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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I have a client who is a freelance writer. She has accepted

Customer Question

I have a client who is a freelance writer.
She has accepted a contract to write articles for a company through Upwork.
The work was not designated as Ghost or For Hire.
The client is posting the articles as his own.
What are her rights if the contract did not specify Ghost of For Hire.
Does she still own the rights to the material?
Can she use the work as Samples?
Can she use the work (partial or in whole) for other projects in the future?
I appreciate any insights you can offer.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Expert:  Sam replied 5 months ago.
Hello​This is Samuel. If the contract is permitting her to post with her byline, then she retains the rights, unless the contract states otherwise and yes, she can use them for samples again as long as her contract does not specify that the client is retaining the rights. It has nothing to do with being a Ghost or For Hire. She will need to read the contract as to what the terms and conditions are as the pertains to retaining the rights.
Expert:  Sam replied 5 months ago.
For instance, a newspaper reporter is going to get the byline, but the contract with the newspaper will state they retain the rights to the articles. However, the reporter still uses those clips for future employment.
Expert:  Sam replied 5 months ago.
And so when the employer/client retains the rights it means she cannot sell it to another publication.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.

There is no discussion of rights in the contract. What should be inferred at this point?

Expert:  Sam replied 5 months ago.
That she owns all rights. If the contract is silent unless there is something within the terms and conditions with her agreement on obtaining work via Upwork.
Expert:  Sam replied 5 months ago.
I suggest she needs to thoroughly review both contracts in this regard. And if they are silent she retains the rights to her work.
Expert:  Sam replied 5 months ago.
In other words, the contact is going to govern and if there is nothing about rights, obviously she retains them. Please let me know if you have other questions in this regard. Otherwise, a positive rating ensures I get credit for my time and information.

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