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  1. #1
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    Not paid for work :(

    Thought I would post this in the lounge because it might get more traffic...


    Does anyone have any suggestions or insight about what to do when you don't get paid for contract work?

    Myself and several artists have not been paid by a particular studio and would like to know how to proceed. So far it looks like about $6k or more all up that hasn't been paid to anyone..

    Per the contract signed when coming onboard, artists are supposed to be paid for assignments within 60 days of submitting their work/payment vouchers.

    It's been since June now and instead of the lousy excuses about how the money hasn't come in from clients yet - now we have crickets and absolute silence. Shame too, I thought it would have been a great partnership.

    Is there any way to get our money? Or, is there any way to guarantee that this guy doesn't con any future artists??

    I've considered small claims court but not sure that it would be worth it across state lines. I've also emailed the clients directly to see if they will tell me if they've already made payment to the studio..

    Any input/feedback would be much appreciated!!


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  4. #2
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    I'm pretty sure that number bumps it up from small claims court (which has been revamped to be more effective, btw - rulings do get enforced.)

    You guys will have to pay some legal fees, and the first one I suggest is a contract lawyer. If your contracts were written decently, they have a deadline in them. He's defaulted. If there was no contract, I'm pretty sure you have to go through more difficult means - did you keep records of dates, work done, etc? You need proof.

    Unfortunately, there's no way to guarantee this guy won't slime someone else, but putting his balls through the wringer will make him think twice about it.

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  6. #3
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    You may also consider taking him to court for copyright infringement, since the work is still legally yours until the client has paid for the rights to it. Depending on the client and how they've used the work, this can be a very lucrative alternative.

    First though, get in touch with a contract lawyer. If you have a copy of the contract, the lawsuit should be a pretty straight forward matter. You file the suit, wait for a response, file for a court date, appear in court and that should be about it. You may even want to check into your local art galleries and associations, sometimes they help with legal fees and can provide legal assistance in these matters, especially if you live in a major city. Your local chamber of commerce may be able to help too. Better Business Bureau?

    I hope you get your monies... I know it seems like a pain in the ass, but it's just another obstacle re: creative types.

    Best of luck,

    //JB

  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniGoth View Post
    I'm pretty sure that number bumps it up from small claims court (which has been revamped to be more effective, btw - rulings do get enforced.)
    The number quoted appears to be for several artists and therefore is irrelevant to the claim as I presume the OP isn't initiating a group action.

    Re OP: I don't know how small claims works over there (and over here for that matter) but if I were you I'd

    - Email the client and state the facts and refer to your contracted terms.

    - Tell them they have 7 working days to pay in full otherwise you'll start legal action.

    - Inform them that unless payment is made in full they have no right to use your images in any way whatsoever, and if they do so you will initiate further legal action

    - If they haven't paid in full by your deadline start proceedings. It's possible just a formal letter from the court will prompt them to pay but in any event, you need to do this.

    Forget about contacting their clients to see if they've paid the studio, that's not relevant to you getting paid. You are contracted to them - your clients - so forget about how they are obtaining their funds.

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  9. #5
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    Sent you a PM..I'm wondering if I worked with you on the same project.

  10. #6
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    You can all sue separately in Small claims for your specific amounts. Some things to do first check the law for the state the studio is in to find out the maximum for Smal Claims. In CA it is 7500 I think, here in VA it is 5k. Find out where the owners live and get as much info as you can on them. Sue the company and the owners separately. It costs about 100 bucks to do it and have the sheriffs department serve them for a small additional fee.
    Once you sue and they don't pay you can file an abstract of judgement and get a lean on their house so when they sell their property they have to pay you or you can do a till tap if the comapny stays in business. You can update the abstract of judgement every year and add interst to the original amount.

  11. #7
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    I was expecting this thread to be really depressing, it kind of is, but the prospect of bringing the big legal banhammer down on a crappy client is making my heart swell with joy.
    MY WEBSITE: PaintedSky.ca
    MY SKETCHBOOK: Ook's Book - Karyl Craves Your Approval

  12. #8
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    Thanks for the great info and support everyone. I really do appreciate it and it's helped a lot.

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