I commissioned to a graphic some sketches for an advertising campaign and I used them for an internet site. Now I would like to use them also for some headed paper and for the packages for my products, but the graphic says that the rights are his and I cannot do it. Is it true?

The question related to the works created on commission is very controversial and, usually, the only solution to establish what are the actual rights of the parties is the interpretation of the contract agreed between them. Therefore, it is always advisable to write the various agreements so that compensation and ways of exploitation of the works are properly established. Unfortunately, very often this is not done and without an agreement, we need to refer to the general regulations and appeal to the judge’s decisions. In similar cases, the law feels that the right goes to the author of the created work, meaning who actually made it, whilst whoever commissioned it and has paid to have it, has the right to use it for the specific purpose that he ordered it. Thus, if the graphic has made a sketch on commission with the intention of inserting it in Internet, he could forbid the person commissioning it to use it for other reasons, and particularly using it for decorating packages of your products, as this is in excess compared to what was originally planned. Obviously this is a general principle, so nothing can rule out that, examining the proper case and also studying the clauses reported on the invoices, a different interpretation can be made, but the risk that the graphic could be right is, in any case, rather high.