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RonB
03-11-2005, 08:40 PM
Hi,
I was contacted by a photographer about a job. It entails him shooting high res images of a circuit board and me using the images as reference and creating a 3D model of the board; one of the images will also be used as the color map. Then using the resulting model to construct other objects so that they appear to be made of the circuit board...an airplane, lightbulb etc.
The issue is this: my rate was settled for the creation of the 3D objects. Now I find out he is also charging the client a usage fee for the finished products that is seperate from his photographer's fee and my modeling fee. Truth is, he is only shooting the images as a reference for my modeling, I really don't need the color map image as I can build one myself. So, he is charging a usage fee for my work. I am essentially a studio musician hired to create a top 40 hit and be paid for my time in the studio...that's very clear, but I am not sure I like it.

What do you people think...do any of you have usage fee's for the images you create, or is it all "work for hire". All of my work at this time has been on a "work for hire" basis...but no one has ever done what this guy is doing before.

I would appreciate some feedback on this, I also posted this on Spinquad, sorry for the duplication.

Thanks,
Ron

Max Wolf
03-11-2005, 09:21 PM
That does not sound right. I think he is ripping u off. he should not charge a usage fee for his work when u used the pic was for a reference.

theo
03-12-2005, 11:35 AM
Hi,

What do you people think...do any of you have usage fee's for the images you create, or is it all "work for hire". All of my work at this time has been on a "work for hire" basis...but no one has ever done what this guy is doing before.



Work for Hire, essentially, is on par with prostitution- except in a small range of cases where you are paid VERY WELL for your services. IF the latter is the case you can stand some abuse that you will more than likely suffer being under a "Work for Hire" clause.

Your rights as an artist go out the window under "Work for Hire". If this is what you are working under in this circumstance then you are more than likely being seen as an easy play by the photographer and probably anyone else you are working for.

RonB
03-12-2005, 03:24 PM
Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it.

theo - I have been paid well on a project by project basis...but your point is well taken. I got used to the work for hire routine from the start doing Photoshop retouch work eons ago. When I got into 3D the same clients hired me for various projects and the original agreement extended into 3D. I realize that was a mistake on my part. Now I find that changing to 'per use' agreements is the way to go from now on.

Any thoughts on pricing structures or where to look on how to arrive at usage rates?

Thanks again,
Ron

Exception
03-12-2005, 04:19 PM
It depends on how your contract is made up. You own the copyright to your work and noone can sell, lend out, lease or alter your work without your consent (=paying you). If you agree to do so anyway, you must get paid for the free use of copyrighted material.
If you are happy with what you are paid as 'work for hire', then perhaps you should consider it. But perhaps you are misjudging the value that is your work, and you are undercharging, not only harming yourself but the industry as well.

Its a tough one tho...

prospector
03-12-2005, 05:02 PM
HUH??

If a client hires me to do a circuit board from his pics, and whatever else he wants to go with it, and I complete that work and get paid for it, then the rights to that object belong to him/her.
They can toss it away, use it, charge hundreds of his customers a usage for each time they use it.
It became his property the moment I took his money for work done.

I would never hire out work to anyone if full and total rights did not come when payment is made.

Doesn't sound like a rip off to me....just buisness.

RonB
03-12-2005, 05:30 PM
Exception - Yes, it is a rough one. Rates and what they are is something not many people talk about. It is hard to figure out a pricing structure when you don't know what the going rate is. I'll try the pricing guidelines for illustrators in the Graphic Artist's Guild. Seems that's pretty much what we are unless there's motion involved. They also have outlines for contracts.

Currently I get $1500 to $2000 for an illustration say for a magazine article. If I am hired for a project for an extended period of time, say for more than 3 or 4 days I go by a daily rate of $1000. I have had a couple forensic jobs that went longer than a month and a design project that went 45 days. Those were all done for single use. I have no idea what others are charging, or where to go to find out. If anyone feels like speaking up, that would be great.

Looking in the Graphic Artist's Guild Handbook for various mediums, the rate for transfer of copyright is an additional 50 to 700% on top of the work rate. One year's unlimited use is 200 to 300% on top of the work rate.

Phew...and I wonder why I am having a rough time financially...live and learn.

Cheers,
Ron

theo
03-12-2005, 11:16 PM
HUH??

If a client hires me to do a circuit board from his pics, and whatever else he wants to go with it, and I complete that work and get paid for it, then the rights to that object belong to him/her.
They can toss it away, use it, charge hundreds of his customers a usage for each time they use it.
It became his property the moment I took his money for work done.

I would never hire out work to anyone if full and total rights did not come when payment is made.

Doesn't sound like a rip off to me....just buisness.

Uh- huh.......sounds simple. Unfortunately this isn't so in a lot of cases. And this type of laid-back approach is fine in Nirvana but not in the dog-eat-dog world we are all coexisting in.

Fact is your financial stability comes before anyone else's- period.

Work-for-hire is really mainly used in an employer/employee relationship where the creative relinquishes a lot of his rights in return for a steady pay check.

The world of the freelancer or creative business owner is a different beast altogether.

The bottom-line is why even have copyright protection? Why even create national and international laws that protect artists rights?

Prospector, your whole approach is part of the reason why artists for years have been taken advantage of. This ad-hoc approach to your rights as an artist just lends further credibility to this sad fact.

Copyright protection is a safety net for the creative. Usage agreements should be part of EVERY artist's business process. If you are not employing this as a freelancer or a creative business owner you are NOT leveraging your creative skills in the market place at an optimal level and this lack of professionalism just ends up affecting the overall perceived market value of these wonderful skills.

If you, as an artist, create a piece of artwork for a purchaser it is YOUR sole right to determine upfront whether to sell YOUR copyright at a cost that YOU deem financially feasible and applicable depending on how said piece is to be used. If the purchaser cannot afford to buy the full copyright, guess what?- this is not a problem because you also have a lower price that will allow the purchaser to USE the artwork in a predetermined manner. This ends up being a win-win for everybody: the artist is not throwing away his protection and the purchaser gets to USE the artwork in a predetermined manner as he had planned at a lower cost.

-One small example: a freelance artist produces a piece of artwork for a t-shirt. This t-shirt becomes an instant cult hit and is sold by the thousands yet the artist sold the entire design and copyright for two-hundred dollars. This is worse than dumb, this artist needs a lobotomy to fix a few loose screws for not having a clause in his business contract to allow him to benefit as well for the sale of his work. The purchaser who bought the "work-for-hire" design made out like a bandit and should be quite happy he did so, who wouldn't?- the artist was to infatuated with his own creative expression to be concerned about matters important as his own creative survival.

Uh-huh and the beat goes on.

Believe me I could go on too......

coremi
03-12-2005, 11:42 PM
well i think the copyright is referering to the desing and the intelectual property, like he will never claim that the objects are his work and design, as the physical object, meaning the cd with your work, as long as you took money for it, he can sell it in a 1000 places if he wants to. He doesn't have the right to sell the your design concept, but again u have to register your design otherwise everybody can copy and claim is their work. this happens most when u do Logo work, and after they say they hate it, and u don't get all the money in 2 month u see your LOGO everywhere used by them. If i had registered the LOGO, i could go to Court and make some good money.

RonB
03-12-2005, 11:59 PM
coremi - What do you mean 'registered' the logo...registered it where? I understand that the copyright is automatic...as soon as you create the art it is yours. Proof of creation is ownership of the original file...it's automatic. Logo's are one form of art that cannot be governed by usage...it's impossible to track logo usage. They are one example of standard 'work for hire' art forms...you get paid for the art and it's theirs. No contract in the world could cover usage for a logo...and no corporation creative dept would ever sign it if there was one.

prospector
03-13-2005, 01:12 AM
-One small example: a freelance artist produces a piece of artwork for a t-shirt. This t-shirt becomes an instant cult hit and is sold by the thousands yet the artist sold the entire design and copyright for two-hundred dollars. This is worse than dumb, this artist needs a lobotomy to fix a few loose screws for not having a clause in his business contract to allow him to benefit as well for the sale of his work.

So let me get this straight...

I hire you to do a "I survived a whatnot" slogan for a 't' shirt.

I pay you for your work

Now I'm suppose to ALSO PAY you a percentage of sales????

Don't think so





I can see if the contract reads that you get a percentage of sales if there is no up front payment, and you takes your chances just like I do when I have 10,000 shirts printed HOPING they sell.

If that usage clause were so good for the originator of something, then Ford would have us pay each time we turned the key in 'Thier' car, even tho we paid for it.

Would you hire a concrete contractor to put in a driveway to your house if he charged a 'USAGE' fee?

And if not why?
He originated the thing same as we do?
He put a special design with the concrete broom that is his own design?
His special mixture of concrete is patented and his special artistic broom design is copyrighted.



The bottom-line is why even have copyright protection? Why even create national and international laws that protect artists rights?
Copyright protection is for anything I (the keyword I) decide to sell.
If I make DVDs for sale then I am protected by copyright.

When I make an animation for someone ELSES DVD then the animation is totally thiers to do with as they choose once I recieve payment for work done.

bjornkn
03-13-2005, 01:54 AM
Interesting discussion - and a very tricky question..
Who have copyright on what?
The main bulk of my work is making architectural models for architects and real estate agents.
When I get plans for a building that would be copyrighted by the architect.
Then I make a model which is copyrightwed by me.
Finally the real estate agent pays for those images and uses them for advertising and marketing.
So if I use those same images for self promotion should I have to pay the architect who owns the design?
And if the architect uses my 3D images should he pay me (or the part that actually paid for them?
And what if my 3D images are shown in the newspaper (which have happened several times) - should I get money from someone, or just be happy for the free marketing I get?
And what if a photographer takes a photo of one of my prints? Is he the copyright owner then?

I think I have had around 100 projects so far, but I have not yet written or signed any contracts, not even on projects where I got paid around $20k.
Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe dogs aren't that hungry here in Norway? ;-)
Or maybe someone got rich on my behalf?
I don't think so.
When you make end products, ie where your images are the actual product being sold, I guess it's a different story...

coremi
03-13-2005, 03:22 AM
i don't know how is in your country but in mine, Romania, we do have an office to register trademarks, once u have registered absolutly nobody can use the NAME, LOGO, DESIGN, whatever without your consent, otherwise u may have to proof that it's your logo, design, etc... Just can't take legal action without proof.

Ex: in my city there is a restaurant called Hilton, cause Hilton never registered it's name in Romania, so there is no problem in using it.

For sure u have something similar in your country.

As for LOGO, i desing a logo for a company, than, if they want to register their logo, i have to give them a paper saying that i give them all rights about the logo design. Otherwise an artist with little modifications, colors for example, may sell the same design to 100 companies. we can see 1 mil web pages with same design only some color changes, but it's possible only if the company doesn't register their design, u can use it for another client. My english is not so good, sorry.

Exception
03-13-2005, 04:14 AM
So let me get this straight...

I hire you to do a "I survived a whatnot" slogan for a 't' shirt.

I pay you for your work

Now I'm suppose to ALSO PAY you a percentage of sales????

Don't think so

Ohnoo!! Prospector, we all love you dearly but you really must revise your views on this one. YOU make something, that means YOU have the copyright. As long as you do not put down on paper that you hand over the copyrights to someone else, it is YOURS.

This means that noone can Sell, Reproduce, print, Hire, lend out, change, integrate etc. that work you have done.

Because usually clients do want to print or integrate your design, they pay more. However if they want to SELL your design, or change it, for instance someone wants to make touchups of your work by someone else or sells off the copyright to soemone else, they need to have the copyright in the first place.

Do you understand that if you give the copyright to your client you yourself will not be able to use it even for your own publication purposes?!






I can see if the contract reads that you get a percentage of sales if there is no up front payment, and you takes your chances just like I do when I have 10,000 shirts printed HOPING they sell.

If that usage clause were so good for the originator of something, then Ford would have us pay each time we turned the key in 'Thier' car, even tho we paid for it.
Would you hire a concrete contractor to put in a driveway to your house if he charged a 'USAGE' fee?


No, you see it wrong. You dont see anyone charging for looking at their artwork! Thing is with a driveway or a car, you can't just copy it on your computer and sell off another one. If we had Mass-Replicators it would be illegal to replicate our driveway or our Ford car to sell to someone else.

You are hurting yourself and your colleagues by taking this stance. I suggest you look up the rights of artists and content producers, and investigate copyright laws and common dealings.

I always put in a contract that a client can use a product for his own publications. That is what he has paid for. But he has not paid me for selling the drawing to a printer to make posters off, because that right is mine. Also he has not paid me to agree with anyone just messing around with my work.

If you design a logo for a company, and that company uses it, but then decides to sell it so someone else, that is not allowed. That right is yours alone.
Unless you waive your copyright, but expect to be paid perhaps even quadruple the rate of normal jobs.

Exception
03-13-2005, 04:18 AM
Also, the objective of registering a design is only to be able to have proof you were the first. There are also other methods for less important assignments.

Take a printout of whatever you made, and a CD with the digital file on it. Got ot the post office and ask them to seal and postmark it. Now you have a sealed envelope that contains the date. That is LEGAL proof.
However when you register a name, that is no longer valid. But you can only register a NAME not a logo or color or design. You do have certain protective laws for designs , on paper and in 3D, but they are very weak. therefore the copyright is the strongest right you usually have.

Exception
03-13-2005, 04:38 AM
Interesting discussion - and a very tricky question..
Who have copyright on what?
The main bulk of my work is making architectural models for architects and real estate agents.
When I get plans for a building that would be copyrighted by the architect.
Then I make a model which is copyrightwed by me.
Finally the real estate agent pays for those images and uses them for advertising and marketing.
So if I use those same images for self promotion should I have to pay the architect who owns the design?

Its actually not that hard.
The architect gave you the RIGHT to copy off his design, and make a new design. Since you had the right to do so (officially you must have received that right in writing, but sending you the drawings with an assignment to do it is proof enough of 'intent), you made a NEW design of which only you have the copyrights.

The architect's work is protected by copyright, so if you were making a model after his design for yourself and got the drawings in some shady way, or did it from photographs of an existing building, you were breaking the law.

Actually taking photographs of a building is already illegal. Honestly. Try to publish a photo of the Erasmusbridge in rotterdam. the architect will sue you. (really, he did! and won!)



And if the architect uses my 3D images should he pay me (or the part that actually paid for them?

He should pay you, since he is using your designs. He is not allowed to do that without your consent. So if you make the drawings for say a real aestate agent the architect has NO right to use those images! Even when the real estate agent gives it to him (the real estate agent would be breaking the copyright law, as he copied the images to give away).


And what if my 3D images are shown in the newspaper (which have happened several times) - should I get money from someone, or just be happy for the free marketing I get?

The newspaper should pay you. And they do on important news matters. What do you think News photographers make their money from? News companies like Reuters make their whole existance by selling copyright USE.
However I wouldnt recommend asking the paper for money. If its a proper paper and you have properly put your name with the copyright symbol on the image, as you should, they will not print it or ask you. If they didnt they broke the law and you can sue them. Before suing them you can ask them if theyr realised they printed copyrighted material. They will compensate you but will not like it much. They will probably not print your architectural visualisation again. This is because most artists like us are only too happy with having our image in the paper and enjoy the free publicity.
However if they print it without your name present, you should ask them for money since you didn not benefit from it at all.



And what if a photographer takes a photo of one of my prints? Is he the copyright owner then?

The moment he presses the shutter he has broken the law, thus this can officially not happen. If it does, you can sue him.
Unless you gave him permission. If you gave him permission the photograph has now become his own piece of copyrighted material, and you should pay him to use it.
Thus, you usually agree that you have full copyright useage before you alow him to take the photo.



I think I have had around 100 projects so far, but I have not yet written or signed any contracts, not even on projects where I got paid around $20k.
Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe dogs aren't that hungry here in Norway? ;-)

Me neither before I moved to Australia for a year, where I got ripped off 3 times, and really badly too. Im from the netherlands and don't use contracts either. But what I DO use is a sentence under the job quote that sais sopmething in the order of 'Our work is covered under the general licence and work agreement of Except Design.'.
Actually I think it is mandatory to have a general work agreement in the Netherlands. If clients want to know what it entails, they will request them. I never had that happening.

Also, photographers here in the netherlands are autmatically coverd under the licence agreement of the Dutch Photographers Association. Therefore all you need to put down in your job quote is 'We work with and comply to the work and licence agreement of the DPA.'


Or maybe someone got rich on my behalf?
I don't think so.


Me neither but one day someone might.

Consider this:
-Someone comes to you to request an artist impression of a hotel he is about to build. He says it is low profile and a small company and they have only little money small budget bladiebla. You make the images. The hotel turns out to be gold plated and to draw clientele of around the world (and you didnt notice when making the drawings). He now uses your artist impression to draw investors and internationally publicise his hotel. Hotel turns out to be the biggest investment oportunity in your country. He grows rich, and he is helped by your artist impression to do it. If you did not put consequences on the low price he requested, such as a fixed usage time, or no international use and so forth, you were screwed. Then someone really makes a lot of money behind your back.



When you make end products, ie where your images are the actual product being sold, I guess it's a different story...

No its really not.

coremi
03-13-2005, 05:44 AM
Exception

u can register a LOGO, i did start the registration form for 6 possible LOGO for a company to be sure i get paid for my work, than i canceled because nothin came out and it was prety expensive to register.

Exception
03-13-2005, 05:49 AM
Yes you can register a logo. It becomes a TradeMark then. But its a feeble system, which will only protect you in details. Put the logo upside down and its no longer trademarked (for example).

prospector
03-13-2005, 06:18 AM
Ohnoo!! Prospector, we all love you dearly but you really must revise your views on this one. YOU make something, that means YOU have the copyright. As long as you do not put down on paper that you hand over the copyrights to someone else, it is YOURS.
This means that noone can Sell, Reproduce, print, Hire, lend out, change, integrate etc. that work you have done.

Well, that's not right...
If I buy a painting from someone who supposedly has the copyright by your statement, then I have no right to sell it again after that?

Paintings are sold like that all the time and it's legal.

What I can't do is paint another and sell it as an original but I can paint another and sell it as a copy (re-production).As long as there is something different (like direction of brush stroke, color (yours...R-250 G-150 B-220 mine...R-249 G-148 B-220) it is my version of your painting and therefore sellable by me.
So weather the painter puts it on canvas or we put it on a monitor, once I buy it , it's mine to do as I please. I can sell yours at yard sale or sell my ver of yours at yard sale.

It's like that new rope plugin I bought, if Normj wanted a 'user fee' for each time I used it, I can assure you he would not have had that sale.

And if I decide to sell my computer and ver of LW and get out of this buisness then that plugin goes with it. But I can't sell copies of it (re-productions)because I don't know the language to slightly change it as I can with a painting.



Nope, this is all brought about by lawyers trying to make money for themselves.
I use to buy and sell houses with a handshake untill lawyers got involved.
Same thing here.

Lightwolf
03-13-2005, 06:28 AM
I would never hire out work to anyone if full and total rights did not come when payment is made.

Doesn't sound like a rip off to me....just buisness.
Actually, you will never be able to totally own the rights of another persons work ... the usage rights yes, but not _all_ the rights. Depending on the country of course (this is the legal situation here).
Also, if you look at programming for example, there is a difference between selling your compiled executable (in CG the image), or the source code as well (in this case the objects, scene files etc...). And it is quite reasonable to charge more for the later.

Everything else depends on the contract, but if there is none, I'd assume that the creator holds all the rights.

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-13-2005, 06:35 AM
Also, if you look at programming for example, there is a difference between selling your compiled executable (in CG the image), or the source code as well (in this case the objects, scene files etc...). And it is quite reasonable to charge more for the later.

And I understand that, more content = more money
But to be charged over and over for the same thing????
Just because I 'use' it??

That ain't right...........

theo
03-13-2005, 06:47 AM
coremi - What do you mean 'registered' the logo...registered it where? I understand that the copyright is automatic...as soon as you create the art it is yours. Proof of creation is ownership of the original file...it's automatic. Logo's are one form of art that cannot be governed by usage...it's impossible to track logo usage. They are one example of standard 'work for hire' art forms...you get paid for the art and it's theirs. No contract in the world could cover usage for a logo...and no corporation creative dept would ever sign it if there was one.

Nonsense Ron- I you CAN set terms on a logo's use dependent on what the client can afford. I know this for a fact.

This is what this entire discussion comes down to if we can get past some of the emotional hyperbole.

I can tell you right now that I have been in marketing for over 16 years and have run into more logo use issues than I can count. AND understandably so- many times these issues arise with artists that are very concerned about their long-term viability and do not want to be exploited.

Why would a designer have this right to keep track of how this logo is being used? Because the client initially said to him/her, "I want YOUR skills to design this logo and I have this X amount of dollars, what can we do?" Well, this designer can do one of two things- he can ad-hoc it and sell himself like a prostitute or he can be a businessperson and set limits on the logo's use based on the clients ability to pay.

In other words for a "FULL" use logo free of copright restrictions said logo may cost $3,000.00. A usage controlled logo where the designer has control over the printing of the company's brochures and business cards (and marks them up accordingly for a profit) can be as low as $800.00. And in time the client may be able to afford to purchase full rights of the logo.

ANY corporate creative department or contractor that is operating without reasonable expectation of these issues is exploiting the trade.

Prospector: IF you can find a creative who is willing to design this cult T-shirt design for a minimum of dollars without any copyright or royalty issues cropping up then you have simply found a creative fool that can be exploited. Not to say that YOU are wrong in this approach my friend it is just that this situation is ideal for your business model.

I am saying this at the risk I will offend you and this is NOT my intention in the least- it is just a very dicey thing to discuss.

Fact is I would not consider you an ideal consumer of my creative services and talents and would be more than happy to move on to a consumer that is.

This level of control is inescapable and is easily justifiable by the user in the microcosm (just like millions of people using hacked software) but in the macrocosm this is pure exploitation.

The fact is it takes RESPECT on both aisles of the dollar. A thriving and healthy creative community that is aware of its rights is extremely beneficial to a consumer of these trade services and talents.

prospector
03-13-2005, 06:57 AM
I am saying this at the risk I will offend you and this is NOT my intention in the least
None taken :)

It just seems that 'usage fees' are a way to make money by not doing anything. And that goes against everything in my being.
Get paid once and that's it, move onto another job.

Now that I think of it..

A GREAT marketing slogan in these times could be..

We don't charge no steenkin' usage fees..you pay=you own...

Hmmm gotta incorporate that into plan.

Lightwolf
03-13-2005, 07:18 AM
And I understand that, more content = more money
But to be charged over and over for the same thing????
Just because I 'use' it??

That ain't right...........
This is not the question of more or less in terms of knowledge, but in terms of ip.

And yes, the same goes for the usage of content as well. Depending on the country you're in, a DVD can cost different amounts, depending on if it is meant for private viewing, lending or public watching. Even though it may physically be the same.

Also, to put it simply, if you buy a can of coke, you still don't have the right to use the logo :)

You're also mixing up rights here (again, depending on the country). Here you keep the rights on you work, and they can not be transferred in any way. You can however sell your rights of use. This can and should be specified in a contract. Also, have a look at the restrictions imposed on certain types of stock footage and clipart.

Honestly prospector, working in the media biz you should be more aware of the legal situation involved ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-13-2005, 07:20 AM
It just seems that 'usage fees' are a way to make money by not doing anything. And that goes against everything in my being.
Well, don't buy software then. After all, after X thousand copies of LW have been sold, the development has been paid. It should be released for free then ;)

Wake up, we're living in a post-industrial world. Rights are everything nowadays, work is just, erm, well, labour ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Exception
03-13-2005, 07:22 AM
You got it all pretty backwards, i'm sorry.


Ohnoo!! Prospector, we all love you dearly but you really must revise your views on this one. YOU make something, that means YOU have the copyright. As long as you do not put down on paper that you hand over the copyrights to someone else, it is YOURS.
This means that noone can Sell, Reproduce, print, Hire, lend out, change, integrate etc. that work you have done.

Well, that's not right...

Yes it is. You just seem to forget that when you take money from someone that implies a certain agreement. You make something for someone and take money, at least the right to USE the thing they paid for will be obvious, but beyond that, without a proper agreement, it becomes really shady real fast. Are they allowed to copy, change reproduce? For how long are they allowed to use it? In what fields are they allowed to show it? Can they show it in public or just to individuals? This all affects the price of a piece of work, and so it should. When you have made a nice character in LW for yourself and one day a company comes and wants one of your renders for on the cover of their business magazine. This will cost them X amount of dollars. Fine. Now they come back and want to make that exact same image their corporate logo. In your view they have already paid X so they can do whatever they want. In the real world, they wil have to pay 100 times X to be able to make it their company logo since:
- They want the rights to reproduce and alter the image (they need to change it to fit on their trucks and so on
- they want unlimited reproduction rights
- They probably want exclusive right to the character in question, but even if they don;t you can't use it for yourself or sell it again as they already use it, and who would want a logo someone else already has?

This all drives the price up, and so it should, since that cute character you made is now not really yours anymore, is it? You can't even use it for yourself as it has gained the image of that company.


If I buy a painting from someone who supposedly has the copyright by your statement, then I have no right to sell it again after that?

Digital imaging and painting are different things. And the buyer of the painting is certainly NOT allowed to sell the rights to the painting. With a painting, the rights of its use (viewing it) is incorporated into itself since it is an object. With video, photography and digital imaging this is not the case since it is not 'unique'.

What I can't do is paint another and sell it as an original but I can paint another and sell it as a copy (re-production).


As long as there is something different (like direction of brush stroke, color (yours...R-250 G-150 B-220 mine...R-249 G-148 B-220) it is my version of your painting and therefore sellable by me.

No way. That is copyright infringement. You can only do it with painings whose copyright have expired (100 years to be exact).
There was a house DJ who made a pretty good song actually loosely based on Grieg's Carmina Burana. The family of Grieg sued his pants off, and they won. 3 years later the Carmina Burana turned 100 years old and he re-released the song, and this time he was not infringing the rights of the Grieg family.


So weather the painter puts it on canvas or we put it on a monitor, once I buy it , it's mine to do as I please. I can sell yours at yard sale or sell my ver of yours at yard sale.

Yes, because you bought the right to own it and look at it. That is the agreement when you buy a painting. you can also hire a painting, which is a different agreement.


It's like that new rope plugin I bought, if Normj wanted a 'user fee' for each time I used it, I can assure you he would not have had that sale.

You are not listening. Noone is charging anyone for using what they paid for. The plugin is sold ON CONDITION that it may be used.
If you buy a xerox machine, on condisiton it may be used freely, its a hell of a lot more expensive than when you buy a copy machine on condition you pay per print. Most companies buy large printers and copiers this way. You pay per print, untill after 5 years either the machine is yours or replaced with another one.



And if I decide to sell my computer and ver of LW and get out of this buisness then that plugin goes with it. But I can't sell copies of it (re-productions)because I don't know the language to slightly change it as I can with a painting.

You cannot slightly change it either. Because you would be infringing the copyright of the original creator who most undoubtedly sold it to you on tjhe condition that you would not change it and resell it.



Nope, this is all brought about by lawyers trying to make money for themselves.
I use to buy and sell houses with a handshake untill lawyers got involved.
Same thing here.

Well you are bruning your own land, so keep doing whatever you feel is right. But I promise you, I studied this, and you are seriously mistaken on almost all accounts.

Try the following things and see if you are NOT sued:

Rent a Xerox machine, and sell it.
(This is analoguous to commisioning an illustration from an artist, paying him for usage, but not for resale, and then selling it to someone else. This means someone just paid for limited copyright usage)

Buy a Ford car, whack 3 dents in it, rip off the ford logo, and stick your own on. Now advertise it in the paper as your own creation.
(According to you this is legal. Well it is not. Ford might pass on it for 1 or 2 cars, but try doing it with 100. You will be in deep trouble).

Buy a postcard of the Guggenheim in Bilbao and reproduce it poster size, and sell it.

Go to Getty Images. Try to get the same price for a Stock photo for reselling as the price for personal and professional use.

This last one is perhaps the most relevant. You cannot get a getty stock image to do with 'whatever you want because you bought it' legaly wihtout paying more for it than when you just use it on the cover of your business borchure or something. Copyrights are extremely important and you don;t see that unless they have been actually given away or rights have been allowed, there pretty much nothing you can do with a piece of art than just look at it.

prospector
03-13-2005, 06:47 PM
Well, don't buy software then. After all, after X thousand copies of LW have been sold, the development has been paid. It should be released for free then

Nothing wrong with selling more than cost. But they DON'T charge me a fee everytime I boot up the program.


Yes it is. You just seem to forget that when you take money from someone that implies a certain agreement

Sure does..means I own it.
Lock...stock..and barrel

As long as there is something different (like direction of brush stroke, color (yours...R-250 G-150 B-220 mine...R-249 G-148 B-220) it is my version of your painting and therefore sellable by me.
No way.

Of course..yes way

As long as something is different it becomes a creation of mine. same as anything else there is that's made.
A toaster is a toaster...any company can produce them ..As long as they aren't a direct copy of another companies...knob color, 1mm wider bread hole...something.


You are not listening. Noone is charging anyone for using what they paid for.
That's exactly what a usage fee is :)

Rent a Xerox machine, and sell it.
That's illegal as I am only renting it for a certain period of time. BUT If I bought one then I could turn around and sell it.


So I've read this thru and thru and paid attention to all views here, but there is no way I could ever charge someone more than once for work they contracted for.
No matter how I try to justify it, it's still being paid for nothing, and that's not how I was brought up.

Even let better-half read this to get her take on it. She thinks usage fees are tatamount to extortion.
And she wouldn't want me doing it either.
So I will begin to use the "You pay..it's yours to do as you will" in advertising and continue as before.
Maby these usage-fees can be stopped.
gotta start somewhere

But it was a good thread to read

UnCommonGrafx
03-13-2005, 07:07 PM
I've read this thread and honestly, I think you are out of scope, RonB.
That is to say, whomever is paying the photog should have the issue, not you. That someone figured out how to tap into your teat is his good fortune and, based on what's been said, not affecting your rate of pay.

If you hired him, then he went to them for this useage fee, sounds like you got hosed and should have a pretty good beef to pick with the photog. But again the question is begged, who is paying the photog for this?

When you freelance, you be the 'ho. High-priced or low, you are at the mercy of others, or your principles. ;) Here, it seems to be an issue with perspective.

Having said that, yes, I, too, would want him off that teat. :eek: As well, if it's a substantial amount of money, I would learn how to add this into my next budget with these people seeing as they don't mind paying...

theo
03-13-2005, 08:18 PM
So I've read this thru and thru and paid attention to all views here, but there is no way I could ever charge someone more than once for work they contracted for.
No matter how I try to justify it, it's still being paid for nothing, and that's not how I was brought up.

Even let better-half read this to get her take on it. She thinks usage fees are tatamount to extortion.
And she wouldn't want me doing it either.
So I will begin to use the "You pay..it's yours to do as you will" in advertising and continue as before.
Maby these usage-fees can be stopped.
gotta start somewhere

But it was a good thread to read

Extortion is an illegal act. Protecting creative rights and intellectual property is a safeguard instituted by law in most civilized nations Prospector.

Your way of doing business is fine in an idyllic, polyannish society where your neighbor MAY actually love you enough to respect your rights WITHOUT a contract.

On the grand scale we, unfortunately, live in a world where corporations of all sizes think nothing of ravaging the natural resources and wealth of third world countries. World history is full of the ravages of the powerful usurping control over the powerless from the grand scale down to the micro scale.

Prospector it might be in your best interest to conduct a study on the history of just exactly why Intellectual Property rights are important enough to be protected by law.

prospector
03-14-2005, 12:06 AM
Extortion is an illegal act.
Indeed

Kinda like "Pay me everytime you use this or you will be sued"

Property rights are fine and dandy...IF...someone is selling a product for the masses, but 3D work is mostly a 1 off product, you do something for someone and that job is complete, they may hire you for another and another...but it is still seperate and individual things. And your property rights are intact....and here is where I disagree....Untill you sell it.
Because it is not a continiously produced and sold item (like Coke and Fords), but is only produced for a 1 time basis (a logo, a picture, a CG car), when it's sold...thats it, owner gets everything upon payment.
He/She is now free to do with as they please, use to wrap fish (painting) line the birdhouse, throw darts at it, sell for a quarter in yardsale, or sell on EBay to highest bidder, or put thier logo on a million commercials a year, and NEVER pay twice.

Your way of doing business is fine in an idyllic, polyannish society where your neighbor MAY actually love you enough to respect your rights WITHOUT a contract.
It use to be like this...what went wrong?

Prospector it might be in your best interest to conduct a study on the history of just exactly why Intellectual Property rights are important enough to be protected by law.

I tried and mostly lawyer stuff kept comin up.....
oh wait, there's the answer to my question...lawyers made it go wrong.

Karmacop
03-14-2005, 12:28 AM
This all depends on how you do your work, but think of it this way prospector.

You create a character.
Then someone wants to make a book based on your character.
Then the same person wants to make a movie based on your character.

I think this is completely fair two get paid twice. This would also apply if the character was used in a print ad or a tv ad etc.

Of course as I said it depends how you work. Either you charge a small fee each time the character is used, or you charge a large fee and they can use the character whenever they want.

Or did I miss something? :o

inquisitive
03-14-2005, 02:58 AM
Interesting conversation.

Where can one find additional information about this subject for US transactions?
and/or some book that may have sample / generic contracts?

Thanks

Exception
03-14-2005, 03:58 AM
Well, don't buy software then. After all, after X thousand copies of LW have been sold, the development has been paid. It should be released for free then

Nothing wrong with selling more than cost. But they DON'T charge me a fee everytime I boot up the program.

Noone is charging anyone for looking at a piece of artowork either, are they?
Software is meant to be booted up and used, artwork is meant to be looked at. You are talking about reselling it! That is very different.

Im sorry but you are still comparing pears, apples and strangely shaped starfruit.



Yes it is. You just seem to forget that when you take money from someone that implies a certain agreement

Sure does..means I own it.
Lock...stock..and barrel

No, only if you bought it lock stock and barrel.
If Xerox takes money from you for renting you a xerox machine you do NOT own it lock stock and barrel, now do you? You say yourself below that you do not own it then. How hard is it to understand that if you pay and artist for printing an image in a company brochure, and then wanting to ducplicate and resell that picture themselves is not the same thing and needs to be backed up by a financial gain.



As long as there is something different (like direction of brush stroke, color (yours...R-250 G-150 B-220 mine...R-249 G-148 B-220) it is my version of your painting and therefore sellable by me.
No way.

Of course..yes way
As long as something is different it becomes a creation of mine. same as anything else there is that's made.
A toaster is a toaster...any company can produce them ..As long as they aren't a direct copy of another companies...knob color, 1mm wider bread hole...something.

Nonsense. Ok, you take Lightwave, change the interface color, sell it under your own name 100 times. See how fast you have 3 lawsuits hanging down your pants. And rightfully so. The person who invented the toaster using heating wire with the jump-up system has a patent on it. A patent protects that toaster from being copied. If someone invents another means of heating up a piece of toast, say by zapping it with a laser, that is allowed. However noone else can make a toasting machine with heated wire with a jump up system without paying the guy with the patent.
Copyright is less strict, which is actually a misfortune for us artists. If you design a logo for a company and slave over it, and get paid a certain sum, then another designer runs off with it, sells it to the same company for less than you charged and all he changed was the color. You think that's fair? In your idea of copyright it is, well I think not, and thank goodness we have the law to protect us in these cases.



You are not listening. Noone is charging anyone for using what they paid for.
That's exactly what a usage fee is :)

I have never mentioned a 'usage fee'. So I don't know where you get the term. I dont know anyone who charges a usage fee, I wouldnt even understand what it entails, would I have to pay to look at a picture?


Rent a Xerox machine, and sell it.
That's illegal as I am only renting it for a certain period of time. BUT If I bought one then I could turn around and sell it.

Yes, but then it should be clear that you bought it and not rented it. It will be on the piece of paper you and xerox signed. So, if you want to 'sell' your images, that is fine, but understand a different price is warranted when 'selling' your work instead of 'renting it out'.



So I've read this thru and thru and paid attention to all views here, but there is no way I could ever charge someone more than once for work they contracted for.
No matter how I try to justify it, it's still being paid for nothing, and that's not how I was brought up.

You make us look like bloodvampires for money.
Well let me tell you. I am a smalltime artist living in a squatted house, only taking jobs that are artistically challenging. Im a vegetarian and make it a life's motto only to speak the truth. I don't buy grossly commercial products such as brand clothing or fancy cars just for 'image'. If there is a socialist protest, good chance Ill be at the front of it. Copyright laws are social laws, which can be misused like anything. I just believe in providing quality for what you are paid for. If I rent out my computer I expect it back, and if someone wants to keep it, they need to pay me more, or I have the right to say 'no'. Same goes for my art. Someone pays me once to make a piece of art to hang in his bedroom, he pays A. Then he wants to take photos of it and sell the photos in psoter size, this means I can no longer do that and he needs to pay me more to get those copy-rights. I don't know about you but that is as ethical as it can get. No matter how you were brought up.


Even let better-half read this to get her take on it. She thinks usage fees are tatamount to extortion.

What is a usage fee? That is really unclear to me... You seem to think someone is charging for looking at a painting, driving in a car they sold, or in any other way getting money off of something that apparently was logically paid for.
You get what you pay for. You rent, you have higher variable costs than constant costs. You buy, you have low variable costs and high constant costs. Simple, effective, predeterminable and clear. Same with artwork. you pay for publishing, good, you pay little, but once you want to keep on using it you have to keep paying the artist. You pay for ownership, you pay more, but can do with it whatever you want.


And she wouldn't want me doing it either.
So I will begin to use the "You pay..it's yours to do as you will" in advertising and continue as before. Maby these usage-fees can be stopped.
gotta start somewhere.

'Usage fees' are not a valid term, so I don't know what you want to be stopped.
You can get 'You pay... its yours to do as you will' with me as well. Its just more expensive than when you 'rent' an image from me. When you commission work from me you get a limited 'usage' agreement which says what can be done with the picture and what not. If the client uses it in the field where the agreement says he can, he isn't paying a penny more for it. If he changes the usage, and wants to do more and bigger things with it, he will pay, just like renting a car. Simple, clear, effective and professional.

I only received money this way once. It was a company who had let me made 3 artist impressions. I don;t know about you, but my name is under all my images, with a copyright symbol to tell people they can't go off and sell my pictures just like that. If they would I would have no more income, see? Therefore my name is there, and it also helps to get me some clients who see my images. The name is in very small print neatly hidden in the image. However the client wanted it removed. Basically he wanted it 'rights free', they wanted me to remove my name and the copyright symbol. They had to pay about 5 times the initial price, and they did it. Why? Because now they are using my image to make money themselves, and have earned my fee back a hundred fold. Still unfair to my client? I lost my image, anyone can go around copying it now, selling it, whatever. I was paid for it and the client got a profit out of it. Pretty good deal for them if you ask me.

StereoMike
03-14-2005, 04:20 AM
Interesting, indeed.

For me this discussion puts like that:

I would offer my service for a certain amount (which fits my needs)

The company rejects it because they want a lower price.

I would give an offer for a restricted use but at a lower price to get a win-win situation.

Depending on their argumentation (small budget, "we will pay you more the next time" or whatever;, you know these things) there are options to extend the usage.

So if they really tell the truth ("we know your work's worth it, but we haven't the money right know"), they can show their appreciation by buying the extended usage when they have the money and need more rights

I think, if they are honest and professional, and you deliver good work, they'll accept it without a doubt.
When they want to rip you off, then they start arguing about stupid things.

Before I read this thread, I had a view on the matter similar to prospectors, but I think selling yourself for a bargain everytime a client says "I have a small budget" can't be the solution.
Till now I had just luck with the sentence "next time you get more", but it's obvious that it's not a solid foundation for working. I just didn't knew how to argue against a fixed budget.
So I thank everyone who contributed to this thread, because I could learn from it!

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 04:30 AM
You are not listening. Noone is charging anyone for using what they paid for.
That's exactly what a usage fee is :)
Well, the usage fee term is actually valid, but it is a fee for the right to use, not the usage itself.
So, still , no-one is charging you for the right to use as was defined in the initial contract. _But_ they charge you for the right to use outside of it.
propspector: If that is the way you work and sell then it is absolutely fine. I still think you'll be selling yourself under value, but that is your problem, and not mine ;)
In many cases, depending on the customer, we do give away full usage rights as well. But the more "professional" the customer, the more limited they are (also on their demand to lower the prices).
As an example: When we visualized the Tour de France in 2000 we got limited rights of aerial photography used (only for T.V. in Germany), which was fine because that was the only market our customer was interested in. We also limited his rights of usage accordingly. So that stuff was never shown on the internet.
And if you ever worked with stock footage, you'll know what I mean.

As a side note, like was mentioned before, if you sell limited rights in can allow you to sell your work multiple times. While you may see this as getting paid for no work, depending on the price it can also mean that you can sell something (multiple times for a low price) that you couldn't sell otherwise (one for a high price).
Come to think of it, that would be like creating a movie for a single person ;) In the real world you share the rights, allow many to use it and distribute the costs.

Welcome to the world of capitalism!

Cheers,
Mike

Verlon
03-14-2005, 08:08 AM
Quoted
And what if a photographer takes a photo of one of my prints? Is he the copyright owner then?



The moment he presses the shutter he has broken the law, thus this can officially not happen. If it does, you can sue him.
Unless you gave him permission. If you gave him permission the photograph has now become his own piece of copyrighted material, and you should pay him to use it.
Thus, you usually agree that you have full copyright useage before you alow him to take the photo.

I do not believe he has broken the law at this point. He might use polaroid photos for some kind of filing system at his desk, for example. In this light, every photo of your wife with some work of art in the background would be illegal and we would ALL be in jail. Now if he profited by that photo or if you could demonstrate loss from that photo, it would be another matter.


Prospector:

Yes, lawyers have made a mess of things, but they are not going to STOP doing it just because you make it easy for others to take advantage of you.


Say you are in a band that plays original music. A local club hires you to play a gig (and they do not pay much for this, trust me). You and your bandmates split a few hundred dollars (if you're lucky). The club, however recorded the whole thing without your knowledge, and they press a CD with your original music and sell it on their website where it becomes a smash hit. Note that the club did audio work like EQ, cleaning up some crowd noise, and the like so it is not your EXACT performance. A major label like Sony picks it up and it goes multi-platinum.

Meanwhile, someone was there with a good camcorder, and they have a video of the nights entertainment. Now we all know camcorder mikes are crap, so they use the multi-platinum CD which was recorded on professional audio gear as the sound for their DVD video, which also sells millions of copies after being picked up by a different major label like Warner.

You are suggesting that the whole above process was legal and fair to the artists involved?

1) You agreed to play a concert, not be recorded for resale later by ANYONE.

2) Since you hold the rights to your music and your performance, the club should and WOULD have to get your permission to sell a recording of you.

3) The guy with a camcorder would need your permission AND the club's because the audio engineering is (often overlooked) artwork in itself and the club would have certain rights as well.

4) Warner wouldn't touch that guy's video because they would wind up spending all that money they made on legal fees and aspirin for all the headaches.

From what you are saying, I could pull your images off your website and sell them. The right to view something is not the same as the right to sell.

If I buy a book (for $7 at Barnes and Noble), I have the right to read it. I can loan it to someone else. I can sell it. I can give it away. I can NOT make copies of that book and sell them myself (or even give them away for free), even if I use a different cover. I own the book, lock and stock, but I do NOT have the "barrel" to make copies. I do NOT have the right to make a movie based on the book. I do NOT have the right to record my reading of the book aloud and sell it as an audio book. I do NOT have the right to publish a comic book based on the book. I DO however OWN the book. It is mine.

Digital media works kind of like that. Now some companies do try to prevent 'fair use,' like resale. Generally, I do not think this is right. If I decide I no longer need a piece of software, I should be able to dispose of it how I will, including resale, as long as I do not keep a copy for myself. Like a book, the software should be used as intended, but only in one place at a time.

Unfortunately, pirates have made enforcement of this rather difficult, and it is far too easy to duplicate digital media. Some companies are trying to protect their rights. Others are using the difficulties to EXPAND their rights (and this is where I personally have a problem with it---but my beliefs do not make law). This has turned the whole thing into a convoluted mess.

In short, it isn't so much lawyers who have made a mess of things. It is people many of whom are lawyers) trying to take advantage of other people who have made a mess of things. If you make it easy for others to take advantage of you, you are actually making it worse, not better, since this will encourage them.

prospector
03-14-2005, 08:12 AM
karmacop...you missed nothing, your right here with the rest of us ;)

No, only if you bought it lock stock and barrel.
That's called a sale.

If you design a logo for a company and slave over it, and get paid a certain sum, then another designer runs off with it, sells it to the same company for less than you charged and all he changed was the color. You think that's fair?

Yes, you got paid for your original work as stated in your question, so what company does after that is up to company.

I have never mentioned a 'usage fee'.
Um..that's what this thread is about.
The charging over and over and over again to use something that was paid for when the original job was complete.

Someone pays me once to make a piece of art to hang in his bedroom, he pays A. Then he wants to take photos of it and sell the photos in psoter size, this means I can no longer do that and he needs to pay me more to get those copy-rights. I don't know about you but that is as ethical as it can get.
Exactly what a usage fee is...the charging over and over and over, someone or some company to do with thier product that they PAID for when you competed the art and was paid for it.

'Usage fees' are not a valid term, so I don't know what you want to be stopped.
It's the term used in the title here so very much valid.


Before I read this thread, I had a view on the matter similar to prospectors, but I think selling yourself for a bargain everytime a client says "I have a small budget" can't be the solution.
And it's not, if they can't afford the full price then I go 50%, then something like 200 a month till paid. I have no problem working that way. What I have a problem with is MAKING them pay for anything OTHER than the original job.

If you charge $10 or $10,000, I could care less and hope you are always closer to the later, but for me..that's where it would end and couldn't in good concience charge again just because they want to use whatever it was again. I've been paid once for the job and that was the end of dealings with that company till next time, and next job.

As a side note, like was mentioned before, if you sell limited rights in can allow you to sell your work multiple times.
But what is the point????

Most of this kind of work is custom work (ie for a specific reason and not for general everyday usage) like a logo or animations for a certain product, a picture for a cerain publication.What would be the reason to sell it multiple times? It would do no-one else any good.




As those who have been here long enough knows I am always on the side of buisness and am always on the side of profits to the buisness in whatever they do and have no problems on how they get it...BUT..I leave the reservation when those buisnesses charge me more than once for the same product.

So Newtek is fine and plugin writers are fine and car makers are fine charging whatever they want for thier product and I do hope they make millions doing it, but I don't want them charging usage fees for booting up LW, using a plug-in, or turning the key to start the car.

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 08:26 AM
No, only if you bought it lock stock and barrel.
That's called a sale.

But you're only selling a right, not an item...
By default, if you produce graphics, even if paid for by a third party, you automatically own the copyright to it. Your payment may or may not include payment for the rights of use. You may choose to include them in your base price, others don't.
However, a sale does not imply that you buy all the rights, just some of them. Take another look at my DVD example...
Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-14-2005, 08:55 AM
Vorlon..in your band example ( a good one too)
My band contracted to play and we played and got paid (price is low as usual), but that's what ciontract called for and I agreed to it so I am ok there.

But they DIDN'T pay to record so that is illegal and I agree with you on that point.
But if the band was paid to play and be recorded and we were paid for it then that' fine too, I'm happy with that.

NOW...if Sony came in and made the recording go platinum, hurray for SONY.

Where I differ is the part that comes next.

I was paid to play and be recorded, with playing as 1 price and being recorded as another price, and am fine with that.

What I disagree on is MAKING Sony pay again and again and again (after the contract price is paid) to use the video (that they already PAID for).
I was paid for it so what Sony does after that is thier buisness.

prospector
03-14-2005, 09:02 AM
Lightwolf..I guess that's where I differ from others...

For me a sale is full and total, over and done with, onto next item.

For others, they use the lawyers ver of sale, ie;.... I'm selling you this but you can only use it on blue sky days with no more than 10 clouds in the sky or else you must pay again.

Where mine goes..... I'm selling you this, do what you will.

prospector
03-14-2005, 09:09 AM
Lightwolf
And yes, the same goes for the usage of content as well. Depending on the country you're in, a DVD can cost different amounts, depending on if it is meant for private viewing, lending or public watching. Even though it may physically be the same.
I did and answer has been thru and thru my posts.

And each will be a different price, and I have no problem with it and hope you get all you can on each. but after the sale, I should be able to do or show or anything else WITHOUT having to PAY AGAIN.

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 09:13 AM
And each will be a different price, and I have no problem with it and hope you get all you can on each. but after the sale, I should be able to do or show or anything else WITHOUT having to PAY AGAIN.
Which in that case means you did buy specific rights with your initial purchase. And you _would_ have to pay more if you changed your mind later on (for example if you decided to rent out the DVD for money).
...Which is the same with graphics.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 09:16 AM
Lightwolf..I guess that's where I differ from others...

For me a sale is full and total, over and done with, onto next item.

Actually, you don't. But just because those are the terms of sale as far as your customers are concerned, doesn't mean that it is the way to go for everyone else.
And it is no basis to expect the same from the people you buy items/rights from, since they can dictate the terms as they please as well (another fine example being DRM etc...).

Cheers,
Mike

Verlon
03-14-2005, 09:38 AM
Prospector:
If someone hires you to create a piece of art for them, then uses that art in some way OTHER than how you agreed, that is essentially the same thing.

If I ask you to create a model for me for reason a and then use it for reason b, I have cheated you.

Now If, in the band example, I agree to be recorded in audio and they release a VIDEO, then someone has exceeded their rights, much the same as the publisher of a book does not have the movie rights to that book (the author normally does).

If I agree to a flat fee to all recordings and relinquish all rights, then you are correct. Note that you might have to pay Sony royalties for playing your own songs at this point, if you are not careful (ask the artist formerly known as Prince about such things). If Sony is recording me though, I think I would like a smaller up front fee and a percentage of the earnings instead. In this case, Sony would have to continue paying me, but they would have to agree to this before hand also.

If I were to do some work for an architect so she could help her clients visualize what the building would look like on completion, that is use A (a one time performance). If the architect takes my work to Evil Games, inc (she moonlights) who use that same model as a level in the smash hit "Shoot 'em All III," that is use B. It is not what I agreed to when I sold her my work.

Now Evil Games is in the unenviable position of having broken the law. They owe me for my work. The HAVE to deal with me, and the deal is not of a speculative nature. If "Shoot 'em All I and II" were nearly flops from a struggling company. I might have agreed to work for cheap because one of the founders was my cousin's roommate in college.

However, they DIDN'T come to me before hand, and now I KNOW that "Shoot 'em All III" is a hit, and they HAVE to deal with me. They can't go to another artist at this point. Further, since they essentially stole my work, I am not going to be in a generous mood when it comes time to discuss terms.

prospector
03-14-2005, 09:47 AM
Indeed Lightwolf

But here is where my new ad will come in and help


Sony wants bids for a new album cover for thier new song and video DVD (using above example :) )

You and I are the last 2 in bidding and come up with same price, say 50,000.

Now Sony looks at contract and yours comes with restrictions on usage
mine doesn't

both works are equally good

(now I' back on Buisnesses side here (whew, finally :) )

The better buisness deal is the no restrictions contract, because the 50,000 is final price, use a million times if necessary in paper ads, magazine ads, TV ads.

Where yours is only priced for TV and they need to pay more if used in newspapers, and more again if used in magazines.




I think the companies that do the 'you buy---you own' policy would take away buisness from the 'You buy---you must pay extra' buisnesses.

prospector
03-14-2005, 09:59 AM
If I ask you to create a model for me for reason a and then use it for reason b, I have cheated you.

No you haven't..you hired me to create a model..I made the model, you paid for the model. Over and done. What you do after is none of my buisness. You could use it in a million projects for all I care, you paid for it, it's yours.

Now If, in the band example, I agree to be recorded in audio and they release a VIDEO, then someone has exceeded their rights
And I agreed and you should sue.

If I were to do some work for an architect so she could help her clients visualize what the building would look like on completion, that is use A (a one time performance). If the architect takes my work to Evil Games, inc (she moonlights) who use that same model as a level in the smash hit "Shoot 'em All III," that is use B. It is not what I agreed to when I sold her my work.

For me, it wouldn't matter, she paid for the project...how she uses it after is her buisness. I got paid.
So if it flopped I'd feel sorry but if it made her millions I'd feel happy.
But I wouldn't charge her EXTRA

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 10:02 AM
I think the companies that do the 'you buy---you own' policy would take away buisness from the 'You buy---you must pay extra' buisnesses.
Now, think about this...
A person I know very well got hired in a very high position in one of the top 5 media companies world wide.
The contract includes around 4-6 pages in what rights the employer will have over the work by the employee. It goes as far as stating that the usage rights of _all_ works created during the time of employment would go to the employer. And I mean _all_ works. I she were to think up a novel and write it down in private time -> rights gone.
This contracts are quite legal.
So, you work for me with a contract like that, and I'd own every little bit of you. Ouch, sounds nasty. (In the above case the payment made up for it).

And as far as the business goes... I haven't seen that happen at all. Deals tend to be made because of other reasons then who supplies the best deal on the rights, at least in our line of work.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 10:04 AM
If I ask you to create a model for me for reason a and then use it for reason b, I have cheated you.

No you haven't..you hired me to create a model..I made the model, you paid for the model. Over and done.
Well, both of you are right and wrong, since this depends on the initial agreement between the both of you.

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-14-2005, 10:15 AM
It goes as far as stating that the usage rights of _all_ works created during the time of employment would go to the employer. And I mean _all_ works. I she were to think up a novel and write it down in private time -> rights gone.
AND ???
She IS the employee. The employer IS the one paying her. They should enjoy all the benifits of her employment.

OH I JUST LOVE BEING ON THE SIDE OF BUISNESS :D

Oh yea
Changed my thingy :D
|
|
|
\/

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 10:24 AM
AND ???
She IS the employee. The employer IS the one paying her. They should enjoy all the benifits of her employment.

So, were do you draw the line? I mean, you might want to change your screen name to prostituter as well then ;) SCNR...

I know, we're all prostitutes on way or another, media prostitutes that is ;)

So, let's say you do work for me, and during that time you come up with a great idea of a business. That idea will be mine...

Do you treat all of your customers that way? I.e. anything you come up with while you're employed is theirs?

BTW, compared to her paycheck that DVD cover you were talking about would be peanuts ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Hexa
03-14-2005, 10:50 AM
Some webdesigner's view:

Say I build a webtemplate for exp. Mambo (graphics and/or code). These are some options a customer can choose from:
he doesn't care that anybody else will be able to use it in the future + doesn't mind the copyright notice + usage on one domain: 35,00 €
the costumer doesn't care that anybody else will be able to use it in the future but want's to remove copyright notice + usage on 3 domains: 235,00 €
the costumer wants to be the only one allowed to use it and on as many domains he likes: 435,00 €
the costumer wants the exclusive right to do whatever he wants (including reselling, etc.): 835,00 €


Say I build a flashintro for a customer. I build it using some standard modules that I have prepared to be able to deliver it quickly (typical textfx, fading, smooth animation, etc.). Some options are:
He can use it as a headerfile for his hp (no sourcecode): 200,00 €
He also likes to use it in an ad-campaign as a banner(no source): +200,00 €
He wants to be able to make changes to his particular (he may not produce anything different with the supplied source but a modified version of his intro) Flash-File: 600,00 €
He wants to be able to change/produce all and everything and gains exclusive usagerights: Something I'd never do because this way I am not allowed to use my prepared modules again. He now owns the exclusive rights to use/sell/etc. it.


In the end it all comes down to the way you license your work. You always charge for the specific usage the costumer needs / wants. Depending on the country you live in, this is even based on current law. To some extent even if you don't sign any contract. Your rights as an artist/producer/programmer are not something that should be (and can be) discarded instantly just because somebody payed you for your work.

BUT, having made some really ugly experience on several occasions, my advice is to ALWAYS prepare some contract. Even a 'Letter of Intent' is enough to put the work you are going to do on a reasonable basis. If a potiential customer is not willing to sign something like a 'Letter of Intent' I KNOW that there will be problems and discard any business relationship with him.

Just my 2 cents.

Christian.

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 11:02 AM
If a potiential customer is not willing to sign something like a 'Letter of Intent' I KNOW that there will be problems and discard any business relationship with him.
Especially since a LoI has no legal value whatsoever. After all, it is just intent.

What I do is I attach an order form to my offers/quotes, including pricing, payments and usage rights (and a reference to the terms in the offer). That way they can just sign it and send it to me.
If you make it convient enough for them, and don't argue too much in the first place, they do tend to sign it. This will give you more of a legal base to work from.

Then again, most of the jobs I do tend to be solely based on trust (and I never had probems with these, unlike jobs based on contracts).

Cheers,
Mike

RonB
03-14-2005, 11:13 AM
Since I started this thread I have been doing some reading. It's an eye opener to learn what I thought I knew and what my actual rights are as far as contracts and copyrights. Also plain to see by some of the posts here, when compared to what I have read, we could all use some more information on the subject. Collectively, photographers, traditional illustrators and graphic designers seem to have this aspect of the business together way more than we 3D artists do. Maybe that's because 3D is a relatively new medium. It could also be that it's populated by younger and less experienced operators. I certainly don't mean that in a negative way, just a fact.

If anyone wants to learn more regarding price guides, contracts, usage etc. I highly recommend joining or at least getting The Graphic Artists Guild, Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, 11th edition. It's well worth it as a reference book and it covers all the areas mentioned in the thread here and tons more. Here's the guild's url.

http://www.gag.org/index.php

Cheers,
Ron

prospector
03-14-2005, 11:35 AM
Hexa, those prices are fine I guess (don't know what it equates to, but it doesn't matter really), But would you charge AGAIN and AGAIN just because someone clicks on it (usage fee)??

I couldn't


Especially since a LoI has no legal value whatsoever. After all, it is just intent.
Hey...I like them

I intended to buy that house but the sky got cloudy and I changed my mind :D
They always give you an 'out'

Since I started this thread I have been doing some reading. It's an eye opener to learn what I thought I knew and what my actual rights are as far as contracts and copyrights.
AHH learning...what a wonderful thing.

Oh yea
So, let's say you do work for me, and during that time you come up with a great idea of a business. That idea will be mine...
If I was on the clock? sure
Off the clock? no way

meshmaster
03-14-2005, 11:52 AM
Prospector, you would do well owning a business, but as an artist, that sort of thinking is foolish. If everybody thought that way, creativity would start becoming less and less since there'd be little incentive to create. Now for a realistic sort of situation...

you make a model of some character... you sell it to a game company... yeah, you sold it. Now it's all theirs right. According to your philosphy yes. Ok, you still have that model sitting on your hard drive and a year later see that it has potential to be used again for another client, just by tweaking the hair a little it'll fit you new clients goals. Can you use that model? By your philosphy no because you sold ALL your rights, including derivitive rights, out from yourself...

Eventually if you continuously sell all rights out from yourself in "work for hire" type contracts you'll get to the point where you can't make anything more ever because with art ideas build on one another. If you sell the foundation blocks to your house the house isn't going to stand too long. If you give all your rights away and continuously start over (rebuilding a foundation of your works) you'll get to the point where you wonder why you can't have a two story house as it keeps collapsing after you get half of the first story done.

If ALL rights are gone, you can't reproduce your own works, in any way shape or form without permission from whoever you gave your works too... that'd include for promotional stuff like demo reels. How the hell are you going to get new clients if you have nothing to show that you did any work ever?!?

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 11:54 AM
So, let's say you do work for me, and during that time you come up with a great idea of a business. That idea will be mine...
If I was on the clock? sure
Off the clock? no way
Ah, but you see, that was part of the contract I mentioned... on _and_ off the clock. As I said "write a novel in you spare, private time"...

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 11:58 AM
If ALL rights are gone, ...
If I understand him right, he is allowing unlimited usage by his customers, but no exclusive usage.

Cheers,
Mike

Hexa
03-14-2005, 12:04 PM
Especially since a LoI has no legal value whatsoever. After all, it is just intent.

Not really. It states that any work done for a projekt, even it there is no 'final' contract signed yet, will get paid! This enables you to start working right away without having to wait. I think this agreement is very much based on trust already.



What I do is I attach an order form to my offers/quotes, including pricing, payments and usage rights (and a reference to the terms in the offer). That way they can just sign it and send it to me.

That is a reasonable option too.



This will give you more of a legal base to work from.

I totally agree with Lightwolf.
Basically instead of just wondering about the rights a customer might have, it makes much more sense to just attach the possible options of usage and the corresponding payment information with an order form. This, of course, demands that you know about your rights.

Like RonB said: I'm pretty sure that there is some kind of graphics-guild in any country. They offer advice and ought to have professional lawyers that can help you out. They also tend to have a set of standard contracts that you can use. They will charge you a yearly fee though -- but who likes to work for nuts ;)


Hexa, those prices are fine I guess (don't know what it equates to, but it doesn't matter really), But would you charge AGAIN and AGAIN just because someone clicks on it (usage fee)??

Prices are, of course, just examples.
You offer a license for a SPECIFIC usage. Your customer then has certain rights. If you WANT him to charge something for every visitor that clicks on anything, well ... you will have a hard time getting/holding any customer at all. But the thing is you CAN DO IT IF YOU WANT !

prospector
03-14-2005, 12:07 PM
missed that...my bad :o

unless it has something to do with work (Like if she took something home to work on it (thus off the clock)) then no way but if has something to do with that buisness the yes it is OK.


lawyers
ARRGGG that word again

And thier legacy
You offer a license for a SPECIFIC usage. Your customer then has certain rights.
The word 'sale' is now parsed into hundreds of degrees of sale.

This is for sale but you can only use it on clear days.
This is for sale but you can only use it for TV
Any other usage on the item you BOUGHT will require EXTRA money.

Yep, lawyers do a real good job.

Hexa
03-14-2005, 12:27 PM
That's the way it goes. Normally you don't need any lawyers though. Since you inform your customers about these restrictions, they know what they will be allowed to do.


Any other usage on the item you BOUGHT will require EXTRA money.

It's more like:
Any other usage that goes beyond the usage stated in the license agreement (that, what the customer was willing to pay for) will require EXTRA money.

StereoMike
03-14-2005, 12:39 PM
Is The Graphic Artists Guild, Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines usable in other countries than the US. Ok, the hints and tips will work, but what about terms of billing, selling and paying? I doubt that every artist on this planet can charge the same, there must be differences.
Does anyone know a similar book for the german or european market? I don't even know for what I have to look for (think of the name of the mentioned handbook and you know they had the problem of finding a title,too).

prospector
03-14-2005, 12:52 PM
Any other usage that goes beyond the usage stated in the license agreement (that, what the customer was willing to pay for) will require EXTRA money.
Then they haven't REALLY bought it
they are just renting it.


Hexa...I ask you to design a website,
you do and I pay for it, just a plain old website.
I'm just going to use it for a website.

So about 6 months later I decide it would be good to advertise in an other medium,
Say the telephone book, and I want to buy a full page spread and put the website screenshot in it.
Are you saying that I would have to pay again just to use something I paid once for?? And at Christmas I decide to do a TV ad with website in bkgrnd...I would have to pay AGAIN???

That's what I am against...usage fees for something I already bought.

ravantra
03-14-2005, 01:00 PM
[QUOTE=prospector]Well, don't buy software then. After all, after X thousand copies of LW have been sold, the development has been paid. It should be released for free then

Nothing wrong with selling more than cost. But they DON'T charge me a fee everytime I boot up the program.


Yes it is. You just seem to forget that when you take money from someone that implies a certain agreement

Sure does..means I own it.
Lock...stock..and barrel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sorry Prospector but software is not owned or bought, it is in a sense leased / borrowed / licensed.....Some software companies will not let you sell or transfer the license to use to ANYONE else. You cannot "legally" do anything you want with it.

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 01:05 PM
Any other usage that goes beyond the usage stated in the license agreement (that, what the customer was willing to pay for) will require EXTRA money.
Then they haven't REALLY bought it
they are just renting it.

Which would imply that you actually rent all the music CDs and movie DVDs that (I assume) sit in your shelf?

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 01:06 PM
That's what I am against...usage fees for something I already bought.
Well, in that case make better contracts ;)

Or, to stick with DVDs ... Buying a DVD grants you certain rights to watch of movie, but it doesn't imply you can go into any cinema for free to do the same thing ... watch the movie.
And the "usage fee" implied by the cinema ticket is not just for the comfy seating and big screen either...

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-14-2005, 01:08 PM
Some software companies will not let you sell or transfer the license to use to ANYONE else. You cannot "legally" do anything you want with it.
And I don't do buisness with them.

Newtek allows me to do that so I buy from Newtek.

And I don't do buisness with places that charge a fee everytime I use footage or pics or music that bought once already.

prospector
03-14-2005, 01:10 PM
Well, in that case make better contracts
But that practice should be outlawed..
it's, it's, it's just plain wrong.



Or, to stick with DVDs ... Buying a DVD grants you certain rights to watch of movie
indeed,and they don't charge me everytime I pop it in the DVD player (that's a usage fee)

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 01:10 PM
And I don't do buisness with places that charge a fee everytime I use footage or pics or music that bought once already.
Which is absolutely O.k. Depending on my customers needs, I do what suits them best. Most of the royalty free music for example sucks badly. If I don't have a budget I use it, if I do I prefer to buy something for single use (which tends to be better stuff) or even get something composed (which tends to be limited as far as usage is concerned as well).

Cheers,
Mike

Hexa
03-14-2005, 01:11 PM
For some german information take a look at:

http://www.bvdw.org
http://www.bvdw.org/ww/de/7_pub/recht/agenturvertraege.cfm
http://www.bvdw.org/ww/de/7_pub/recht/content7297.cfm
http://www.bvdw.org/ww/de/7_pub/recht/infopoolurheberrecht.cfm
...


Since you are the owner of your work it is up to you (based on the contracts you sign) on how many rights you are willing to give away. If you always give away ALL your rights just be sure to charge enough to compensate for the loss of some maybe exceptional work -- Since you will have no chance to use it any further.

That's about it.
Regards, Christian.

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 01:13 PM
Well, in that case make better contracts
But that practice should be outlawed..
it's, it's, it's just plain wrong.
No, it isn't, because it gives artists a chance to make a living.
Then again, if you see youself as more of a craftsman (which is o.k., so do I sometimes) it is a different situation. But, after all, we produce immaterial goods, and the only claim we have to them is the copyright. And nothing can be ripped off as easily as that.

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-14-2005, 01:20 PM
If you always give away ALL your rights just be sure to charge enough to compensate for the loss of some maybe exceptional work -- Since you will have no chance to use it any further.

EXACTLY and CORRECTOMUNDO !!!!!

Finally the correct answer !!!

Pay once !! not each usage.


Take the example of SONY above

Even if I do it for 50,000 and Lightwolf does it for 40,000

the better buisness deal is the 50,000, because SONY will have to pay an extra amount that brings it over 50,000 in the long run after usage fees.

I would work with a company that charges more up front but is the FINAL cost than one that is cheaper up front but charges for everytime I decide to use the product again and again.


Thank you HEXA

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 01:21 PM
For some german information take a look at:

http://www.bvdw.org

Except that this bunch goes way over the top in many ways (restricting the rights for personal coppies for example), and supports software patents, which is enough of a reason for me to boycott them...
Call them a lobbyist group for large media corps if you want ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 01:23 PM
I would work with a company that charges more up front but is the FINAL cost than one that is cheaper up front but charges for everytime I decide to use the product again and again.
Not if you don't have the budget for a buyout (which is the case in 99% of the jobs we do for customers).

Cheers,
Mike

Hexa
03-14-2005, 01:36 PM
Finally the correct answer !!!

Now I feel like having taken part in some quiz. :p

You know though, that there is no way to talk a customer into buying 'the all or nothing thing' for zillion of bucks if they just want a simple render .... ?!?


Except that this bunch goes way over the top in many ways (restricting the rights for personal coppies for example), and supports software patents, which is enough of a reason for me to boycott them ... Call them a lobbyist group for large media corps if you want

I don't like them either and am actually not a member. I've even been to bruessel to help put some pressure on this whole software-patent issue (which btw. is a disaster--and another story). Still, they do have a few ressources (see above links) that will help building/understanding the basics. Since those are free, I use them.

BTW:
To support a statement against software-patents in Europe go here: http://swpat.ffii.org/

prospector
03-14-2005, 02:30 PM
Now I feel like having taken part in some quiz.
And you didn't feel a bit of pain, hu. :)

UnCommonGrafx
03-14-2005, 02:40 PM
Prospector,
Are you getting the money for this?? :confused:

Seems like the focus went to you somewhere along the way and I want to make sure I truly am confused...





chuckle

radams
03-14-2005, 03:13 PM
Wow, I'm coming in late to this fun fest..

I don't know how old some of you are but if you've worked in the production business for any length of time you know that there are buy outs and usage contracts...ownership is something that is given to the creaters unless they willingly give that up thru buy outs...Now there are many services that can be considered buyouts...and then the artist (who created it) has to either in the contract be allowed to use and show their work or get permission from the client who consigned the work...but otherwise GENERALLY the creator is the owner not the user. And they spell out the conditions on what and how their creation can be used...or additional fees to use for other presentations...

How many remember the drop fees for just dropping the needle on to a record?

The reality is that many think that because they paid for something to be created that they own the creation...they just have the use of that creation...

Unfortunately too many times those uses are abused and the creator sees little to nothing for their creation.

It is VERY difficult to keep track of uses and frequency and unless you pay some other group or company to do it for you and of course pay them then it is very hard to keep records and accounting straight. Even then if it the creation is used and abused you have to go to court and prove all of this along with losses and motives (very tough to do).

So many companies allow for buyouts to just stay out of that whole mess..thou normally keep the rights (by contract to use their own creations for self promotion, etc...as well as some artisitc and intelectual properties rights of the design thou ownership will be given to the contracting cleint.


These practices are basic and have been around since almost the beginning of the production business. It is up to you to enter into contract that are buy outs or usage/time limited.

Don't get pissed off, read the contract or ask the right questions before getting involved with anything.

If you hate usaged fess then don't hire those who do...but don't get angry that an artist wants to keep ownership of their creations, be it on the web or not ;)

Hey, I once had a client ask for a demo on a design (we had a contract) and quote to do the work....they then took my demo and design to another company and asked them if the could to it cheaper...and I got to see my original design (badly) implemented. I forced both the client and the other production company to pay me for my design and fees along with other court related costs. I also told the other company that stealing another companies design is a no no...

Also the spot was pulled.

So please Don't talk about copyrights as something trivial!

Cheers,

RonB
03-14-2005, 03:20 PM
So, how many here depend on this for their livelihood? I mean, depend on the computer art they produce to pay all the bills? No trust funds, being in school, living at the parent's, working at KMart part time, or getting financial support from anything other than your art? Just curious, I depend on this for everything, paying the house mortgage and all other bills, and have for going on ten years now. At this point in the thread it might be interesting to know.

prospector
03-14-2005, 03:31 PM
Are you getting the money for this??

Seems like the focus went to you somewhere along the way and I want to make sure I truly am confused...

Not that I know of :D

I think it went to me because I seem to be on the side of the consumer on this one and not buisness. I know..strange hu, that I an not on buisnesses side here.


but don't get angry that an artist wants to keep ownership of their creations, be it on the web or not
Did I seem angry somewhere? didn't mean to be.... well cept where lawyers started to creep into the thread :D


So, how many here depend on this for their livelihood?Me

Lightwolf
03-14-2005, 03:49 PM
So, how many here depend on this for their livelihood?
Me, 10 years and counting...

Cheers,
Mike

Hexa
03-14-2005, 04:05 PM
So, how many here depend on this for their livelihood?

Me. 3 years part-time, 5 years fulltime.

Psyhke
03-14-2005, 07:13 PM
Interesting discussion. I'm not on either "side", because I think all the debate taking place is really just a wraith for defining that gray area between work-for-hire, and contracting an individual (or company) to create a unique intellectual property for a specified purpose. I don't think anyone would say that there are not correct circumstances for both approaches.

Example of a circumstance where it seems reasonable for an artist to request retaining ultimate ownership of a product:

An established, top-selling author writes a novel, and gives a publishing company the rights to distribute the book worldwide, but does NOT give them carte blanche to make a trilogy of movies from it, or manufacture and sell action figures based on characters in the book, or create and sell a video game based on the book.

Example of a circumstance where it seems unreasonable (to me personally) to request retaining on-going ownership rights to a product:

An auto manufacturer wants an illustrated version of a test-dummy for use, at least initially, in various documentation and marketing materials and provides you with a reference photo of one of their test-dummies. Now you could say well, I'll do it, but if you place it in corporate videos I need to see some more cash. Well, if I work at the auto manufacturerer I would say no thanks, I'll find someone else. You are illustrating a product that you didn't design in the first place, and I know I can pay someone a very fair price for their labor to create this for me. Fair enough. They don' t need Michaelangelo.

To me it comes down to how unique the product you are creating really is. Is it a product that you providie unique input and creativity into, or is it something that's really much more of a commodity.

In between is a lot of gray area.

:cool:

ravantra
03-15-2005, 09:28 AM
21 years in this business and 14 of those using a computer.

toonafish
03-15-2005, 11:14 AM
Interesting read this thread.

I can see where you're coming from prospector, and it would be great if it could work like this. But I don't think you can stick to the idea of never charging clients after you made a deal with them. All your clients would have to pay a full sellout fee and most clients don't need this. So you'd have to overcharge most of your clients, which is not a smart way of doing business and it's also not in the consumers interest bacause if everyone would do this nobody could afford any DVD or Software package.

Besides, a client might initialy think he only wants to use a character you created for something like local TV and pay for that. But if they change their mind afterwards and want to go worldwide and make a movie with you character design they wouldn't have to pay you anything if you stick to your 'You Buy = You Own" no matter what policy.

That wouldn't be fair to the client that tells you up front he wants to use your work worldwide for all kinds of media and does have to pay for the full sellout.

So in the end all your clients will tell you it's just a present for their granny to hang on the wall, pay you ten bucks and use it for whatever they want because they read your cool slogan saying 'You Buy = You Own".

prospector
03-15-2005, 01:24 PM
Besides, a client might initialy think he only wants to use a character you created for something like local TV and pay for that. But if they change their mind afterwards and want to go worldwide and make a movie with you character design they wouldn't have to pay you anything if you stick to your 'You Buy = You Own" no matter what policy.

Since '92 when I got my first Toaster/Flyer, it has never been an issue, They've just paid for the job and whatever they do after has always been thier buisness as far as I was concerned. Tho I,ve never stipulated it in contract it was always taken as a given to me. They pay, they get. Never thought of it one way or another and it has never bothered me one way or another.
So I guess it will have to be stipulated from now on and also it can become a good marketing tool by doing so I guess.
1 Low price gets it all.

I just did a job for someone on this board, it took a total of probably 5 hours to model and texture. I didn't stipulate what it's use was for or put any restrictions on it, the thought never entered my mind. I hope he made a BIG profit on it, because I gave him a really good price, I know it will be used in publications, maby other media too and I hope it does (kinda nice to see work go all over the place), did he put restrictions on it? Dunno, I hope not, but if he did I wouldn't be mad.
I just feel down to the marrow of my bones that once I pay for something it's mine, lock stock and barrel.
And that's the way I treat everyone else.

All your clients would have to pay a full sellout fee and most clients don't need this.
But I don't have this kind of problem as I don't structure payment in such a fashion.
I charge for modeling, texturing if needed, and an animation in whatever form they want, figure the hours, so much per hour, and that's the final price. (notice the word FINAL), there aren't any ballpark figures or other charges.
It's up to me to corectly do the math so I come out ahead but once in awhile, something takes longer than expected and I don't charge for that, it was my bad in figuring out a price and customer shouldn't have to be penalized for my mistake.

Lightwolf
03-15-2005, 01:58 PM
I just feel down to the marrow of my bones that once I pay for something it's mine, lock stock and barrel.
Well, as long as you still read the small print when you buy something and are aware of the laws it should be o.k. I guess.

Cheers,
Mike

toonafish
03-15-2005, 05:25 PM
But I don't have this kind of problem as I don't structure payment in such a fashion.
I charge for modeling, texturing if needed, and an animation in whatever form they want, figure the hours, so much per hour, and that's the final price. (notice the word FINAL), there aren't any ballpark figures or other charges.

I work in the same fashion for most of the smaller stuff. And most of the work I do is like that. But with work like my characters and certain clients I try to be a little more carefull. Though I must admit I'm not always as strict as I'd like to be, because some jobs are just to much fun to do and I wouldn't want to scare the client with stuff like this. Though other clients completely understand that they can't use my work as they see fit for what they payed.

But it took me years of hard work to get where I am now, so I would like to pick the fruits from that too. To charge just for the hours of work involved for certain jobs would be silly if someone is gonna make some serious money with it. Of course it's nice to get your work out there, but not if some other guy drives a big car from my ideas and I get peanuts. I'm past the fase where I'm just flattered that people even want to pay me for my work.

So when you make a quote for a client it even doesn't matter who the client is or what it will be used for if you just base the price on the hours of work ?

Lightwolf
03-15-2005, 05:38 PM
But it took me years of hard work to get where I am now, so I would like to pick the fruits from that too. To charge just for the hours of work involved for certain jobs would be silly if someone is gonna make some serious money with it.
Which is a good point, since we don't only charge for out work, but also for the unpaid hours, days, weeks, months and years of work we've put into getting our skills. I'd need to at least triple my day rates if I charged for my knowledge as well ;)

As a side point, I find the larger the customer (especially movie productions and ad agencies), the less of a problem they have with limited usage rights. As a matter of fact, they appreciate it if you point them out. It seems to come across as being more professional (since they are used to working like that anyhow).

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-15-2005, 11:15 PM
So when you make a quote for a client it even doesn't matter who the client is or what it will be used for if you just base the price on the hours of work ?

Correct.
I don't look at who or what they are , I don't really care, just the job.
Someone awhile back in a Video/Toaster magazine said something pretty profound, and went something like this;

If a customer came to me and wanted a ballpark figure for a job he would answer, what ballpark do you want to play in. In words to that effect.

So my answer has always been

I have the major league, the minor league and the little league parks...pick one.
And each is comensurate with the product output tho the product is always just what they ordered.
Most want the major league but can only afford the little league.


since we don't only charge for out work, but also for the unpaid hours, days, weeks, months and years of work we've put into getting our skills.
We do? :)

Exception
03-16-2005, 10:32 AM
So when you make a quote for a client it even doesn't matter who the client is or what it will be used for if you just base the price on the hours of work ?

Correct.
I don't look at who or what they are , I don't really care, just the job.


That means that if someone wants you to do something but cannot afford your full price, and you are not able to reduce your price any further, you are out of solutions. The only thing you can do is just drop your price lower and suffer for it.
If those people nd up making lots of money eventhough they roiginally made you pay by cutting your wages beyond what you could afford to do, you get ziltch.

That is not fair and not social.
You keep on saying that this and that is fair, and its so honest what you do, and so pleasant for your clients and so on.

Well for one you are not being very social to your colleagues in the same trade. Do you realise there is something like a work-ethic? You don't screw over your colleagues, even if you don't know them.

Since I do work with those social laws, I am able to reduce my price further, but not cut off my colleagues, and also have a possible outlook on some higher profit if what I did benefitted the client in an additional way.

But hey, do whatever you must,. Just be aware that advertising with 'one price gets all' is not per se a positive thing. Not for you and not for your client either.

prospector
03-16-2005, 12:14 PM
HU?
can you show me where I said I reduce or don't reduce prices?
I must have missed that.

And buisnesses are in buisness to get more buisness.
So if I drum up NEW buisness or grab someone elses buisness by lower price, better quality or a combination of both, it's just buisness.

I'm sure Ford doesn't care about General Motors or Toyota if some of thier customers switch to Ford products, and would be happy if they do, and are trying to get them to switch at every commercial.

Hersheys chocolate would gladly take all Mars candy customers.

And there's nothing wrong with that.

It's....It's....Capitalism pure and simple. An excellent concept.

Lightwolf
03-16-2005, 12:23 PM
Just be aware that advertising with 'one price gets all' is not per se a positive thing.
Why not? I mean, that is like a one size fits all suit ;) :eek:

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
03-17-2005, 01:12 AM
Prospector,
I was wondering, do you grant your customers exclusive or just unlimited usage rights?

Cheers,
Mike

LFGabel
03-17-2005, 02:51 AM
...by lower price, better quality or a combination of both...
No offense, but *LOL*

Lower price *and* better quality? It must take you ages to complete work...

I think you must know what I'm refering to here...

Lightwolf
03-17-2005, 02:59 AM
I think you must know what I'm refering to here...
:D Lol, well, I do... and how right it is! :)

Cheers,
Mike

danilo
03-17-2005, 03:02 AM
It's....It's....Capitalism pure and simple. An excellent concept.

15 yrs + I am doing book covers here in the USA (over 1000 of them,so far).
Today,20 % of my income are from copyrights,and is growing.
I like capitalism and those who understand it wrong.
Try to talk abouth copyright in "eaestern block".
d

prospector
03-17-2005, 07:22 AM
do you grant your customers exclusive or just unlimited usage rights?

For whatever they want.


Lower price *and* better quality? It must take you ages to complete work...

There IS a difference
They can want it real fast (just titles and such, no extras)
they can want it good(Thier stuff added to my FX)
OR I do it all

Each costs different (different ballpark)

Try to talk abouth copyright in "eaestern block".
Not talking Copyrights...usage fees.

Lightwolf
03-17-2005, 08:38 AM
do you grant your customers exclusive or just unlimited usage rights?
For whatever they want.

O.k., so if you grant them exclusive rights (or, if they ask for it), you give them all your scene files, objects and images and destroy all copies you still have in your posession or did I misunderstand something?

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-17-2005, 08:52 AM
Ok lets try this

A customer comes in and wants the Letter A in 3D for something (don't matter what, don't care)

I make the A and they pay.
They get the A for any purpose they desire short of saying they made it (lying), and selling anything OTHER than thier original purchased copy.
So if they sell the A, they are out an object and can no longer use it.
But they CAN USE it in print, video, as a dart board, pooper scooper, WITHOUT any EXTRA charge

Hence USAGE FEES...the title of this thread
So if I buy something from you for a print ad and 6 months down the line I want to use it in a TV ad, I would expect NOT to pay EXTRA for something I already paid for.

Usage fees

That does not mean they get copywrite (seems to be a misconception about that here). Just USAGE rights.

Lightwolf
03-17-2005, 08:59 AM
Hence USAGE FEES...the title of this thread
So if I buy something from you for a print ad and 6 months down the line I want to use it in a TV ad, I would expect NOT to pay EXTRA for something I already paid for.

Usage fees
If you say so and we agree on a price no problem. But if we didn't agree on that subject, then you are breaching my copyright.

Easy, it is a matter of agreement.

And if you want it exclusively, you pay more.

Cheers,
Mike

prospector
03-17-2005, 09:10 AM
And if you want it exclusively, you pay more.
EXACTLY !!!
But not AGAIN and AGAIN for each and every project they decide to do at a later date.

But I don't work like that, tho you do and that's fine.

My prices don't go up just because they want to do newspaper ad compared to Magazine ads, or video ads.
Just 1 price that covers the creation, texturing (if wanted), scene (if wanted), and any special FX (if wanted). With each costing more than the preceding.
There is no markup for things that they MIGHT decide to do with it later on down the road.

Lightwolf
03-17-2005, 09:15 AM
And if you want it exclusively, you pay more.
EXACTLY !!!
But not AGAIN and AGAIN for each and every project they decide to do at a later date.
Again: this depends on your agreement with the customer, like just about everything else you do.
And, in your logic, why should a customer pay more to uses something exclusivley? It took you just as long to make...
Cheers,
Mike

LFGabel
03-17-2005, 12:01 PM
I make the A and they pay.
They get the A for any purpose they desire short of saying they made it (lying), and selling anything OTHER than thier original purchased copy.
So if they sell the A, they are out an object and can no longer use it.
But they CAN USE it in print, video, as a dart board, pooper scooper, WITHOUT any EXTRA charge...
I'm going to take the "A" (thanks Prospector, great job, btw), make a keychain fob (via rapid prototyping), make a million copies and retire young.

Thank you, Prospector! :)

George Lucas is the success he is today because of usage fees for the characters for Star Wars. He had the foresight to claim those rights before the first Star Wars hit the theatres, and the studios was dumb enough to say "take them". His movies were successful, but in no was did they make him a multi-millionaire. Usage fees made him a multi-millonaire.

Thankfully he was able to create something once and sell it many, many times.

(does anyone here feel like they're on a merry-go-round and can't get off?)

prospector
03-17-2005, 01:06 PM
I'm going to take the "A" (thanks Prospector, great job, btw), make a keychain fob (via rapid prototyping), make a million copies and retire young.
:eek:
Then I would say....
your welcome, and I hope I could be of assistance in the future.

Just send me a bottle of Coke, I'm thirsty after watching you count your money. ;)

Just don't sell copies of the ORIGINAL in it's electronic form :mad:

handron
03-17-2005, 01:48 PM
I guess I have a lot to learn about copyright/usage fees. I do business like the prospector. Most of my work has been - you pay and it's yours. The price is usually set on what I feel the job is worth. I don't expect another dime from the client. If he made a million than I hope he remembers me for the next job. :D

However, here is the catch for me - how much originality have I put in? This is where things turn gray, meaning that it now depends on the individual situation.

If a client hands me a heavily detailed sketch or whatnot, then I am simply the modeler. In a sense, my 3D model is a derivative of his copyrighted sketch. This is a one price fits all situation.

If a client gives me a very loose sketch or verbal concept, then I charge more for having to include my time for minor design work. He again, can do what he wants with it. After all, it was never my ORIGINAL idea. I just helped him facilitate his.

Now, the biggie. If a client tells me he wants a logo on a shirt for his bowling team that has a big bowling ball intimidating a little one, then he pays for the design time and the use of the illustration for his team only. I retain all the rest of the rights and usage. The difference? I created the "look" of it. The size of the balls, their position, their expression, environment, etc.

Remember this is my "general" guide line and will not fit every situation. I'll cross that bridge when I get there. For me the amount of customer input has a lot of influence on my price and usage rights. Usage fees only matter to me if it is a 100% original creation on my part. I will not hold it against someone for being smarter than me to know how to make a buck off an illustration of somesort.

Image Newtek wanting a royalty off every piece of work derived from their software. :eek:

prospector
03-17-2005, 02:05 PM
If a client gives me a very loose sketch or verbal concept, then I charge more for having to include my time for minor design work.

As do I.

EVERYTHING I do to make the final product is charged for, and I lose no money on my time involved (well unless I undercut myself as in above breakdown) in the project.
And only twice since '92 have I 'lowered' my price and those were for relatives wedding shoots.

For me the amount of customer input has a lot of influence on my price

For me...up to a point with customer input, then I have to start adding a nuisence fee. Usually added to price of something so it doesn't show, but they pay it. :o

Image Newtek wanting a royalty off every piece of work derived from their software
Indeed

handron
03-17-2005, 02:17 PM
The amount of influence that I am referring to is in the initial meeting. After the job is started I charge for changes or revisions but that is a different subject all together. :)

LFGabel
03-17-2005, 02:18 PM
After all, it was never my ORIGINAL idea. I just helped him facilitate his.
You can't protect an idea, only the execution of that idea. Legally you could claim that work as your own... not very ethical, but legal.


Image Newtek wanting a royalty off every piece of work derived from their software. :eek:
That's exactly why software patents are so wrong...

handron
03-18-2005, 11:11 AM
The issue seems to be an understanding of a “Work for Hire”. The definition basically points out that a written agreement is king. Without an agreement the client or the person creating the work can lose their rights in court if the court finds that the work does or does not meet the criteria for a “work for hire”. Here is what I found on the copyright.gov site, note the last sentence is critical:

Statutory Definition
Section 101 of the copyright law defines a “work made for hire” as:
(1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; or
(2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas, if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.

Determining Whether aWork Is Made for Hire

The court held that to determine whether a work is made for hire, one must first ascertain whether the work was prepared by (1) an employee or (2) an independent contractor.

IMPORTANT: The term “employee” here is not really the same as the common understanding of the term; for copyright purposes, it means an employee under the general common law of agency.

If a work is created by an employee, part 1 of the statutory definition applies, and generally the work would be considered a work for hire.

If a work is created by an independent contractor (that is, someone who is not an employee under the general common law of agency), Then the work is a specially ordered or commissioned work, and part 2 of the statutory definition applies.

Employer-Employee Relationship Under Agency Law

To help determine who is an employee, the Supreme Court in CCNV v. Reid identified certain factors that characterize an “employer-employee” relationship as defined by agency law:

1) Control by the employer over the work (e.g., the employer may determine how the work is done, has the work done at the employer’s location, and provides equipment or other means to create work)
2) Control by employer over the employee (e.g., the employer controls the employee’s schedule in creating work, has the right to have the employee perform other assignments, determines the method of payment, and/ or has the right to hire the employee’s assistants)
3) Status and conduct of employer (e.g., the employer is in business to produce such works, provides the employee with benefits, and/or withholds tax from the employee’s payment)

However, since there is no precise standard for determining whether or not a work is made for hire under the first part of the definition, consultation with an attorney for legal advice may be advisable.

Exception
03-21-2005, 06:25 AM
then I have to start adding a nuisence fee.

Thats a good one, I can do with a nuisance fee!
Man, really, some of them lie their whole life story on your desk when they come to discuss a smal thing... sigh.

here this is a fun one:

http://www.clientcopia.com/