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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I was an unpaid Board Member of a small non business

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I was an unpaid Board Member of a small non for profit business group. 6 months ago I volunteered to research and write a draft proposal for a new business idea for the group. The draft proposal was circulated in writing to the other Board Members and Senior Management team 3 weeks ago. The document was full of original and radical ideas which did not meet with the approval of Chair and the proposal was declined. Within one week the Group Manager produced an "alternative version" on same subject which has liberally used without permission large parts of my original draft. I have no contract of employment that states that anything I produce belongs to the group.
Am I within my rights to claim the copyright for this original work and insist that the group cannot offer the alternative version containing extracts and adaptations without my permission. The alternative version has been attributed to the Group Manager by name.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Nicola

I believe that having read copyright law I know the answer to my original question. I just wanted confirmation.

Every day that goes by my original work is being used to benefit others.

If you cannot find a UK Copyright exper amongst your experts within next 48hrs please notify ASAP in order that I might seek an alternative source of advice

Nick

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
What is it you want to achieve ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Please I am a little confused. I have paid £38 to JusT Answer for an opinion. Now I have a response saying I can helpyou but asking for more money. What happened to my original £38

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Its a one off fee, but I can call you, which is an additional service, if you wish?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex,

I would be happy to talk with you BUT before we invoke this arrangement may I ask if you could comment on my original submission to Just Answer and point out which parts of your opinion on my original submission would benefit me by moving on to having a chat on the telephone.

I thought I had asked quite a simple question.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Are you able to prove your version before this version? Has it just been copied or ideas taken?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex,

My version printed and circulated by dated and timed email to fellow Board Members and date and time of receipt confirmed by Chair in subsequent e-mail acknowledhement. I hold original copy on my PC

For sake of clarity although I actually edited the original report the contents was a collaboration with a fellow director. Both of us volunteered to produce this piece of work, both of us are unpaid volunteer Board Members and both of us do not have any contract of employment that states any work we produce whilst Board Members belongs to the Group.

The report version we produced took us circa 5 months of research, interviews and discussion to produce and edited view of our findings together with our original recommendations. Many of recommendations were very original ideas and in the context of the subject matter full of radical ideas.

As I said earlier the writer edited all of our findings into a 25 page document which we circulated in writing to our fellow Board members and Executive Management for their scrutiny and debate.

Without the benefit of debate the Chair decided that the recommendations and content of our now published report ( circulated and dated to fellow Board members et al) was not something which she could endorse and refused to allow the Board to even debate its contents.

A few days later the Group Manager (CEO) produced an alternative version of the report which was circulated by email (dated and timed) to the Board et al. I have copy. This alternative version as I said before contained large pieces of my/our original document plus some adaptation.

We understand that this alternative version has now been sent to a client bearing the name of the Group Manager and the client has been charged £5k for the work in the name of the Group.

We have written to the Chair and Group Manager pointing out that this alternative version has been produced using large parts of our original work which was originally declined. We have asked for assurance that this alternative version is not used particularly for commercial gain or in any other manner as it contains direct copying and adaptation of our original thinking and endeavour without our permission or acknowledgement of our authorship. .

We have had a response saying that our original report.belong to the Group??? Not according to my/our reading of our copyright rights.

My Board colleague and I have become somewhat incensed by this situation paricularly after the fact that without remuneration we spent around 5 months of our time producing a ground breaking piece of work which in its published format for Board scrutiny was not even allowed to be debated by the Chair and "tossed aside" As a consequence we both decided to step down from the Board on 1st July.

Because of the work we put into this document we wish ourselves to use our original ideas into a further study we are undertaking on a similar theme and therefore it is important to us to ensure that we own the copyright to our own original endeavour and to stop others claiming this to be their own original thought.

Regards

Nick

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Then you can take action. You would need to issue proceedings using form N1:
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf
You would ask the Court to issue a claim stopping the breach of copyright and for compensation.The court will send a copy to the other side and they can defend it.
The matter will be set down for a hearing and the Judge will decide what order to make.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex,

I note your advice which we are prepared to undertake BUT my underlying question remains. In your opinion do we have a claim for copyright protection on our original work?

Nick.

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Yes I do think there is. If an outsider could be confused between your work and this copied work, it is a breach.
Does that help Nick?
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex,

Thank you - please accept a big smiley face reward.

Nick

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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