Leaving a company, no agreement in place, questions about content created/copyrights/any ground I have?

Hey Guys, First, I'll just ward off, I know I fucked up–I've learned my lesson for the future.

Quick Background

  • 4 year old community organization/sb run by 2 people
  • Legally a sole proprietorship owned by my partner "robert" but implicit partnership, explicit confirmation through emails of partnership and intent to formalize over those years. Business operated as if a partnership.
  • 2 of us WERE in the process of drafting a partnership agreement, but never was finalized before Scenario below
  • Slightly contentious between us atm, but we are hoping to resolve amicably

The Scenario

Before we could get a partnership agreement in place, I decided to cease working for this company (for reasons we don't need to go into). I have poured a lot of time and energy into this organization, and created everything from logos and websites, sales materials, pitch decks, copy and design. I was never compensated for this work, and still don't care if I am.

The bottom line is: I created all that content for the use of the organization, to further the brand, etc. I'm not trying to leave with it (I'm not trying to dismantle or dissolve the brand) and I won't obviously be reusing it.

However, now that I'm leaving, and that things have gotten a little strained, Robert has suggested that he might dissolve the brand/organization and then re-brand (using all of my materials essentially and just slap a new logo on it) and go off doing his own thing, making money using my materials. In fact, he claimed he had a right to use my materials for this purpose.

The question

  • Does he? I mean, can he do this (I mean, I cant stop him, but technically)? I know I gave implicit permission for this organization to use this content, but I do think I still retain copyright over it, and I don't believe I gave implicit permission for using it for another company, especially if I'm not being compensated or credited.

Wrap up

Again, I know I fucked up. I was a dumb kid out of college with a lot of time after-work and a passion to do good, so I dove into this partnership without really knowing what I was doing. Just trying to better understand, now that it's all done with, what my power/rights are, if anything.

I don't mind the company continuing to use my materials, but I don't want him going off and using those materials to create an entirely new company that I'm not affiliated with or credited or compensated.


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