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As an artist, it is critical to have a good and solid Terms of Service (ToS). One that includes both your rights as the artist and the customer's rights in relation to your transaction. 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 the past we have discussed the elements needed for a successful and readable ToS, and now its time to put them into play once more. Here's your chance to post your ToS for critique for the new year.

Don't know how to word a particular point you're trying to convey? Want to make sure your ToS is fair for you and your customers? Need to make sure you didn't leave any gigantic loopholes? Link your ToS 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 ToS, maintain a good ToS and how to make sure your clients read and agree to your ToS.

Don't forget to visit the ToS tag too, more information there as well. :)

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Comments

( 92 comments — Leave a comment )
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sigilgoat
Jan. 6th, 2013 05:24 am (UTC)
I spoke with the other mods and we think it's also appropriate to post Terms of Service that we feel are successful (Though if anyone sees anything out of place with mine, please let me know!)

My Terms of Service are found here:
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=10Po-vs6KfR3-a4VEOMY-Lm5l2RzYBRO9RNHqonSsygs

And then I also use a Commission Form for the majority of my work, which has a checkbox that customers must click where they agree to my TOS (which is again linked)

You can see that form here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dG5uajdscE1sLWQ1SVZ2RTRkXzRVSEE6MQ#gid=0

I find the Google Docs Form format awesome, but the plain text leaves a bit to be desired. However, I figured it's better to have a plain but easy to read TOS that I can easily edit and control than something on FA/etc where it can be lost.

Please feel free to ask any clarifying questions or bring up anything about my TOS if it looks inappropriate or funky!
haruko_san13
Jan. 6th, 2013 08:07 am (UTC)
Oh wow, that form is amazing! I might have to look into making one of those.
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Jan. 6th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sbneko - Jan. 6th, 2013 09:14 am (UTC) - Expand
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eenyuwolf
Jan. 6th, 2013 05:36 am (UTC)
I've been waiting for one of these posts! I'm not 100% happy with my TOS for fursuit commissions I looked at other fursuit maker's TOS for inspiration for my own but I almost feel like it got too wordy as I was trying to cover everything but I also don't want to intimidate customers with it.

http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/3957401/

I really appreciate any advice!
finnickodair
Jan. 6th, 2013 10:41 am (UTC)
o I hold the right to cancel a commission at any time should I feel the need; refunds will be discussed.

This strikes me the wrong way. I know it's there to give you an out when dealing with 'bad' commissioners, but the fact that it's worded in a way that means you could cancel an order and walk off with the money would stop me commissioning you.

I also realise there are material costs involved in fursuiting, but it seems unfair for your commissioners to to pay that money when you are the one cancelling and then they get left with nothing.

Perhaps, instead, say... their choice of having the materials shipped to them and a refund of [what they've paid - the cost of materials] or a full refund with the understanding that you'll put the materials towards another commission/premade item.

Basically, you just need to make it clearer that if you cancel the commission, the commissioner isn't going to be losing money.
(no subject) - eenyuwolf - Jan. 6th, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
germanchoclates
Jan. 6th, 2013 05:41 am (UTC)
Ahh. Finally. I know there's a copy/paste segment in there that needs work, but I'd love to hear any crits on my TOS.

http://db.tt/0KST7t1V
spiralhorn
Jan. 6th, 2013 05:54 am (UTC)
I was hoping for one of theses soon. I've posted this on FAF but I I would really appreciate more opinions, thanks!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pSFKOhpjUdtyOX7RGAvKYFpROmC61cT4lUmZMPJi8h4/edit

Edit: I have this set up for digital painting, but I wanted to include sculpture and other analogue mediums. Should I make a separate TOS? I'm not sure of how I should incorporate them, I'm thinking I might have to rewrite the whole thing?

Edited at 2013-01-06 06:01 am (UTC)
artic_dragoness
Jan. 6th, 2013 08:26 am (UTC)
I like how thorough yours is. Do you mind if I use the bones of it to make my own? c:

And considering most of it is not medium specific, I'm not sure why you would rewrite it. Perhaps just make additions where necessary? (Like what you won't sculpt / how many updates / etc.)
(no subject) - spiralhorn - Jan. 13th, 2013 03:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - copper_curls - Jan. 6th, 2013 09:28 am (UTC) - Expand
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amocin
Jan. 6th, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
I have not taken a commission in forever, but I know that I would like to do so in the future, so it would be nice to get some feedback.

http://www.furaffinity.net/view/7033778/ - NSFW

This is also a price guide, and if I could get feedback on that as well that would be lovely. My art has changed and I think its better then it was when this was first posted. I charge more for the use of any of my personal characters to somewhat discourage their use, but still allow for those who really want them.
lem0ntrees
Jan. 7th, 2013 03:55 am (UTC)
For your comics, I think you should list a minimum and maximum number of panels for your base price. Like "up to 4 panels" or "base 5 panels."
(no subject) - sigilgoat - Jan. 7th, 2013 08:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amocin - Jan. 7th, 2013 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
radcatastrophe
Jan. 6th, 2013 06:42 am (UTC)
Here's my most recent revision of my ToS for developing layouts and full blown websites.

I'd like to get some pointers on any of it that seems off, or anything I may have left out and would be best for me to add as well as some suggestions!

https://www.weasyl.com/journal/2219

Edited at 2013-01-06 06:42 am (UTC)
teacup_werewolf
Jan. 6th, 2013 07:01 am (UTC)
Looks like my TOS is sort of missing ugh I can't find it on my compy D:
kerstin_orion
Jan. 9th, 2013 04:24 am (UTC)
Fortunately there are a several good examples posted here to borrow from so you can whip up a replacement!
copper_curls
Jan. 6th, 2013 09:32 am (UTC)
I'm not taking paid commissions (yet), but I thought as a writer and occasionally an artist, I ought to have a TOS for trades/requests, etc.

The question I have is this - can a TOS be binding if no money changes hands? No-one's tried to tell me they don't have to respect my terms because of no money, but I imagine it's something that could come up.

I would welcome feedback as to the rest of my terms as well - clarity, completeness, any gaping holes you may spot?

CONTRACTUAL TERMS (scroll down past the portfolio listing) (https://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1790697/)

ETA:

While I'm at it, when I do eventually move to taking payment for writing, what on earth sort of rates should I charge, and how do I balance taking payment against reassuring the customer that I'm not trying to rip them off? Unlike art, there's not really a WIP stage you can show with writing.

Edited at 2013-01-06 09:34 am (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
sirmeo
Jan. 6th, 2013 10:31 am (UTC)
http://www.furaffinity.net/view/9184667/

I think mine is a bit on the rambly side (main reason being the simple fact it used to be really short but I kept adding to it when situations arose and realized my ToS wasn't covering them and I should probably do something about that). I also kind of have problems finding a good tone for writing the rules.


edited to add this:
Am I also making it clear enough that with speedpaints my working is going to be ~hour only and that sometimes pieces might turn out as well as I'd/commissioner would like them to, but because that's the risk you are willing to take if you want cheaper paintings? I've had no proplems with that honestly, at least no one has said they hate what they get, but I just want to be clear and avoid surprises for either party.

Edited at 2013-01-06 10:37 am (UTC)
kerstin_orion
Jan. 9th, 2013 04:51 am (UTC)
Since you admit your ToS is a rather organic thing, and I agree is rather rambly and jumps back and forth between subjects, perhaps a complete re-write would be best. You can include the text you already have, but group it under the appropriate headers (for instance, there are at least 3 areas where you talk about what you will/can draw).

Sigil's ToS (first comment here) is an excellent example, as are some of the others in the comments here.

As for distinguishing between speedpaint and refined painting, your description again goes back and forth between the two. Perhaps separate them into something like this:

-Speedpaint: I work for one hour (1.5 for two-character images). At the end of that time, the image is final. I provide no progress pics, and no revisions. Depending on the subject matter and other factors, some speedpaints turn out better than others. This is the nature of a speedpaint, and why they are discounted compared to my more refined paintings.

I occasionally have limited-time-only speedpaint special deals. During these specials, I pick-and-choose the commissions I wish to work on at that time, and am more selective than with regular speedpaints.

-Refined painting: I provide progress pics for the customer to have input, and will make revisions if necessary until the image is satisfactory. (Be sure to specify what type of revisions are allowed at which stages - you don't want someone asking for a pose change after coloring, for instance!)

p.s. Good on you for remembering to specify the increase in price for extra characters on your examples sheet. So many people forget that part!
eski
Jan. 6th, 2013 11:02 am (UTC)
Here's my TOS, which any of you are free to borrow from to any extent! I like how most of these are worded, but I know a straight up list of terms is a little difficult to read. I've never really succeeded in making sections for them that make sense without messing up the wording of each term that I like so much.

http://fs12.formsite.com/Eskiworks/form724230382/index.html

For the most part it's served me quite well though.
timelapsedecay
Jan. 6th, 2013 11:20 am (UTC)
I'm a little self-conscious of mine, but I am open to critique on it if anyone feels something is out of place
http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/2505556/

eta: The bolded bit about paypal is probably my weakest section, I haven't really transitioned to using invoices yet.

Edited at 2013-01-06 11:25 am (UTC)
purpule
Jan. 6th, 2013 12:16 pm (UTC)
Fantastic :3
I would greatly appreciate some feedback or advice on mine :3
http://nekophoenix.deviantart.com/journal/T-O-S-310141810
tcstarwind
Jan. 6th, 2013 01:05 pm (UTC)
If anyone would like to go over mine, I'd be really thankful. It'd be nice to have a second opinion before I start using it.
http://mixilodia.livejournal.com/2374.html
thaily
Jan. 6th, 2013 01:41 pm (UTC)
My TOS: http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/3611704/
I think it's pretty thorough.

Edited at 2013-01-06 01:44 pm (UTC)
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goodbyemagpie
Jan. 6th, 2013 02:56 pm (UTC)
I've not sold my work online yet, but I hope to start selling pre-made and commissioned knitted arm warmers this year. My drafted ToS is here
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rAIXABLhvINHtOpwWvlwNBOuyjPoIpgOy8el9_ItKvY/edit
and I'd really appreciate any feedback :)
sirmeo
Jan. 6th, 2013 04:59 pm (UTC)
Just so you know I can't access that, is it public file?
(no subject) - goodbyemagpie - Jan. 6th, 2013 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
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