I'm sure this has been asked elsewhere, but I didn't see it anywhere while browsing through. I recently received a commission for work. But there's a catch, of course. The contract I'm suppose to sign states that I will be giving up ALL rights to my work. Obviously, this is not acceptable. Particularly since the payment is very low. What is the standard in freelance contract work pertaining to rights? Thanks!
Sorry, guys. It's only the first sticky in this section that details contracts! I feel dumb.
Still, any thoughts/suggestions are welcome!
On a personal level, I would not agree to that unless conpensated for those rights. Most small employers have no idea what legalities they need to purchase, so they just try to take them all.
Explain to your client that s/he cannot afford "all rights" but "licensing" would offer them exactly what they are looking for (IE license an image for the first print run of a book in N.America. If reuse is needed, obviously the client would be in a better funding place and can afford to pay you for additional licensing). Word it so that they will feel you are looking out for their interests and budget.
If they don't agree to licensing and you do give rights away, at the very least, you should get it in writing your ability to use it as self promotion. I know that seems a given, but don't assume so. You could get burned.
"The freelance artist reserves the right to the the images for self promotion purposes only and for display in personal portfolio"
Opinions and critiques always welcomed!
Thanks for the helpful comments and suggestions. There's no way I'm agreeing to full rights. Especially since I'm only going to make $20 on the final piece. I'm actually thinking about not even wasting time on it, except it would give me another thing to put on my resume. Anyway, thanks for all the support and help.
By the way, IcyM, I love your avatar. I miss the Thundercats alot. It was such a great show!
If you're looking for a job, all rights would normally go to the employer. If you are a freelancer, quoting on a project, you should have your own contracts...
However, many times, the transfer of all copyrights is compensated with at 100-250% of the original production cost. If you were to get $20 for it, that would come to $40-$70.
For future questions, you can find lots of information from the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. The public library usually has a copy, and alternately, can be purchased at www.gag.org.
If they're trying to screw you, do this. Take the pay and get a percentage kick back for back end work so at least you'll get some kind of residual for sale (or multiple sale) of that work..
Now the only time I've heard of someone asking for 'complete' reneg of rights is if the project is going to be photographed in some fashion which at that point they would have to protect themselves from harm. A CYA if you will.
Since I don't know what exactly you're doing and please be careful when talking about your project in any depth here. Because if you signed an NDA prior to getting the contract, then anything you type here can be used against you as 'breach' of NDA if it's worded in such a fashion.
That said. I don't know what you're doing. If I had a better idea, I might be able to give you some better but before you write anything else, check the NDA (assuming of course there is one).
Thanks for the replies. When I (politely) requested changes to the contract to reflect a more standard agreement, the offer for work was retracted. No big deal, really, since I only stood to make $20.
Well, their loss. They won't get any competent artist to release all rights for $20 dollars.
We hope you don't feel bad LightsFromTheDeep. We like what Dweller said.