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how to sell rights to a picture...?

First off, I'm really sorry if this kind of thing has been posted before! I did a quick search and didn't find anything, so I hope I'm not repeating anything.

So, I was recently approached by the owner of a nightclub regarding a picture of mine I did a few years ago of a personal character. He wants to buy the rights of the picture so he can turn it into a large sign for the club to be displayed out on the wall of the entrance. I checked everything out and it is legit (he sent pictures and I found the club website, and the nightclub is snazzy as all heck!!). The picture itself is completely white/red/black, like a vector image, and would probably be fairly easy to reproduce. I'm totally up for this idea, and I'm quite excited about it, but I haven't the slightest of how to go about selling him this. What kind of things should I ask? Anything I should expect? How much should I ask for or expect for an offer? :C I am so lost! Any and all advice would be super helpful!

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
Well, first I'd ask how much is he going to use the pic. Like if he wants it just for that one sign, I don't know if you should sell the rights or just ask for one time publishing payment, or if he's going to re-use it for several things aside that sign like cards, posters etc.

Usually when selling rights you go for big numbers, several thousands and so on since they have the right to use it as much as they want then.
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:07 am (UTC)
*blink* Maybe I'm inexperienced here, but I wouldn't say several thousand. Not unless you're selling to a massive corporation that's going to reproduce it on a billion brochures or a few hundred billboards or something like that. Several hundred yes, and certainly much more than one charges for art without selling the rights, but not several thousand.
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
That's why I said to ask how much is he going to really use the image. If they are planning to base their future ad campaign on the image the payment should be worth it but if it's just for that single sign...

It all depends on other things too, like how much the original image would cost (for example a teacher of mine got 500€ for an image that was published one time. To buy the rights for that, it would have gone for thousands).
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
I did ask in my last e-mail to him if it was just going to be for the sign or if he wanted to be able to reproduce it for other things, too. I'll edit the post with an update whenever the next e-mail from him comes back.

It's definitely something to keep in mind if it'll be used once or infinitely, but several thousand still seems high for the complete rights (but I might just be inexperienced...I certainly wouldn't be upset at all if I did get that much, lol).
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:35 am (UTC)
If he is going to use it lots more, you might want to consider selling the rights for couple years. I've seen this done more on photo field, that for some price (the general estimates I saw were between 1000 and 4000 dollars but they were just what those peopla had got) the buyer can use the image how he wants for a year or what you agree on and after that if he wants to print more stuff with the image he'll have to buy the rights for another year and so on.

Also remember to ask was sort of rights does he want. I'm not as familiar with non-Finnish rights, but there's usually right where you can use the image but not sell it anymore and right where you can't use the image either.
Aug. 11th, 2010 01:03 pm (UTC)
I'm an illustration student, and in the thousands is actually an accurate number.
Aug. 11th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Several hundred is way, way too low. Thousands is a realistic expectation, especially if there's a royalties agreement for any further use.
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
Contract, contract, contract and make sure to negotiate and explicitly state terms of use. Include in your price the value of the image as if you were to keep it for yourself to use. Ask for royalties or other types of compensation if he plans to use it on promotional/sold items.
Aug. 16th, 2010 02:05 am (UTC)
And even then, expect that he will use your image in ways he has NOT purchased, and will claim ignorance when called on it.

That's why you charge the thousands.
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
You can assume that if he's asking you for the rights, then likely it will be used in banners, promotions, on their ads, pretty much anywhere they'd want to represent the nightclub. If that's the case, I'd recommend you sell it to him for a reasonable amount.

Don't forget, the more it's used, the better it looks for you, as you can still keep this work in your portfolio even after you sell him the rights (unless specifically agreed otherwise). I'd include in the agreement that he credits you when he's asked where the logo came from. You can get a lot of business with this arrangement, not to mention a nightclub owner who would want you to do further work in the future since he's had a positive experience with you.

You might even give him a good discount if he agrees to keep a stack of your business cards on his bar. :)
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:37 am (UTC)
Oh yes, and get the agreement in writing!
Aug. 11th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
Get everything in a legally binding contract! Stuff to keep in mind:
How much it's going to be used, and where.
If it's going to be used in any merch products or anything else that's for sale.
If you're going to be credited as the original artist, and/or get advertised out of it in some way.
Rights to edit and re-sell the art. If you sell the rights to it he'll literally be able to do whatever he likes with it unless anything is specified otherwise in the contract afaik

There are probably other bases to cover but those are the main things off the top of my head to cover in the contract. I hope this transaction goes smoothly for you! Have no idea about the monetary worth of right to art though, I guess it depends on conditions like the type mentioned above in my post.
Aug. 11th, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
I just wanted to add that if I remember correctly, the Graphic Artists Guild Guidebook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines has a form contract in the back of it for rights transfer of an image. It's free to use even if you're not a Guild member, and if you don't already have this book you really should get a copy right now.
Aug. 11th, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, this. This book is invaluable. Also, it is possible for you to retain all copyrights to the image (as you SHOULD), and merely sell them the one-time image use right for just the purpose that they want (a banner outside the club). You can do as you please with the image otherwise.
Aug. 11th, 2010 07:11 pm (UTC)
Complete buyouts like what the club owner is wanting to do isn't that bad, though, and happens all the time. I believe the GAG book says buyouts can be anywhere from 100%-500% the cost of the original image. Then again, given the low prices that tend to abound in furry commissions that may not be that much.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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