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Thread: Design Contract Copyright Clause

  1. #1
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    Design Contract Copyright Clause

    Hello All!

    I work at a real estate company, as an office administrator and a few of the agents have approached my husband about building them a website. I am creating a contract for the design and for hosting and I'm a little worried about using the company's logo and representing them correctly.

    1. Should I get involved?
    I have the ability to talk to marketing people at our corporate office about the proper use of the company name and such but I would prefer to stay out of it.
    2. Is a Copyright Clause a good idea?
    I found a standard one stating "Client represents and warrants to Designer that to the best of Client’s knowledge, use of the Client Content does not infringe the rights of any third party. Designer represents and warranty to Client that to the best of Designer’s knowledge, the Deliverables will not violate the rights of any third parties." I feel that the agents that have approached my husband should take all the precautions necessary to ensure they are using the company logo correctly and that that isn't my husbands responsibility.

    Any advice or incite on this would be amazing!

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  3. #2
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    "Insight". The other one is something you probably don't want.

    I don't usually include a copyright clause, but it's not a bad idea.

    If you're not comfortable, stay out of it. Let your husband handle them. Mind you, if I were your husband I'd turn it down. If it goes pear-shaped, you're in an awkward position.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    We have 100's of company logos on their websites and have never used a Copyright clause for any of them with the clients. We have a few clients that have Trademarked their logos. If your designer Copyrights the website then the logo should be included in the Copyright.

    I would suggest you get written permission from the company to use their logo and company name. Most likely the company may want to approve the website design before they give final approval using their logo and company name. This is just day to day business in my office but I do understand where you're coming from and you've asked some good questions.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by bleau canon; Apr 24th, 2016 at 08:56 PM.
    Bleau
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    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    I use a copyright clause in all of my contracts. It's nice to know who owns what and what everyone agrees is fair use. The one you found is probably good enough. If you aren't sure, have a lawyer take a look at it for legal suffiency. Mine reads to the same effect.
    Ron Roe
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    Senior Member khenney's Avatar
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    Having worked with a few real estate agents, I know some companies have very strict requirements about how their branding is used in the marketing materials (web sites, signs, flyers, etc) of individual agents.

    Your client might be an individual agent with their own web site, but the larger agency (for example, Coldwell Banker, or Remax, or Century 21) usually has guidelines that the agents have to follow. With some agencies it may be as simple as specifying how and where you can use the agency's logo, and others are specific even about what colors and fonts agents can use.

    Ultimately it's the responsibility of the agent to know what their agency's rules are, but if there's any doubt I ask agents for their agency's guidelines before starting, as it can save a lot of headaches down the road.

    As for the copyright clause, we have very similar language in our contracts. I'm not a lawyer, but I think it's also is a good idea to spell out whether the client owns the copyright to your completed work or if they just have a license to use it and under what terms.
    TheGAME1264 likes this.

  7. #6
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    That's a good point, Kevin. I haven't dealt with real estate agents, but I have dealt with companies who had very stringent requirements for branding. Their logos have to be a certain size, use certain colours, have to be a minimum of X space away from adjacent elements, etc.

    There's one major financial services provider out there...and I won't say who because I have a Life and would prefer not to get myself in trouble with them...who would insist as of 2013 that their clients only use legal approved copy on all marketing materials because they were that concerned about "the brand". Radio spots, TV spots, websites, everything. They even had a list of several colours that could be used on client sites, and only these colours were to be used since their brand was associated with the sites and any other colours were considered a mortal sin. The best part for me was that they sent my client guidelines containing a strict rule that the site had to compatible with the newest versions of Internet Explorer and "Netscape". "(Client), they stopped supporting Netscape 5 years ago." So I pretty much built the site the way I wanted to other than the colours and my client and I got into some nice fights with the financial services provider".

    Moral of the story: Kevin's right, but it won't just extend to usage of the logo. The parent real estate agency may have some guidelines your husband have to pay attention to.
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    Senior Member khenney's Avatar
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    As an example, here's a copy of Keller Williams' brand guidelines that's floating around (not from their site and may be outdated, so don't take this a fact if you're client happens to be a KW agent): http://www.zilliondesigns.com/contes...ntestid/924769

    It's a 33 page PDF detailing how their logo can be used, acceptable typefaces, color palette, text alignment, required verbiage, prohibitions against drop-shadows and gradients, etc. I wouldn't want to get to the end of a project and then find out that something like this exists, so it's always good to make sure you have all of the requirements before doing anything associated with a large franchise brand (as many real estate agencies are).
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    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
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    That's actually pretty mild compared to what I've seen...although as a developer (primarily), I'm very fortunate in that I don't run across these all that often. They're really annoying.
    If I've helped you out in any way, please pay it forward. My wife and I are walking for Autism Speaks. Please donate, and thanks.

    If someone helped you out, be sure to "Like" their post and/or help them in kind. The "Like" link is on the bottom right of each post, beside the "Share" link.

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    this is some thing which is useful for our forum members.


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