Client wants ownership rights for illustrations

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by ChicoWeb, May 21, 2007.

  1. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #1
    One of my top clients wants me to give them some sort of contract which releases our (my design firms) rights of the illustrations and gives it to them. Does anyone see any sort of problems with this? I've always told my clients that they own the artwork we've produced, but it's always just been my word. They are technical illustrations and I don't see any problem with it, but was wondering what your thoughts on the matter are.

    Does anyone know of any websites where I can download such documents or do I have to get them drawn up?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Turkish macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    #2
    Technical drawings?

    Anyway, I've always been of the opinion that one should never give away their copyright to an image, and if you do give exclusive unlimited rights to it, they should pay top dollar for the privelege.
     
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #3
    All of my staff work under contract declaring that they transfer the rights of anything that they produce to my company.

    If you're producing work for a client then yes I think you should sign paperwork if necessary confirming that they will own the rights. Just make sure what they're paying you justifies what you're doing :)
     
  4. decksnap macrumors 68040

    decksnap

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #4
    I don't see a problem with that. Usually the issue lies in design work, where a client really only owns the finished product, and the agency retains ownership of source files. For something like illlustration, client ownership would be typical.

    If you're comfortable with it, do it up.
     
  5. ChicoWeb thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #5
    They are asking me to come up with the document and I have no idea where to get one? Is this something I should have my lawyer draw up just for this specific case?
     
  6. ChicoWeb thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #6
    Yah, like this :)
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    honestly, i enjoy when people talk about the artist/studio retaining the rights to the art they produce for a company. Speaking from the corporate side of that, there is at least 20 legal loop holes to tie that up and force the studio to surrender rights, unless the contract very specifically states that the studio retains all rights to the use of the work, which as an AD I would NEVER sign. I work with several big name artists in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre with my job, two of which are pretty much world reknowned and none of these people retain rights to art produced for my company at my beheast. Plus, and I have seen this first hand, you can possibly "protect" yourself out of work if your legal requirements are too strict.

    Chico, what I would do (and have done, lol) is create a boilerplate contract that you use with everyone and details your rights and theirs. Then you use it with every client you have now and in the future. This protects you and their investment. Have a lawyer go over it and make sure that it is legally sound. Oh, and make sure that in the contract it says that the client will be bound to the laws of your state and make the time limit on it 10 years. If you have an NDA facet of your work, include it in the contract as well, saves on paperwork.
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    OMG It's the new iMac industrial design!!!111!!!

    The thing that you are doing when you turn over source files and rights on the artwork, is you are permitting the client to use somebody else to modify and or repurpose your work. It implies that you don't have a 'lock' on this client's future work. This may not be any issue for you, given the specific and technical nature of the drawings.

    However, a studio doing original creative design often specifies and limits the use of the design in the design contract, and optionally offers a higher, 'buy-out' price on the design/artwork. The thing a designer is worried about here is that they will do a creative work (let's say, a humorous mascot for a product brochure) get paid for that brochure job, and then the client re-use that mascot for television and magazine ads, signs, coffee mugs and a profitable line of plush toys (all contracted out to other firms to produce). The client of course wants to be able to do whatever they want with the art.

    I'm not saying either way is right or wrong, but when there is original creative work involved, there are two types of contracts; specified use and buy-out, and the buy-out is usually more expensive.
     
  9. ChicoWeb thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChicoWeb

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Very interesting points, a few of which I had never thought about.
     
  10. big macrumors 65816

    big

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    #10
    Perfect explination. I just discussed this with a client yesterday, and they were more than happy to surrender the copyright. Most people do not care. Also, I believe by default, if you have someone working for you, producing drawings, since they are an employee, all their work is owned by you/company.
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #11
    Maybe OT, but I dont see how these 4 bolts hold anything?

    Untitled-1.jpg

    Where can they even attach? From this drawing it looks like there is no space for any nut.

    :D

    EDIT: maybe they hold something that moves in the grooved channel?
     
  12. iMeowbot macrumors G3

    iMeowbot

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    #12
    It does look a lot like the 80/20 stuff.
     
  13. G.Kirby macrumors regular

    G.Kirby

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Location:
    Swansea, South Wales
    #13
    Personally I never supply a client with editable files unless it is required by the design brief but then I get them to pay for the © and sign it over to them. Issuing none editable files helps to ensure return work and control of where the illustration is being used. By default you, the illustrator, retain © of all your work unless you either sell the © or have signed an employment contract with a company you work for that stipulates © ownership.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  14. hessdesigns macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    #14
    Although I'm still fairly new to the graphics business, I have kinda assumed that (in general) if you're working for a company (ie, you're on payroll, maybe get benefits, etc), they own the artwork. If you work freelance, you own it, unless they pay for the copyright. Like I said, it's general, but it makes sense to me!
     
  15. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    For basic stuff this is normal, and applicable. But as I mentioned before, there are numerous legal loop holes to get around it. By law a contract for this gives free use for the company, because its illegal to charge someone for a service/item not rendered. In the instance you gave ... Id simple add it to our trademark/registered mark portfolio which trumps your copyright. (This is a big one for people who create logos and the like.)

    IOW, add in a " ... may not trademark, copyright, or otherwise register the artwork without prior written consent of the artist." clause.
     

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