Ebenezer a successful graphic designer and animator got a contract by ABC Incorporated (not their real names) to design their company logo and an animated video introducing their most recent product to the market.
A meeting was fixed between Ebenezer and the company’s executives where issues like the fee and terms of agreement were discussed. However, all they had were oral agreements. Nothing was written down and no contract was signed.
Ebenezer shared his designs with them, they chose the logo but not the animated video because according to them, they were not satisfied with the design. Ebenezer received payment for the logo design and they parted ways.
Few months down the line he was stunned to see his animated video on the company’s social media platform. This video had gone viral and the product that was promoted had raked in so much in revenue. A devastated Ebenezer went back to the company to register his grievance saying he was ripped off. He called his lawyer to commence a civil action against the company. ABC Incorporated however responded that he (Ebenezer) had no claim to the animated video since there was no written contract prohibiting them from making use of the draft copy.
Moral of the story; Never rely an oral contract. Be sure to sign the dotted lines and if possible enlist the help of a lawyer in drafting your terms of engagement.
Tip: Do not release your intellectual property to anyone without having a lien on it. For example, inserting a watermark on the design will prevent your work from being used and even if it is used, you will get credit for the design.