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malikai666

Legal Issues Of using work for reel

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Are there any legal issues that I should know about as far as putting work that we did while working for another company on my new companies website reel? Basically worked in house for a few years and started our own company and wanted to use the work my partner and I did there for our new company reelreel and to show new clients. Iam mainly concerned because our company will essentially be competing against the company we left that we did the work at. Any one have some answers??

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I can tell you that this sort of thing happens all the time. As animators and art directors move from company to company they end up putting a previous company's work on the new company's reel.

 

I can't tell you the legality of it, but I think that the worst they can do is issue a cease and desist order.

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It does happen all the time, but it's not necessarily the correct thing to do.

To represent the work of your new company with work that was produced by and for another company is somewhat shady.

 

Using it for your personal portfolio should not be a problem. Sometimes people bug the work or provide a printed list of the pieces on the reel with credits.

 

I know a company that is very very serious about issuing cease and desist orders to people who have done work for them and then used it as part of a new company. Their new handbook explicitly states what can and cannot be used and how. And yes, you do have to sign the agreement to start work there. Everything is considered Work-For-Hire, so the company that produced it owns the rights to it. You no longer do.

 

Another company that spun off from them lay low for a year and then released their first reel with completely original work. They happened to have great connections and do great work in the meantime and are now very very successful.

 

What goes around comes around.

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I don't think it's terribly shady. As long as you ask first, I don't see any problem with it. After all, don't studios rise to glory because of the work of the individuals it hires? Shouldn't these same individuals be able to take all those years of hard work with them when they strike out for themselves?

 

There was an interesting thread about this on motionographer: http://motionographer.com/2007/02/15/meet-pandapanther/

 

Panda Panther used a lot of Psyop stuff in its first reel. There was a big boo hoo on motionographer. Panda Panther's reel now looks like mostly new stuff, and they seem to be doing well. Would we label them hacks or bad professionals? I don't think there would be cause for that.

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Legally, it comes down to you signing an agreement not to represent your work for another company. In the time I've been freelance and all the clients I've worked for, the only place that has had me do this is Digital Kitchen.

 

But, in terms of the bitch-fest that this community can be, it's your discretion. Early on, King and Country had a lot of Belief material on the reel, which didn't seem to bother anyone.

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King and Country had a lot of Belief material on the reel, which didn't seem to bother anyone.

 

When I read this thread I thought exactly about that, but I think their situation is a bit different.

 

The second co-owner/creative director left Belief and started King & Country so I think he had room to use whatever he felt like using from Belief for their reel.

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I don't think it's terribly shady. As long as you ask first, I don't see any problem with it. After all, don't studios rise to glory because of the work of the individuals it hires? Shouldn't these same individuals be able to take all those years of hard work with them when they strike out for themselves?

 

There was an interesting thread about this on motionographer: http://motionographer.com/2007/02/15/meet-pandapanther/

 

Panda Panther used a lot of Psyop stuff in its first reel. There was a big boo hoo on motionographer. Panda Panther's reel now looks like mostly new stuff, and they seem to be doing well. Would we label them hacks or bad professionals? I don't think there would be cause for that.

 

 

mete shop, I agree with you 100%.

Individuals should be allowed to use the work they've made.

And if you do ask and get permission, then there should be no problem or question about it.

 

But usually what happens is that you've signed a Work-For-Hire agreement which takes away your rights to that work.

They're the norm for most of the bigger Design companies that enforce a company-wide idea of ownership.

 

I think the distinction here is that it wasn't Pandapanther as a company that got hired for the Coke spot. It was Psyop. Psyop's reputation and infrastructure and relationships cemented the deal with Coke's Ad Agency. So the confusion comes from the artists using work that they legitimately made, or worked on, but that was done under the aegis of another company that may be more established, connected and respected.

 

Not saying I totally agree with it, but I see where the owners are coming from ...

 

And shady wasn't really the right word for what I wanted to say, made it sound too perjorative.

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