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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12088
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am paying an Excel planner to make 4 spreadsheets that I

Customer Question

I am paying an Excel planner to make 4 spreadsheets that I designed for my business. It is a major part of the package. I verbally agreed to pay him for the work and he wants to wait for the finished job before I pay him. I asked him to put a copyright statement on the spreadsheet. He did and has put both our names in the copyright notice. What part of the spreadsheet is controlled or owned by him? Has he any claim to money made from the product? Do I have to get his permission to use or alter the spreadsheet in the future?
Ian Coulson
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
If this is a joint design/execute situation then the copyright is held in joint authorship unless and until the two of you enter into an agreement to say otherwise, whether by licence or assignation from one to the other.
That means that neither of you can exploit the resulting product by selling it or changing it without the consent of the other.
You really should get this sorted as soon as possible if it a concern for the future.
Happy to discuss further.