Companies often hire people to produce work with the intent to sell, including jingles, documents, technological developments, and even advertising material. Usually, the initial product or creation undergoes changes before being launched into the market. This does not represent a violation of the copyright of the person who created it. For this reason, when you hire someone to create something, it is critical to obtain unlimited proprietary rights. In this way, the company can use the product to suit its needs in the best way possible.
To avoid problems, the following situations should be taken into account:
- When you hire someone to create something: remember that the work can be protected as soon as it is created, since the author has nonpecuniary and proprietary rights.
There are legal issues involved in transferring these rights that are applicable within certain work and provision of services contracts. Still, it is a good idea to include specific clauses regarding cession of proprietary rights that do not limit the use of the work in question.
- Publishing or using the work: you must take into account whether the proprietary rights have been purchased before in order to have greater freedom to use the work if you own it. Although nonpecuniary rights are not transferrable, this should still be considered at the time of contracting the creation of the work. This will avoid unwanted claims when they are launched in the market. Among these nonpecuniary rights is the right of integrity. This refers to changes to the work when these could affect the reputation of the author or the product itself.
- When you decide to use the work commercially: make sure to be aware of whether the company acquired the proprietary rights to the work or if these can be changed for its use.
Editorial changes, proofreading corrections, mastering, retouching, among other possible modifications, are considered permissible changes in the market that are necessary for proper use. These are protected under proprietary rights of transformation and do not affect the nonpecuniary right of integrity.
Do you know the scope of the nonpecuniary right of integrity? This does not mean you can disagree with any changes. Only the author can oppose distortions, mutilations, or modifications to their work. This can only occur if they can prove that these can cause damage to the author’s honor or reputation or when they threaten the integrity of the work or could discredit it.
Author: Julián Ruiz
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