A client has approached me with a PDF and would like me to find him a price on the print, to beat his previous printers cost.

Can I legally do this? Just forward another PDF on?

I'm a bit anxious and wouldn't want to upset anyone!

  • 2
    What exactly are you thinking wouldn't be legal about it? That the client doesn't have the rights to print the PDF themselves or you don't have the rights to print the PDF? That you would be breaking some competition rules by undercutting the clients previous printers? Something else?
    – Cai
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 11:27
  • 2
    Is he the owner of the PDF, of the design, of the content?
    – Rafael
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 14:35

4 Answers 4


If he has a copyright/license to print, then yes this is allowed. However, it's very much possible they don!t have the right to, and are trying to use you to get out of paying another designer.

For example the other designer's contract states payment (of design hours + manufacturing cost) on delivery of the printed work, and the client is mailing you a final proof. The client thinks if they print themselves/elsewhere, they don't have to pay for time spent designing. Heck - depending on the contract it might even be technically legal, but a very dick move towards your colleage.

Be wary about these kinds of clients. If they're willing to screw someone else out of money (even if it's not that much) they'll be willing to screw you over, too.

So try finding the original designer, it could/should be listed as metadata on the file.


Unless they have a contract with their current print provider, you should be free to get quotes for a new job from other providers and the client is free to choose based on the "lowest quote" principle.


I would but dont make a 'big deal' about doing so, you might want to just check with the source of the PDF to make sure their are no issues involved if i was stuck in that situation i would probably ask the PDF owner if i could send it on or reuse it.


If the client owns the PDF and the content it displays, there are no legal ramifications to finding a different provider for print services.

If the client does not own the contents of the PDF, then reproduction may be copyright infringement.

Ultimately, as a print provider, you can't be held responsible if someone claims to have ownership and they don't. All you can do is ask and move forward based upon their response.

See here:

How to handle client requests to violate copyrights?

and here:

If I'm given resources by a client, should I look up the licenses of each one of those resources?

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