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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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Copyright/licence. I compile residential property inventories

Resolved Question:

Copyright/licence. I compile residential property inventories for letting agents and landlords. I would like to know if I can have in my terms of business that I have the copyright of the inventory document until we are paid for the job. In the event that we do not get paid I would like to be in a position where we can withdraw the inventory and advise the tenant/landlord/agent that they can no longer use or rely on the document due to the fact that the document wasn't paid for.
Where do I stand and what would you recommend.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I can assist you with your question.

tdlawyer :

Yes, you can have something like this in your terms and conditions of business.

tdlawyer :

Ordinarily, when work is done by a contractor for a third party client, then the copyright is owned by the person creating the work anyway, which in this instance, would I assume be you.

Customer:

Yes

tdlawyer :

You're not employed though, are you?

Customer:

No

tdlawyer :

Okay, the copyright will normally be owned by you anyway. However, to avoid arguments over who does own it, you should include something like this in your terms and conditions.

tdlawyer :

Also, what it sounds like you also want is the ability to prevent them using the commissioned works until you've been paid.

tdlawyer :

This you can do too.

tdlawyer :

You would simply agree something like this by putting appropriate clauses in the terms of business that you would need to get them to sign (ideally), or to agree to them in some other way, e.g. an express email acknowledgement that they've read and agree to them.

Customer:

Thats exactily what I want, can I use what I have just printed in my question or do i need it drafted up properly, legally.

tdlawyer :

I would recommend you get your whole set of terms and conditions reviewed, especially if you haven't done this for a while. You need properly protecting on this, and there really isn't a substitute for getting proper help if it's commercially important to you.

Customer:

The work is instructed on an online form and they have to tick the terms and conditions before the instruction form comes through to me.

tdlawyer :

Okay - that sounds like a good setup then. So you just need those terms and conditions amended to reflect what it is you now want to achieve.

Customer:

Yes and I would like to have the other terms looked over to make sure all is good.

tdlawyer :

That does make sense, things change regularly, and there is a big change coming soon on cancellation rights etc. So, yes, now is probably a decent time to review things.

Customer:

So where do I go from here.

tdlawyer :

On average, the cost of a full review is probably about £750 plus VAT from most firms, but it does depend obviously on what needs to be done. Do you have a lawyer that you use normally?

Customer:

Not for this type of work, its just something I have thought about in the past few weeks, but I dont want to leave myself open to anything,

tdlawyer :

Okay. Well, there are many commercial lawyers out there that would do this for you, especially if you're in one of the bigger cities, you'll have no trouble finding somebody at all. Often, it's a google search for your area that'll give a decent insight into some of the firms that can help. Then call around a few, see what kind of prices they're quoting, and take a view who you might like to work with.

Customer:

Ok. Thanks.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else I can assist with?

Customer:

No, Not at this moment.

tdlawyer :

Can I ask whether you're happy with the service so far please?

Customer:

So far

tdlawyer :

Great :) Thank you!

tdlawyer :

If you need anything else, just let me know.

tdlawyer :

Otherwise, have a great weekend.

Customer:

Ok.

Customer:

Thank you.

tdlawyer :

You're welcome.

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