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Official ToS Review Post

For an artist, be you a hobbyist or pro; it is positively critical to have a good, solid Terms of Service (T.O.S.). One that includes both your rights as the artist and the customer's rights in relation to your services. Not only does this educate your customers on how the process works and what to expect from it, but it protects both of you in case something goes wrong.

In our first official T.O.S. discussion post, we discussed what to include in a Terms of Service, what constituted good terms, and what were questionable, shady, or downright illegal terms.

Now, once again; here's your chance to post your T.O.S. for critique. Don't know how to word a particular point you're trying to convey? Want to make sure your T.O.S. is fair for you and your customers? Need to make sure you didn't leave any gigantic loopholes? Link your T.O.S. here, and members can give you their advice.

This post can also be used to discuss any other questions that you have on your mind regarding how to build a T.O.S., maintain a good T.O.S. and how to make sure your clients read and agree to your T.O.S.

Before you post, please read through the previous T.O.S. discussions; apply what you learn there to your T.O.S., and then link your revised T.O.S. here for help polishing up.

Please do not post a half-finished T.O.S. and ask folks to rewrite it for you. Be prepared for honest critique!
[Click here for a run down on what to include.]A good 'break down' for a T.O.S.:
Intro
Artist's Rights
-Payment
-Process
-Preferences
-Publishing
Client's Rights
-Fixes/Redraws
-Publishing
-Behavior
Communication
Refunds
Shipping & Handling

-When it comes to an artist's preferences for what they will or will not draw; simple is often better. You -may- list what you are not willing to draw, but it can get lengthy. If you're not willing to list, or find your list getting longer than your own T.O.S.; but do not might getting ideas pitched at you to pick from, a good solid "Commission themes are to be approved at artist's discretion at all times. Artist reserves the right to decline any commission, without reason." will help you out.

-When talking payment, the community majority is in favor of using Paypal INVOICES. Invoices give the artist control over how much money they're getting, when they get it, and the content of the invoice (in case you're afraid of what a client may write in your place).

-Fixes/Redraws need to have a firm hard limit set to them, as well as some suggestions to go along with them. Detail WHAT part of the process a client may (or may not) ask for fixes on, how many they get and if they go over that limit; what you will charge additionally for it. Also suggest the client wait a minimum of 24-48 hours (if you can afford that wait) to really find out what they want fixed or what they can live with, to the satisfaction of you and themselves.

-Tell your clients in the T.O.S. what you will not tolerate from them from the get-go. If you do not appreciate sexual advances/role-play/commentary; state it in the T.O.S. that you don't play those games and such behavior will not be tolerated during the commission process.

-Communication: State to potential clients how often you'll be in contact with them, or your comfort level in them contacting you for status updates, or where to look for updates if you use a service like Trello or keep a queue maintained on your blog/art site/etc.

-Remind your clients of your rights as the artist, that you own the artwork created due to copyright law. You have full publication/printing rights, but will out of respect to them ask if you can print their commissions for other purposes. If you give re-posting rights to your clients; state here and now where they can or cannot post to, if they have to use a watermarked copy you provide, etc.
-PRIVACY: State your policies (and applicable fees) on privacy of commissions, if you require permissions of secondary characters involved in said private commissions and the possible longevity of how long a private commission may stay private.

-Include refunding options, when a client is a allowed to back out, deposit fees (if building tangible art), etc. Just don't say 'no refunds, what so ever'.


Remember; the tips in the above cut are only the tip of the iceberg for a T.O.S. they're there to get your brain going on what to do. The Mods or even long time comm members will be absolutely glad to offer their two-cents on any other questions or topics you have come to mind, on top of the critique.

If you feel your T.O.S. is quite solid feel free to post it so others can use it as an example.

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Comments

( 61 comments — Leave a comment )
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celestinaketzia
Mar. 8th, 2015 09:47 pm (UTC)
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1STb5vcRRA8W4psK98aiuXaoNn8ziomhXdfmugCLWcW8/pub

Going to offer mine up as an example. It's been kicked around over the years, but has pretty much stayed the same.

Of course if you have any suggestions/ tweaks I'd be happy to hear!
kjorteo
Mar. 8th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)
Hooray! My girlfriend is just starting to get into taking commissions, with me as her agent/manager/person you talk to if you want art from her. We are both very excited to get going with this! Provided the TOS looks okay, of course. :3

https://docs.google.com/document/d/13nFLkx9OoxdpYDMEpSjq0W-sIBkwQ7onhZMEpemNVCc/
mortymaxwell
Mar. 9th, 2015 12:21 am (UTC)
"I can cancel commissions (with partial refunds given for work not yet completed)" made me raise my eyebrows, because it's unclear what is causing the artist to cancel. Is the artist canceling because the customer harassed or abused the artist? Or is it because the artist just doesn't feel like doing the customer's commission?

I have seen TOS where it sounds like the artist will keep a portion of the customer's money if they cancel for personal reasons, and those are artists I avoid.
(no subject) - kjorteo - Mar. 9th, 2015 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekchan - Mar. 9th, 2015 01:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kjorteo - Mar. 9th, 2015 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Mar. 9th, 2015 01:13 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kjorteo - Mar. 9th, 2015 01:15 am (UTC) - Expand
false_prophet
Mar. 8th, 2015 10:34 pm (UTC)
http://pastebin.com/BuqPzmBN

welcoming any sort of critique.
gokai_chibi
Mar. 13th, 2015 03:31 am (UTC)
Is this the same way you show your commissioners? The small text and lack of line spacing made me instantly not want to read it.
(no subject) - false_prophet - Mar. 13th, 2015 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gokai_chibi - Mar. 13th, 2015 12:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - false_prophet - Mar. 13th, 2015 12:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - gokai_chibi - Mar. 13th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Mar. 13th, 2015 12:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - false_prophet - Mar. 13th, 2015 12:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - false_prophet - Mar. 13th, 2015 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
arikla
Mar. 8th, 2015 10:35 pm (UTC)
While I have whittled on this for years and used many of the things that have happened here as foundation, I would love critique as tehre is always room to improve :)

http://www.arikla.com/comtrds.html
blekarotva
Mar. 8th, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC)
http://valentinapaz.com/tos/
I've been using this since last year, but I'd like to know if I'm missing anything or if there's something that seems unfair.
Some of my process stages have changed and I need to review/rewrite some parts, and before getting to it it'd be great to have a little feedback.
Thanks in advance!
orangemonsterco
Mar. 9th, 2015 12:03 am (UTC)
I actually got some good ideas from your communications section. I hadn't thought to add that and have had some issues with it before. Thank you!
(no subject) - blekarotva - Mar. 9th, 2015 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - orangemonsterco - Mar. 9th, 2015 12:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - starcharmer - Mar. 9th, 2015 04:05 am (UTC) - Expand
fayv
Mar. 8th, 2015 11:39 pm (UTC)
This is my current one, any suggestions are of course welcome. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YnNWR-Vj7Ef7tKgXcuAaVuPyg-7R2V6nmRXojuEogFs/edit?usp=sharing

edit: it is a combination tos/ prices page. the TOS is at the end.

Edited at 2015-03-08 11:40 pm (UTC)
orangemonsterco
Mar. 8th, 2015 11:44 pm (UTC)
I don't think mine has changed since the last TOS qritique post but here goes.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VjevGk78uHOned6mDsbcNTFziDvEvN0mPeTEJEGw2BA/edit?usp=sharing

I was just pondering making a TOS for sketch streams to send to people but wasn't sure what was necessary on it. I also have agree or disagree as a mandatory button on my form here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dpJOYFIWyoQQaRVMZeCIH2qw4GtsXR6A0bqVMoMulYE/viewform
growly
Mar. 9th, 2015 12:11 am (UTC)
I like to think mine is pretty solid: http://growly.livejournal.com/1289297.html
lem0ntrees
Mar. 9th, 2015 12:50 am (UTC)
Here is mine! I think it is pretty good, but it has been awhile since anyone looked it over.
sirmeo
Mar. 9th, 2015 01:08 am (UTC)
Here is mine: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1TaIBuv3ulxSZhQnm5Aon1kfdRtmcn0VG7zab3npka2Q/edit

Apart from the loophole/things I've missed, I'm also interested in hearing about its readability; I'm not a native English speaker and I do have a nasty tendency to use syntax from my native language, and make long, run on sentences, which can be confusing.
ramthedragon
Mar. 9th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
The readability is very good and clear!
aerospiritual
Mar. 9th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
I could really use some feedback on mine!
http://glennoar.xepher.net/portfolio/commission_terms.html
mortymaxwell
Mar. 9th, 2015 01:26 am (UTC)
Not quite sure what you mean by the wording of this. I found it confusing.

"The client agrees to grant me temporary permission to illustrate their character/intellectual property. These rights will be revoked upon completion or termination of the transaction."
poking my nose in here - starcharmer - Mar. 9th, 2015 04:03 am (UTC) - Expand
sacch
Mar. 9th, 2015 01:23 am (UTC)
Here is mine: http://kasune.weebly.com/terms-of-service.html

Open to feedback/critique if necessary. Thanks in advance.
mortymaxwell
Mar. 9th, 2015 10:56 am (UTC)
The TOS looks good. The presentation/layout, though, was hard on my eyes to read and I had to stop several times to re-read.
(no subject) - sacch - Mar. 9th, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
whoop_zi
Mar. 9th, 2015 01:31 am (UTC)
here's my TOS! https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/5073037/
it's pretty simple i guess; i do mostly icons and smaller commissions these days so i've trimmed it down a bit. at some point i ought to make it a google doc too instead of an FA journal. 6n9 i'm open to suggestions!

i have a FAQ too but it's separate from my TOS because i didn't want them to be too wordy, but maybe i'll merge them at some point.
https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/6437466/

Edited at 2015-03-09 01:36 am (UTC)
starcharmer
Mar. 9th, 2015 03:41 am (UTC)
If someone could take a look at mine, I'd be grateful. I think I have everything covered, but I feel like it's too wordy. Should I try to condense it? I tend to overexplain things for fear that something will be misunderstood. I go back every few months and change wording a bit. If I add any new policies or change something in a big way, I notify people.

I did try to separate stuff with bullet points so it's more readable/less of a wall of text, but I don't know if that's good enough. So far no one's complained about it, but I worry that if it's too long/wordy, people will skim or not read it. Also that if there is a language barrier, it might not be well understood anyway.

[I do always add a "have you read and do you accept my ToS?" question at the end of the forms I create with a link to the ToS itself. People cannot submit forms to me if they don't check yes.

I also have the disclaimer "If you send payment, you are agreeing to my ToS. Please email me if you need a copy." in my PayPal invoice comment in case I take commissions without accepting forms first.]
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