View Full Version : Selling publishing rights?

03-14-2005, 08:17 AM
I've been contacted a few times by companies who wish to use some images I've done as cover art for their products.
The problem is, I have no idea how much one can charge for this.
For example, if some hardware company wish to use my image on one of their products?
It's not the full rights to the image they want, just the publishing rights if I understand correctly.

Are there any general guidelines on how much to charge for these kind of things?

03-14-2005, 09:38 AM
I have never done this before but if you go to http://creative.gettyimages.com/source/home/home.aspx

and look around on their site, and see how much people charge for those photos it might give you an idea, I think you will be shocked to know that you could probably get $1,000 or more depending on the lenght they want to use it for. are you good at sales? The company is always going to try and talk you down, so it is better to start above what you would want for it. Show them how much it costs if they were to take an image off of here. and charge them a little less than this site would.

I am not sure if you saw those comericals for that "annoying thing"
some cell phone company paid this guy who made it for his images and sounds and I even think movie. i have no clue how much they paid him but i bet he will be seeing $$ coming in for a few yrs. his website is is www.turboforce3d.com

If you deside to do this I would recomend setting the company up on some type of yearly fee. or per advertisment cost.

I really hope this helped. Please let me know if it did

03-14-2005, 10:59 AM
I come from a publishing background (former magazine art director), and the typical arrangement for providing art is a flat fee for one-time use, with the fee paid usually dependant on whether it will be run inside or on the cover (more for a cover shot), and by the circulation and life-cycle of the catalog/magazine/whatever. Expect to get more for a catalog cover or major magazine (for example, we used to pay $1,000/cover, $250-500/inside; some magazines pay more, many pay less) than for a literary magazine, which often only pays in contributor copies. Usually magazines have a fixed budget and aren't terribly negotiable on price, although there's nothing to prevent you from trying to negotiate, because if they want the image badly enough you may succeed. You can often get a higher fee for a catalog cover, and these companies also tend to be more willing to negotiate price.

The artist retains the copyright and the right to resell the image unless you negotiate a higher rate for exclusive publishing rights (NEVER transfer your copyright), which is rarely requested. They may ask for exclusive publishing rights for a given period of time, or only want the image if they can have first use, which is standard, understandable, and shouldn't ruffle the artist's feathers.

If the company/publisher wants to reuse the image in/on future products, they pay additional per-use fees. Generally, it's best to clarify all this upfront.

03-15-2005, 03:15 AM
I think the term "cover art" might be missleading here. I think what you mean is if it is a piece of hardware they want box art or package art. Correct? Something that tells you what is inside or perhaps even a part of the logo. Right?

It's funny I just happened to run into some people who design this kind of stuff and they sometimes use out-of-house artists for some clients. They design a lot of wine bottles and package art for various products. In the case of art that is going to be on the packaging, I found out that the art is exlusive one time fee and they don't want it seen elsewhere. Get it? especially if it is part of the Logo. An example would be a wine bottle with the name of the winery and a painting of a vinyard. The artist is contracted to make that painting and ALL rights are signed over.

It's quite different than licencing art that you have already created, for say a magazine cover or for a calendar or a mug, plate any other use that is not exclusive. Get it? Art can be licenced for various markets including gift cards etc. All only exlusive to that market. But in this case the art is to be considered the part of the product recognition which is a whol other ball of wax.

As far as price, they told me it varies from job to job depending on the budget. Anything from say, $200 to $1,000.

If this is the kind of thing you mean when you say hardware company I assume you mean it's for the packaging in which case it's say goodby to the rights in most cases. (Unless they don't want itthat way but that is probably not the case)

For all other cases it is of course foolish to hand over the rights. There is a big difference between publishing rights and work for comercial use which usually comes under the work for hire clause of the copyright law I expect but there may be legal categories I am not aware of.

If this is not what you are talkiong about, clue me in.


03-15-2005, 04:30 AM
Thanks for all the input.
They dont want the full rights, and it's a piece of art I've already created, and if I understand it correctly they just want to use it as decoration on the box, sort of.
I'm giving them a number that seems fair enough for me, and give them the rights to use the image on one product alone, and only on the box.
If they want to use it on more than one product, or in some other way besides the box, I said it will be an extra charge.