Allein Godfrey MooreRecently a small creative agency in Singapore vented its frustrations on a Facebook page over a client who recycled a front cover design created by them but used another agency for the second year of the campaign. The originators received no further fee. The client’s response was that they had paid for the design and they could do as they wished with it. The agency eventually took down their social media complaint, maybe realising that the client was too big to fight. Or they may have discovered, as I did recently, that the client was probably within its rights. Most of us in advertising believe that while we give the right to the reproduction of our work for a particular campaign, the copyright remains with us, the creators. Photographers have long worked on this principle. Recently while working on a project that required the reproduction of old advertisements, I was forced to look into the matter of copyright and eventually AdAsia commissioned a firm of lawyers to help clarify the matter. We widened our horizons and also looked to see how protected by law are the ideas that agencies throw out during pitches for new business. You will find two new articles in AdAsia covering copyright. “Do I own the copyright?” written by a reputable firm of lawyers and “Who owns your advertisement?” contributed by me, after some further digging around. I hope you find them useful… and take the advice given therein.


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