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Please let me know if this is off topic, but I need advice.

So, I am writing my Term of Service. One of the policy is the client must be 18 years or older in order do a commission (Both for adult and non adult theme). I really want to protect myself and client from legal issues. I am considering asking proof of ID, such like a driver license before I can accept thier commission.

My question, is asking proof of ID reasonable? Or will that be a privacy issue? Or am I breaking a fedral or state law that I may not be aware of?



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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 26th, 2018 08:46 pm (UTC)
Commenting specifically on the legality aspect, I believe it's going to vary state by state. However, we've put out a call on Twitter on where to begin looking up if what you're looking to do is legal.

From the limited information I've found some states allow it, but the customer is still allowed to decline.

Edit: Of course there's also a big difference in being shown an ID at a convention, and asking a client to take a picture of their's and send it. How would that work in terms of privacy?

Edited at 2018-11-26 08:47 pm (UTC)
Nov. 26th, 2018 08:52 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't it also vary by country? Or does this only affect the person asking FOR the ID and not the person SHOWING the ID? 'Cause personally speaking, I've had commissioners from loads of different countries, not just the US.
Nov. 26th, 2018 08:56 pm (UTC)
We got a response, so it looks like anyone looking to do this would best consult with a local attorney.

Business wise I can't imagine a lot of folks are willing to give their ID over even if they are of legal age.
Nov. 26th, 2018 09:06 pm (UTC)
Yeah personally I would never give a picture of my ID to any artist I was buying from.
Nov. 26th, 2018 09:14 pm (UTC)
Right. I would be too be hesitant to send a picture ID. I really want something to work out for the both of us, legal wise.

It is much different than asking an alcoholic purchase through the store for example.
Nov. 26th, 2018 08:55 pm (UTC)
I don't know how related this is, but I used to work for the MMO/Gaming company Funcom. And if an account became compromised, we would ask that they send in a picture of their "government issued ID" to prove their identity. And as far as I was aware, this was perfectly legal to do so.
Nov. 26th, 2018 09:22 pm (UTC)
Norwegian have different privacy laws than here in United States.
Nov. 26th, 2018 09:23 pm (UTC)
Maybe, but our office was in Durham, NC and that's where all the customer support was located.
Nov. 26th, 2018 09:07 pm (UTC)
My boyfriend, who works for security, suggest to send a google doc that require the person to check the box saying that the person is 18 years or older.

I don’t how much legal protection it would give me as an artist. But it would give the privacy protection for the client.
Nov. 26th, 2018 11:52 pm (UTC)
It depends on what you're trying to prevent.

If you're trying to prevent a minor from using an adult's Paypal account/ credit card and filing a fraudulent chargeback, then this won't stop that. It's still fraud, and the rightful account owner will get their money back. There is no fighting that, and Paypal may set you even and eat the loss. It's a gamble.

If you're trying to prevent your local authorities from taking action against you for selling nsfw material to a minor, then this is highly dependent on where you are. Where I live if a minor claims to be an adult and purchases adult material, then I can't be held liable. That is not the same for everywhere else.
Nov. 26th, 2018 09:13 pm (UTC)
I can't comment on the legality but it is a rare thing to ask for and will definitely cost you customers. With all the identity theft issues in the news the idea of sending an image of my ID to a stranger is not something I'm willing to do.

It also won't help with the primary source of trouble -- kids using parental accounts. They can take the ID just as easily as the credit card. Since you don't have anything to compare it to how would it prove the person you are talking to is the person on the ID?
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Nov. 27th, 2018 09:46 pm (UTC)
I don't know about the legality of keeping a photographic copy of someone's legal ID, but I can tell you that I will never commission an artist with this policy, and I'm far from the only one. One: it's too much of a hassle to scan my ID and send it, all for something valued at around $40-70, and two: I don't trust some stranger sitting at home behind a computer screen with my personal info. I also know that, if you were to hypothetically accept IDs for commissions, you'd need a Privacy Policy to declare your confidential treatment of somebody else's info, for which you'd likely need a lawyer to come up with.

Using a notarized contract would theoretically be foolproof, but asking commissioners to print out your ToS, visit a local notary, pay a fee to get it signed, scan it and then send it to you would inflict massive collateral damage to your potential clientele. While I can't recommend notarized contracts enough for fursuits, requiring them to purchase a $50 piece of artwork is just not practical.

Lastly, I'd just like to say you don't need to refuse underage commissioners at all. While a minor may void non-essential contracts they enter into on their own, that doesn't mean they legally have carte blanche to commit fraud against artists. Nor are you going to sue in small claims court over this. Whether a legal adult or some kid decides to chargeback you after you finished a commission for them, it doesn't matter if you're "legally protected" since you're going to be solving these problems through PayPal's dispute system anyway (as garbage as it may be towards sellers of digital goods), and not through actual legal action. I'd still advise doing your due diligence to check a customer's age in case they're ordering NSFW art or something else that's questionable, and, in the case of a minor ordering the perfectly fine-and-dandy SFW variety, getting them to provide the email address of a parent, sending your TOS to that address, and getting the green light from the parent, just so you do have proof that they're using money they're allowed to use, and an adult is aware and accepting responsibility of what their kid is getting into. This will greatly improve your chances at getting a dispute resolved in your favor.
Nov. 28th, 2018 01:11 am (UTC)
anyone who uses a bank can have documents notarized at that bank for free - I've done it several times. You can always only require a notarized contract only for commissions over a certain amount, like $30.
Nov. 28th, 2018 03:12 am (UTC)
I absolutely would never commission someone who asked for an ID, or any type of legal document from me. I just state you must be over 18 to buy from me.

I just have it in my TOS that people must be over 18 to buy. If they lie to get around that, thats on them.
Nov. 29th, 2018 03:55 am (UTC)
Better to just have an area where they sign stating that they are 18 and over and if you get in trouble, you can show that they signed. Way better than asking for an ID since written is binding and will save you as well as not worrying about security and privacy.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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