Who owns your portfolio? – A look at IP for designers

My latest article about intellectual property, copyright and Creative Commons for web designers is out today in Issue 4 of Design In-Flight. Here’s an excerpt:

Who owns your portfolio?

It might seem logical that you own the designs you create; but it’s not always true.

With the advent of the first graphical internet browser came a whole new design discipline – web design – and with it came a new way of getting work. Instead of collating examples of their best work in a book to be carried from interview to interview, designers started to use websites to display their talents. Online portfolios allowed designers to include not just a set of images, but links to the finished sites so that prospective clients could examine code and functionality. Now designers of all ilks can send not a physical portfolio but a simple URI to new employers, and can promote themselves online using their website as their business card.

But the very thing that makes an online portfolio so useful – the ease with which it can be found – is also its biggest drawback, because if you include content which one of your former clients or employers thinks is infringing their copyright, they can quickly and easily find you and take action.

If you want to read the whole thing, then you can buy a copy of Design In-Flight for just $3, or you can get the first four issues for $10. Editor, Andy Arikawa has consistently drawn together some great writing from some of the industries best designers – so it’s always well worth the investment.

Other cool stuff in this issue includes: Eye on type 01, by Hrant H. Papazian; Feeling your way around grids, by Mark Boulton; and The more things stay the same, the more they change, by Molly E. Holzschlag. So run, don’t walk, and get your copy now.

(Crossposted from ChocnVodka)

4 thoughts on “Who owns your portfolio? – A look at IP for designers

  1. Very good article, Sue.

    I think you gathered a good, wide range of opinion from people like Jason, Dave and Cory. Good food for thought.

  2. Thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I’d like to echo Jeremy’s comment. That’s a very, very useful article.

    IP and copyright are such grey areas anyway, having some simple advice in invaluable. I for one will be putting in certain measures to hopefully protect myself a bit more.

    Thanks!

  4. Pingback: Who owns your portfolio? | Dafydd Vaughan

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