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Copyright of unfinished work

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I hired a graphic design firm to create a logo. The terms were 50% up front and the balance upon delivery. I was lead to believe this was a fixed-fee Agreement.

Before the logo was finished, the graphic designer decided that he wanted more money. He demanded payment in full plus additional money for making "excessive changes."

He claims that it is the design firm's standard practice to allow only two changes; however, this was not mentioned before the project began. He also says that he has a standard Agreement that includes language to that effect; however, I have never seen anything in writing and he never mentioned these additional terms before the work commenced.

I refused to pay him the additional money or any amount until the logo is finished.

Now, he says that he will "erase the artwork" unless I meet his demands by a certain date. Furthermore, even though I have paid him 50% of the amount I agreed to pay him, he claims to retain the copyright on the unfinished logo.

Who owns the unfinished logo? If it is the designer, then shouldn't I be entitled to a refund of my deposit? Is this work for hire?

My position is that, if I fire him for non-performance, the unfinished work is my property. He would be entitled to keep the deposit. Does that make sense?


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