Legal Question in International Law in Philippines

Minor Orphan Permission Required to License Copies of Their Artwork?

I run an orphanage in Asia. The children there have done artwork, which I wish to license to a clothing manufacturer in the U.S. to incorporate into her clothing. The clothing will feature the designs of the children, and my foundation will receive a portion of profits from the shirt sales. Do I need to get the children's permission to do so? The orphanage is in a third world Asian country where I operate, and have no parents (it's an orphanage). My guess is that the orphanage would have legal custody and could sign for them, and we are and we run the orphanage itself. Still, I have to wonder what legal considerations I have to take into account, considering the artwork was done by the children.

Asked on 4/02/09, 1:29 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael Stone Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE

Re: Minor Orphan Permission Required to License Copies of Their Artwork?

I don't know what the juvenile laws are in the "third world Asian country" where you operate. Countries that have orphanages also have courts and judges, and presumably some individual or organization is, or could be appointed as, the childrens' legal guardian. The guardian could apply for copyright and could enter into license agreements. The disposition of any funds would be subject to your local law. Consult an attorney licensed to practice law in "a third world Asian country."

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Answered on 4/02/09, 1:46 pm

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