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Official ToS Review Post 2018

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.

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.

Community Tags:

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Comments

( 56 comments — Leave a comment )
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celestinaketzia
Oct. 30th, 2018 04:53 pm (UTC)
Edited after receiving private feedback. c:

I'll go ahead and leave mine, as it's very simply but covers a lot of bases. One important spot to note is allowing clients to issue takedown notices against third parties.

http://www.celestinaart.net/terms-of-service.html

Edited at 2018-10-30 06:22 pm (UTC)
rendrassa
Oct. 30th, 2018 05:36 pm (UTC)
I crafted mine after studying AB and getting the general ideas. It's not perfect by any means, but covers what I feel I need. Next revision, I'll probably be stealing a few ideas from celestinaketzia's wonderfully written one. But anyway, here's mine for reference and possible critique:

https://rendrassaart.weebly.com/tos.html
mortymaxwell
Oct. 31st, 2018 03:17 pm (UTC)
Hi, here is some feedback.

-Client does not alter the art without prior permission. (Though this will not cause penalties, it will influence if I choose to take commissions for you again.)
>>>>You say it won't cause penalties. But if you refuse to do business with them again because they edited your artwork without permission, isn't that a penalty?>>>>

Should the client initiate an unsolicited or inappropriate* dispute, claim or charge back either through PayPal, their bank or their credit card, even should the dispute, claim or charge back be decided in my favor and the money returned to me, the client has forfeited all right to display, share or use my artwork.
>>>>I'm not sure how I feel about this one. The client is in the wrong for issuing a charge back. But if you keep their money and go revoke the artwork, then the client has nothing and you have the money and artwork.<<<<

I feel like there is a lot of info in your process section that could be covered elsewhere. For example, this could be discussed under payment or refunds:

>>>You approve the rough sketch and then send me payment.* By waiting until you have approved the rough sketch, we skip some problems with canceling and refund hassles. Payment will be through PayPal only. Choosing to cancel the commission at this time forfeits all rights to the sketch and cannot be posted or displayed. I will have it removed if I find it.>>>>>

Work process section felt like there was a lot of info to absorb and I got lost reading it.
(no subject) - rendrassa - Oct. 31st, 2018 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
slinkslowdown
Oct. 30th, 2018 05:53 pm (UTC)
Would love any tips/advice in regards to mine.

Note: I do not draw, I only work with others' bases and color them/do very small edits. I only use bases which allow commercial use in their ToS.

https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/8191684/
mortymaxwell
Oct. 30th, 2018 05:59 pm (UTC)

"+Full refunds will only be given if work has not been started. If work as been started, only partial refunds will be given"

What happens if you have to cancel due to illness/art block/or real life interfering?

It reads to me like if you cancel for personal reasons you would keep some of the money. And that would discourage me from hiring you.
(no subject) - slinkslowdown - Oct. 30th, 2018 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Oct. 30th, 2018 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
slinkslowdown
Oct. 30th, 2018 07:02 pm (UTC)
Also a more general question that came to mind:

Does anyone have an opinion about where the ToS is hosted? I always worried that mine being an FA journal might come across as kind of unprofessional? Would it be "better" to have it hosted elsewhere? I don't have a website separate from FA, so that's why I've got it in a journal currently.
cknsausage
Oct. 30th, 2018 09:58 pm (UTC)
You could host it on a free website which I've seen a couple of artists do? I've been thinking about doing that so that if any changes are made it's all done in *one* place rather than DA's journal, FA's journal, twitter, whatever places it might be.
(no subject) - snowhawk - Oct. 30th, 2018 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rendrassa - Oct. 31st, 2018 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
alkraas
Oct. 31st, 2018 01:03 am (UTC)
Hello! I actually revised my TOS today before this post got up. A_B has a lot of experienced members and I want to make sure my TOS doesn't show any red flags whatosever. Please tell me what I could improve on or if certain clauses seem weird or not important or something~ Thank you so much!

Here's the link:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-lJ0FPUTk2Tmi0xCQJw0oCg52IoQHfXbI6ebafPvScU/edit?usp=sharing
celestinaketzia
Oct. 31st, 2018 01:14 am (UTC)
Right off the bat "By commissioning me, you automatically agree to the rules below, even if you did not read this document." is unenforcable. Your ToS must be presented to your clients, and while many folks don't do it, the only way for it to truly stand is for your clients to acknowledge they read it.

Your will not draw and will draw contradict each other in terms to the gore. Do you only do barbie doll nudity for gore? May help to clarify! (I do gore myself, so I get all sorts of NSFW requests.)

Definitely outline how many edits or editing sessions you're willing to do. I tell clients to take their time and deliver me a comprehensive list, and we will only have 3 edit sessions. It really curbs nitpicky clients to settle on what changes they'd like to see.


"3. Payment must be sent through in 5 days after the invoice has been sent. If the money has not been sent by then, I will cancel your commission."

This is very good to include!

"5. Every extra character will add up 50% of the original price."
Fellow artist tip! You can consider putting a cap on that or specify after X amount you will charge (higher price). It's to prevent someone from asking for a 10 char commission, and you've got a ton more work to do for far lower than what you should be getting paid.

On 5.1 of your Cancellation section: Make sure to ask them to clearly label what part of the commission someone else has finished. If they did a poor job coloring for example it could be a poor reflection on you!

Your preservation disclaimer is fantastic!
(no subject) - alkraas - Oct. 31st, 2018 10:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Oct. 31st, 2018 11:54 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alkraas - Oct. 31st, 2018 12:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Oct. 31st, 2018 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alkraas - Oct. 31st, 2018 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - alkraas - Oct. 31st, 2018 12:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Takesu_Art
Oct. 31st, 2018 05:36 am (UTC)
Here's mine, there are some good pointers mentioned in op that I will add later. I have trouble with wording and don't want to drag out a point, any help on that would be great.
https://takesu.carrd.co/#tos
ladykuraiart
Oct. 31st, 2018 08:00 pm (UTC)
I've edited this a couple of times in the past, added a few things I noticed on several A-B posts, so I feel like it's quite solid by now, but it can never hurt to have someone look over it!

http://ladykuraiart.weebly.com/terms-of-service.html
mortymaxwell
Oct. 31st, 2018 08:13 pm (UTC)
"To avoid complications please make sure you have enough funds before commissioning me.
I will only refund 85% of the total price if you cancel your commission before I started working on it (15% inconvenience fee)
If you request a refund before I start painting, you will receive 50% of the full price back.
As soon as I start painting there will be NO MORE REFUNDS."
____________________________________________________________
Let me see if I am reading this right.

1. If a client cancels before you have started their commission and no work has been done, you're going to keep some of the money for aggravation and only issue a partial refund?
2. Once you start painting, no refunds, not even partial ones, are available?

Those rules make me extremely uncomfortable, especially the "partial refund due to aggravation" clause. I wouldn't hire someone with rules like that =/

Edited at 2018-10-31 08:23 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - ladykuraiart - Oct. 31st, 2018 08:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Oct. 31st, 2018 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladykuraiart - Oct. 31st, 2018 09:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Nov. 1st, 2018 02:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ladykuraiart - Nov. 1st, 2018 02:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
dergish
Nov. 1st, 2018 02:15 am (UTC)
My fursuit terms:

http://www.corgilope.com/terms--conditions.html

There are some very specific things in there so I just want to make sure everything is clear.
hiddencanaries
Nov. 1st, 2018 03:16 am (UTC)
Here's my TOS!
https://canariesandflowers.weebly.com/tos.html
mortymaxwell
Nov. 1st, 2018 09:09 am (UTC)
Hi, I was wondering:

1) How many edits do you allow before you start charging extra? Is there a cap?
2) What resolution and canvas do you work in?
3) What happens if you have to cancel a commission due to personal reasons (like you get sick)? How would you handle a refund if you are canceling?
4) Your prices mention traditional, although the option is on hold. How would you handle shipping for traditional art? Do you have any shipping policies?

I think there might be some things you could add, but this is pretty good overall.
rendrassa
Nov. 2nd, 2018 04:32 pm (UTC)
ToS question guys. In the case of a split commission, in which two or more people are paying for a single piece (excluding intended situations like YCHs) would it be unethical to put an "inconvenience fee" for dealing with multiple payments or does that toe past the line?
mortymaxwell
Nov. 2nd, 2018 04:39 pm (UTC)
Are these people paying you in installments? i.e. Person A pays $50 from their Paypal account. Person B pays $50 from a separate Paypal account. Person A pays $50. Person B pays $100. Etc.

Or is each separate individual paying in full for their share? i.e. Commission costs $300. Three people are splitting it. Person A sends you $100 from their account, Person B sends you $100, Person C sends you $100.

Also do these people know each other? Since you indicated you are not dealing with a YCH it makes me think we're dealing with a situation where they know each other.

If it were me I would tell them each person has to make payment in full for their share of the commission. No installment plans, because getting multiple payments from multiple people would suck.
And if they knew each other really well, I'd say I prefer they give their parts of the payment to a single person, and that person can send the money.

Edited at 2018-11-02 04:50 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - rendrassa - Nov. 2nd, 2018 06:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Nov. 2nd, 2018 05:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rendrassa - Nov. 2nd, 2018 06:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
sbneko
Nov. 3rd, 2018 01:55 am (UTC)
I'm looking over my own TOS atm and had one question so far;

What's a good way to word this scenario politely, and clearly:
If I have to cancel a commission, I'll refund someone in full. But I did want to add a little "except in this case" part, to explain that if I'm forced to refund someone it will be a partial refund (keeping what I've worked on, like the sketch).

This is for extreme cases. People yelling/being incredibly rude/swearing/insulting you, or cases where you tell someone not to do something multiple times and they continue to do so. For example, messaging much too often after being told not to, continuing to ask inappropriate questions after being told to stop, etc.

I want to protect myself in those cases, but also make sure the average person reading my TOS understands that they aren't that person. If it's worded badly, you may think the artist could think you're being rude for no reason and cancel on you.
rendrassa
Nov. 3rd, 2018 06:30 am (UTC)
Uh, something about "excessive levels of abuse toward the artist"? And then outline those extreme cases?
ScarletSpectrum
Nov. 3rd, 2018 07:19 pm (UTC)
Mine
Thank god for this because I have no idea of my TOS is “good” or not or if I’m doing something wrong. Here it is:

https://www.scarletspectrum.com/terms-of-service/

What would you suggest to put on my TOS in the event of a chargeback situation? I’m paranoid since it seems a lot of artists are getting scammed due to PayPal protection not covering digital goods. Right now, I still use PayPal but my commissions are set up in a way that all payments (including PayPal) are receiving through my websites checkout, and not a direct invoice to the client.
mortymaxwell
Nov. 3rd, 2018 07:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Mine

1. I noticed your terms of service doesn't cover how many edits a customer is allowed.
2. What happens if someone abandons the commission/stops responding?
3. Will the customer gets a high res file of their completed commission?
4. What is your art process?

I would not hire you with this rule - mortymaxwell - Nov. 3rd, 2018 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: I would not hire you with this rule - mortymaxwell - Nov. 6th, 2018 09:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
ScarletSpectrum
Nov. 6th, 2018 09:41 pm (UTC)
Edits
I left a comment already but i had another question. A few people pointed out that i should specify how many edits the client is allowed, are we talking edits throughout the process, or edits once the artwork is completed? Every once in a while i get an extremely picky client, asking for upwards of 15-20 changes (sometimes adjusting the same thing multiple times) say that it is perfect, and then ask for more changes a day later. As stressful as it is, i was under the impression that it would be bad of me to limit the amount of changes. After all they are paying me and ideally i would want the art to be just how they imagined it. What can i put in my TOS for this kind of situation?
rendrassa
Nov. 7th, 2018 05:20 am (UTC)
Re: Edits
Maybe something like, "Once the client tells me an edit is acceptable, I will consider it correct. If the client then asks the same thing to be edited again, I will consider it a separate edit from the first, deducting from X amount of edits. Edits in excess of X will be denied or fined according to the client's choice."?

EDIT: Sorry mods, I did the bad. >. .

Edited at 2018-11-07 05:21 am (UTC)
peachymars
Nov. 8th, 2018 05:15 pm (UTC)
I was hesitant to show my ToS here because I thought it was pretty solid, but after reading Cel's, I figured I could use feedback.

https://www.peachymars.net/tos.html

Please feel free to point out wording issues (English isn't my first language), contradictions, etc. or anything I should add. I've edited my ToS a lot before, but more won't hurt it.
celestinaketzia
Nov. 9th, 2018 02:08 pm (UTC)
I've read it up and down, but the one thing I am confused on are approval stages/ WIPs.

There's an implication that you have to ask for them as a client, which would imply they're Wing-Its of sorts. Then later your ToS mentions approval stages.

I think taking a moment to outline what your official approval stages are and how many editing sessions they get would be a good idea. Then mention that if they want a WIP outside of those stages they'll have to ask.

Also for your sake, go ahead and remove for what reasons you will refund a client. Just "I reserve the right to cancel and issue a full refund for any reason", because then you just open yourself up to people fighting with you.
(no subject) - peachymars - Nov. 10th, 2018 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(Screened comment)
(no subject) - peachymars - Nov. 10th, 2018 02:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mortymaxwell - Nov. 10th, 2018 09:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - celestinaketzia - Nov. 10th, 2018 01:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peachymars - Nov. 10th, 2018 02:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
alkraas
Nov. 11th, 2018 09:21 pm (UTC)
Physical Art
TOS question: What points should be hit if you're wanting to print out, laminate and ship your art, like badges and stuff.

I'm planning on doing so but I'm clueless on what to put in a TOS for that.

Thank you in advance!!
mortymaxwell
Nov. 12th, 2018 05:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Physical Art
1. whether or not insurance and tracking will be provided

2. what happens if the art gets lost or damaged (will you redo the artwork, do you want to see photos of the damage)

3. how the artwork will be packaged and shipped

4. what happens if the art gets sent back to you (non deliverable)

5. some kind of statement that customers are responsible for providing a valid address and dealing with customs (some customers have refused to pay customs fees or go pick up their packages in the past)

6. maybe some kind of clause that customers are responsible for understanding their customs' laws. (For example: Some countries won't accept plushies.)
RE: Re: Physical Art - alkraas - Nov. 12th, 2018 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
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