For the past year I have been working for an agency as an intern. It is now the end and I want to build a portfolio of the work I have done.

Do I need the agency's permission to use the work I created for their clients? It is my own work that I created but belongs to the agency as they paid me a wage for the work done.

1 Answer 1


Generally, for portfolio display, No. You do not need permission.
You can display your work in your portfolio.

However, this assume there is no secret, proprietary, confidential information in the pieces. If the pieces contain any such information, you should seek permission first. Displaying confidential information, even if in a portfolio, can result in problems. It's not about copyrights, it's about confidentiality.

  • There is no confidential parts in any of the work it is mainly graphic design and If there is info like a name or address on something like a business card I will be using Lorem Ipsum dummy text instead of the real information I am also showcasing sites I have created for their clients and those website are live, I assume the work still partly belongs to me as I created it or does it souly belong to the agency I created it for/the client is was sold to ? Commented May 8, 2017 at 20:25
  • Well, if you were an employee the work belongs entirely to your employer. However, portfolio display is customarily seen as "fair use" and permissible. But you shouldn't think you "own" anything.
    – Scott
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 20:27
  • Thanks, So under the fair use act I can display it on my portfolio would this be the case If I wanted to set up my own business could i still use that work in a portfolio section on the site? or does the fair use only fall under a 'personal porfolio' Commented May 8, 2017 at 20:31
  • You created the work, so you can generally display it. You just can't sell it. Worse case is an employer would tell you to stop. You're worrying needlessly for a portfolio. You'll be fine.
    – Scott
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 20:33
  • The work doesn't have to belong to you in order for you to tell people that you made it. The websites are public (I suppose) so why shouldn't you be able to show them? I wouldn't recommend changing the text on business cards to dummy text - it doesn't look too good and it makes it look like it is not a real project. If it is not a secret company then why would their business cards be secret?
    – Wolff
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 20:33

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