You own the copyright so don’t hand it over

Posted on: June 7th, 2012

It surprises me that a number of fellow freelancers say in their terms and conditions that the copyright remains theirs until the client has paid them, at which point the copyright is owned by the client.

If you are self employed, the copyright of something you have created, whether it’s a photograph, a design or a piece of copy, is always yours unless the client decides they want to own it – in which case they will need to pay you for the ownership.

But only if you agree to grant them the copyright. You don’t have to. A photographer I know will very rarely agree to sign over the copyright of the work he has created, no matter how large a fee the client is prepared to pay.

It’s the law

In the UK, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 means that copyright of the work we create remains our intellectual property right.


How to keep positive when the climate is tough

Posted on: January 25th, 2012

If, like many freelancers, you’ve entered 2012 without too many client projects on the go, it can be scary wondering where your next bit of business is coming from.

And unless you live in a warm country, damp and cold January is not the easiest month for many of us. Here are a few pointers to help you keep positive at this time of year:

1. Remember that feast and famine is the natural cycle for freelancers

We all get times when we’re so snowed under, we don’t know how to cope. Then we get times when there’s no prospect of any work on the immediate horizon. It’s always like that, so try not to panic if you’re not busy at the moment.

About five years ago, January was going to be a mega-busy month for me, with two major projects due to happen at once. I spent Christmas worrying how I’d cope and, in the end, BOTH got cancelled.