Intellectual Property Law

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I answered an ad for an author looking for an illustrator…

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Second opinion] I answered...

Second opinion] I answered an ad for an author looking for an illustrator for a children's book that is to be self published through Page Publications in NYC. (She didn't like the quality of the art work Page pub. offered, which would have been included in the cost of publication if she had them do it) Instead of paying me she offered me what I was told was a 50/50 partnership and that we would split the royalties once the book was published. I signed an addendum to their original contract (all 3 signatures in tact) to that effect, and have logged 326 hours on these illustrations so far along with other promotional drawings to go with the book. Despite the fact that she has always called us partners I pointed out to her that the contract stated that the 'author' would have the copyright and all the other rights to the book. She first said that it was shared by all of us, but that is not how the contract reads. Now the book is in the final stages of editing and after the title page I see that she has the copyright. I pointed it out to her and she told me that she would take care of it with the publisher, then that she was going to pay the extra $55 to have me added as the illustrator copyright, then in a later email told me that - and this is copied and pasted from an email she sent me a few days ago - "This book would not be possible without the team effort we both put into it! And its success is depending upon that. Don�t worry about the $55. We may not have to do that. Kamie is calling the Library of Congress and checking with them to see if we can put everything in as a �partnership� like they do for co-authors! I told her that if they can put two authors on a copyright, why not an author and an illustrator. We are a team (together everyone achieves more!)." She now claims that I am a "paid' illustrator and misunderstood what she meant by "50/50 partners". Anyway she claims that she spoke with a copyright atty. and she claims that he said the book and all of MY ILLUSTRATIONS are legally hers now; she can use them whenever she wants, have other artists create them in her sequels, use them for her stationary, advertising, etc. They have NOT been published yet, and I have NOT made a penny on my work. Can I still get the copyright for the illustrations to protect myself? She called she up and went off on me because I am insisting on the shared copyright as 50/50 partners, then sent me a text offering me $6000. for the illustration with a 'take it or leave it ' at the end.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Pennsylvania, and it is copyright, not employment.

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a local attorney? Has anything been filed in court?

Not yet on both

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I've been working on this book with her for almost 2 years now.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 4 days by:
11/13/2017
IP Lawyer: Robert McEwen, Esq., Lawyer replied 5 months ago
Robert McEwen, Esq.
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,995
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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