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  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Lightbulb My First Contract - figuring out rights

    I saw the contract questions thread, but I'm going to have a fair bit to figure out so I though I'd do a separate one to save totally hijacking the other. I hope that's alright?

    I've been approached to do some card images and the board background for a hobbyist board game. The client says he's only expecting to sell a handful of copies to other enthusiasts. However I want to cover myself so that I'm fairly paid in the event that it does get picked up by a big publisher or similar.

    My plan is:

    I would retain copyright but sell the rights of reproduction to him for a limited number of copies. If he wishes to print more, he must negotiate a new contract to purchase further rights. If he goes commercial and wants to purchase the rights to make loads and loads of copies, he must negotiate a new contract to purchase those rights, and that will involve a much larger fee or will introduce royalties to our arrangement.

    I'm not going to charge him a large amount initially (as I believe is standard when copyright is transferred) because it's a small hobbyist project that's not immediately going to earn lots of money.


    My questions at the moment are:


    1. Are these terms generally okay? I don't want to set terms that are non-standard within the professional art/design context, because obviously I don't want to either inadvertently lowball him nor get a reputation for being difficult/unusual/etc in my demands.
    2. My understanding is that by retaining copyright, I retain the ultimate control over the reproduction of the images, which is what will enable me to sell further reproduction rights in the future. If I sold him the copyright of the images, then I would lose the ability to set the terms enabling me to negotiate a higher retroactive fee or royalties in the future. Is this correct?



    Thanks heaps for your time.


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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi there

    I really hope you found an answer to your question because I am in the exact same situation! Kind of ..

    I have designed a game and am seeking a legal document for my artists commissions. I plan on the first print of the game is for me personally but I plan to produce more.
    How did you go?

    Regards
    Caitlin

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