3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2011 1:47 AM by Stix Hart

    Is it legal to copy a layout/theme?

    apim2

      Our company currently pays a 3rd party to create InDesign documents for us. We are considering hiring somebody full time for this. However, we have a layout and theme that we would like to keep. Can somebody own legal rights to the theme or layout of an InDesign document?

        • 1. Re: Is it legal to copy a layout/theme?
          Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

          Copyright is a very complex legal area, and who owns the copyright to any workdone by one person, but used by another, is dependent on contractual arrangements. This is a question for lawyers, not ID users.

          • 2. Re: Is it legal to copy a layout/theme?
            John Hawkinson Level 5

            Peter is right.


            However I'l say something anyhow.

            Generally, in the absence of contracts, if you paid an individual person/employee to create work for you, it is a Work For Hire and you own it.

            If you paid a company, or if the person you paid can be construed as an independent contractor or freelancer and not an employee, then it is not a Work for Hire and they probably own it.

             

            Also, regardless of who owns it, the other side may decide to litigate and that may cost you, even if it turns out they were wrong.

            • 3. Re: Is it legal to copy a layout/theme?
              Stix Hart Level 5

              John Hawkinson wrote:

               

              If you paid a company, or if the person you paid can be construed as an independent contractor or freelancer and not an employee, then it is not a Work for Hire and they probably own it.

               

              It also probably depends on where you come from.  In little ol' N.Z. we've never heard of the term "Work for Hire".  If you pay someone to create something it's yours, just like if you pay them to create a logo it's yours.  A template or theme would be no different.  In fact a "theme" is part of your branding, if someone else has any copyright over that whatsoever your company has made a blunder.  Imagine (far fetched though it may be) that the agency that created any blue chip companies branding could then go and flog that off to their competitor...