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Mr. X paid me to develop 5 websites and 1 online system. Also, he paid my friend (graphic designer) for making graphic designs for 15 other projects. We created all these projects and he paid us for them.

He created screenshots of all these projects, published them on his company's website and claims that they are projects created by his corporate team.

Can he publish projects as works of his company if the two of us have never given up copyright? We never signed any paper allowing him to publish projects for someone else's work. If he acts illegally, what can we do?

But that's not all. Mr. X created screenshots of my friend's projects that Mr. X had nothing to do with and also claimed to have been created by his corporate team. These are purely my friend's projects.

We are from Slovakia (I apologize for the grammatical errors). Do we have the right to file a criminal complaint for copyright infringement? If we get paid for the projects, can Mr. X pass them off as his own?

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  • "But that's not all. Mr. X created screenshots of my friend's projects that Mr. X had nothing to do with..." Did you use the friend's project in the project you did for Mr. X?
    – hszmv
    Mar 17 '21 at 12:00
  • Are you planning to refund the money he paid? It sounds like you expect to be paid for your work but to not give X any right to use it. Mar 17 '21 at 12:04
  • @hszmv No, my friend made some projects before he even met Mr. X and Mr. X took screenshots of these projects, put them on his website and claims that his team created them.
    – Janka
    Mar 17 '21 at 12:07
  • @Studoku I gave him right to upload those websites on his clients server and friend gave him right to let other programmers build websites based on his graphic designs. The problem we see is that he claims that his company's team (which we do not belong to) did all this work. Basicly he doesn't give us any credit.
    – Janka
    Mar 17 '21 at 12:10
  • This is likely to depend on the details of your contract. Speak to a lawyer. Mar 17 '21 at 12:15
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Slovak copyright law states (§6) that "The author is a natural person who has created the work" – §5(22) separately defines "employee work". §17 states what "moral rights" are, including the fact that they cannot be waived (or inherited). That means that moral rights can't be bargained away in a contract. Moral rights basically give the author the exclusive right to determine how the work is to be credited.

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