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My name wasn't on the drawings. Can I sue the client for non payment and copyright infringement?

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alex x

Member
ca
I've sent a link to the work-in-progress drawings to the property developer. They didn't pay the invoices and I suspended the work. I just realised that I didn't put my name on the plans and the copyright notice mentions my girlfriend's company. Can I still sue the client for non-payment and copyright?
 


justalayman

Senior Member
A lot more explanation is needed

What sort of drawings?

You don’t say if you worked for the developer or your girlfriends company (who did the developer contract with?)

You also don’t give any reason there would be a copyright violation involved.
 

quincy

Senior Member
ca
I've sent a link to the work-in-progress drawings to the property developer. They didn't pay the invoices and I suspended the work. I just realised that I didn't put my name on the plans and the copyright notice mentions my girlfriend's company. Can I still sue the client for non-payment and copyright?
Based strictly on what you have said here, I see no reason why you can't sue for any money owed to you on the work you did.

I see no copyright infringement.
 

alex x

Member
We both worked for developer. I did the architectural part, she did the town planning. She has a company, I am just a sole trader. She got paid, but I didn't, though my invoices were much higher, due to amount of work I had to do. I had a contract though and completed 90% before I realised they wouldn't pay as they just trying to sell the site as it is, but also showing my drawings
 

alex x

Member
1 month after I gave them notice of suspension of work, one real estate agent called me asking for hi res renderings, as those in my drawing set were not sufficient. That means they use my drawings without paying for them.
 

alex x

Member
I was just about to lodge my court papers as I realised that my name is not on the drawings, but the name my gf's company is, also in copyright notice.
 

quincy

Senior Member
You can sue for what you are owed.

Although architectural drawings are copyright-protected, in order to sue for infringement, you must first register your drawings with the US Copyright Office.

Your rights in the drawings, absent any signed transfer of rights agreement or work for hire agreement, include the exclusive right to reproduce the drawings, display the drawings, distribute the drawings, and prepare derivatives of the drawings.

You would need to prove the drawings are yours.

The contracts you signed with the company (of both the developer and your girlfriend) would need to be personally reviewed to see if you transferred copyrights.
 
Last edited:

alex x

Member
This paragraph was in my fee proposal:
COPYRIGHT
Copyright in all documents and drawings prepared by the Project Designer and in any works executed from those
documents and drawings shall remain the property of the Project Designer or on creation vest in the Project Designer.
The client is licensed to use these documents and drawings to produce the Project for which they were intended provided
that fees due to the Project Designer in accordance with this Agreement have been paid.
 

quincy

Senior Member
This paragraph was in my fee proposal:
COPYRIGHT
Copyright in all documents and drawings prepared by the Project Designer and in any works executed from those
documents and drawings shall remain the property of the Project Designer or on creation vest in the Project Designer.
The client is licensed to use these documents and drawings to produce the Project for which they were intended provided
that fees due to the Project Designer in accordance with this Agreement have been paid.
You would need to register your drawings prior to any infringement action but you can sue if you are not being paid for the work you did.

Is your girlfriend's company supposed to pay you or the developer? Who is issuing the license to use the drawings?
 

alex x

Member
I had a contract with the developer. OK, I'll sue them just for the non payment. It's just that now after 5 months they are saying: you didn't follow the instructions
 

alex x

Member
And this guy is a lawyer. He even wrote me that I am defaming them, because I told to the real estate agent, that they haven't paid for the drawings
 

quincy

Senior Member
I had a contract with the developer. OK, I'll sue them just for the non payment. It's just that now after 5 months they are saying: you didn't follow the instructions
If the work you did for the developer was not according to contract, then the developer might have a counter argument to any lawsuit you file but, if the developer is using your drawings, you should be paid for the work that you did.

I recommend you let your lawsuit do the talking and that you refrain from saying anything about the developer to others.

Good luck.
 

quincy

Senior Member
… and are not trustworthy
You can say something like that ^^^ in court. In court, your words are absolutely privileged and cannot form the basis of a defamation claim. I recommend you do not say anything like that outside a court action.

I appreciate the thanks, alex x, and wish you luck in collecting what you are owed.
 
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