This lawsuit will interest any company that hires employees to create artwork or other creative materials on the company’s behalf.
Plaintiff, Carol Wilson Fine Arts of Portland, Oregon, hired Defendant, an artist, for over 20 years to create artwork for incorporation into greeting cards and other products. Upon leaving Plaintiff’s employ in September 2013, Defendant has continued to display various artworks created for Plaintiff on his own personal website. Defendant maintains that he is the rightful owner of copyrights in the artwork and has refused to discontinue display of the artwork. The Complaint (see below) contains a long list of allegations asserting that the works were created by Defendant in the scope of his employment by Plaintiff and thus all are “works made for hire” and owned by Plaintiff.
As general information, Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines a “work made for hire” as a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment. If a work is made for hire, an employer is considered the author, and thus copyright owner, even if an employee actually created the work.
Carol Wilson Fine Arts, Inc. v. Zifen Qian
Court Case Number: 3:14-cv-00587
File Date: Wednesday, April 09, 2014
Plaintiff: Carol Wilson Fine Arts, Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel: Stephen J. Joncus, Norman A. Sfeir of Klarquist Sparkman LLP
Defendant: Zifen Qian
Cause: Copyright Infringement, Declaratory Judgment
Court: District of Oregon
Judge: Ann L. Aiken