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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44903
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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My wife is potentially going to be made redundant in the

Customer Question

Hi, My wife is potentially going to be made redundant in the next couple of weeks. As unfortunate as this is, we know there isn't anything we can do about it.
However, while she has been at her current company (copywriter for an online gifts company) she has written and published many children's books for the business. She has never seen any royalties for the books, however she is noted as the author.
She was never offered any kind of contract for these books and they have earned the company in excess £900,000.
Does she have any claim for previous and ongoing royalties in a situation like this.
Kind Regards
David
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Was there an agreement of any kind in place to compensate your wife for the work that she produced?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi, unfortunately not no. At the time it was just an experiment so I don't think either party knew that it would be as successful as it has been
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Many thanks for your patience. First and foremost she should consult her contract of employment to check if there is any mention in there about intellectual property rights. For example, it may state that any copyright, patents, inventions, etc which the employee has created in the course of their employment belongs to the employer or it could say they belong to her. Either way, she needs to check the contract as that is what will initially determine her rights in this situation.

If she has no contract of employment or her contract did not make any mention about IP rights, then she needs to consider what legislation says about this. The law actually differentiates between employees and contractors and states that any copyright, etc created by an employee in the course of their employment automatically belongs to the employer. On the other hand, copyrighted material created by a contractor automatically belongs to them.

In this case your wife is an employee so unless her contract specifically awarded her copyright over these works, it would automatically belong to the employer so when she leaves her employment she would have no rights over it.

I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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