just found it doing a google search).
And you can use the Hello sign (https://www.hellosign.com/) to get an e-signature on this for free.
If you already have a contractor who’s created a load of work for you, you can back-date the Assignment to the day they started (this is the ‘BACKGROUND start date’ on the assignment).
Now, any work they have done or will do is yours from a legal perspective!
For more information about copyright in the UK please see here: Ownership of copyright works
I am not qualified to give legal advice and you should discuss your requirements with an appropriately trained solicitor. I offer this as friendly advice only and I apologise if any part of this isn’t 100% correct – if there are any solicitors reading this, I’d be keen to hear your thoughts.🙂