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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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Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
For the OP: "They are not trustworthy" is much different than "I feel I can't trust them".
 


not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
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?
1) Yes, you can still sue for payment, even though your name isn't on the plans. If you're getting contacted by a real estate agents about the drawings that he's shown to them, then that would indicate that there is no ambiguity of the source: you.

2) This is well past 1990. You retain your copyright. Your contract only gives permission for use of your creative product in the project if the developer is paid up. He is not.

So he's a lawyer. Lawyers can be bullies. That doesn't mean that they are immune from the law, just that they can cow someone who knows less about the law.

Pursue the payment. Focus on, "the contract we signed says _____", "I invoiced the following hours: ___ and provided as work product: ____", and "the remaining balance owed is: ____." Stick to facts.
 

quincy

Senior Member
... So he's a lawyer. Lawyers can be bullies. That doesn't mean that they are immune from the law, just that they can cow someone who knows less about the law ...
Many lawyers are as ignorant about copyright laws as the average person. It is believed by many that possession of (or publication of) a copyrighted work releases all rights to the works once held by the copyright holder.

In other words, I prefer thinking the lawyer is ignorant rather than a bully. :)
 
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justalayman

Senior Member
Many lawyers are as ignorant about copyright laws as the average person. It is believed by many that possession of (or publication of) a copyrighted work releases all rights to the works once held by the copyright holder.

I prefer thinking the lawyer is ignorant rather than a bully. :)
They aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, if he is a bully by nature, being ignorant of the law likely results in him being a bully in a given situation. If a bully believes they are correct about something, that’s when they tend to show they are bullies.
 

quincy

Senior Member
They aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, if he is a bully by nature, being ignorant of the law likely results in him being a bully in a given situation. If a bully believes they are correct about something, that’s when they tend to show they are bullies.
True. Being one does not preclude being the other.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
I’m still curious about why the sisters business name is listed on the copyright notice. if the op had a separate contract and he dealt directly with the developer, it makes no sense the sisters business would be referred to in any way as it has been stated it was.


For it to be as the op states, since there are separate contracts, it is something the op would have had to provided to the client. Why would he put his sisters company on the notice?
 

quincy

Senior Member
I’m still curious about why the sisters business name is listed on the copyright notice. if the op had a separate contract and he dealt directly with the developer, it makes no sense the sisters business would be referred to in any way as it has been stated it was.


For it to be as the op states, since there are separate contracts, it is something the op would have had to provided to the client. Why would he put his sisters company on the notice?
That's a good question. :)

Before any lawsuit is filed, it would be smart (and I think already recommended) to have the contracts personally reviewed.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
I’m still curious about why the sisters business name is listed on the copyright notice. if the op had a separate contract and he dealt directly with the developer, it makes no sense the sisters business would be referred to in any way as it has been stated it was.


For it to be as the op states, since there are separate contracts, it is something the op would have had to provided to the client. Why would he put his sisters company on the notice?
Girlfriend, not sister.

They were working together - architect and "town planning" . Maybe he means site planning. Maybe she's a landscaping architect, or a civil engineer and they work together. (One stop shopping.)
 

quincy

Senior Member
The working relationship between girlfriend and Alex and Alex and the developer was not made real clear.

I am still not sure who is issuing a license to use the architectural drawings, the girlfriend's company or Alex.

And, like justalayman, I am not sure why the girlfriend's company was on the copyright notice.

What seems clearest is that Alex should be paid for the work that he did. For money owed, he can file a lawsuit.
 

justalayman

Senior Member
Girlfriend, not sister.

They were working together - architect and "town planning" . Maybe he means site planning. Maybe she's a landscaping architect, or a civil engineer and they work together. (One stop shopping.)
That’s all well and good but op said they contracted separately and billed separately. Her business name on his documents makes no sense.
 

quincy

Senior Member
That’s all well and good but op said they contracted separately and billed separately. Her business name on his documents makes no sense.
I suppose the girlfriend's company could have hired Alex to do the work for the developer under her company name.

If you look at, say, medical billings, you will often have a doctor billing separately from the hospital that employs him.

In other words, I am not as confused by the separate billings. It is everything else that is a bit confusing. :)
 
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