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Commission Agreement Form

(In reference to my previous post.)

I figured everyone else should see a copy of the form. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the original .doc file, and had to make a gritty version in MSword. It's the exact copy, word for word, just not as tidy as the original. :P Feel free to use, artists. Any part can be adjusted to suit the client and artist prior to signature. (Like artist reselling the picture; I personally don't use this section, and cross it out before signing. Another section is the telephone number. The client could just undisclose their number if so desired.)

And until I can find a free digital signature service, I'll stick to this. (I have not researched much in digital signatures, but the few I did see weren't free. Forgive me if I'm wrong... I'm learndign 2 b smrt! :B) Thank you everyone for their opinions! They were all very useful. :)

Name/Number of Piece:
Applicable Lease/Ownership Conditions:
Amount Due:
Date Paid:
Term Limit:

By signing this agreement, you have acknowledged the ownership rights to the intellectual property of __________________. Under the terms of this agreement, you have paid a sum for the leasing of said property. (For ownership conditions continue to bottom of form.) Please be advised that the terms of this agreement can be revoked if you do not uphold the following terms:

Agreement Terms:
- The image will not be altered, and/or reproduced in any way, other than agreed upon purpose.
- Term limit for this agreement, unless otherwise noted is one full year from date of lease. You may not reuse the images, or any likeness without further permission.
- (Your name) must always be cited as the author of the image, and the use of said image is through (his/her) discretion.
- Sale of image; the image may be sold to other parties, at any time, by (Your name) without notification to the original party.
- Customized images are done with the understanding that (Your name) will hold the intellectual property rights to the image, regardless of subject matter.
- Images leased from (Your name) may not be used on websites, blogs, or other electronic media without the written consent of (Your name).

Ownership Terms:

Image ownership and all intellectual property rights of (Your name) are voided provided the following:
- The image has been purchased from (Your name) for the sum specified above.
- Ownership of the image has been transferred from (Your name) to either a second or third party.
- A written agreement has been made, specifying new/alternative ownership terms. This agreement must be made with the complete and full notification of (Your name).

Please fill out the following information:
Email Address:
Telephone Number:
Image Use/Number of Reproductions:
Purchasing Specifications:
Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 12th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
Isn't it?

Will the world of friendly-trusting artists end like this?

I'm cringing on every word in that contract.

If an artist made me sign that, IMHO, I'd run screaming, warning my friends from buying from her because she/he whips out a damn contract even for a $5 con-badge to sign your life away... or else she'll sue.

"The image will not be altered..."

Not even coloured? WTf?
Mar. 12th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
Re: Sickening...
I did say the contract can be altered to fit both parties needs.
Re: Sickening... - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - go__banana - Mar. 12th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - thaily - Mar. 12th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 05:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - grygon - Mar. 12th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - eski - Mar. 12th, 2006 07:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 04:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - thaily - Mar. 12th, 2006 09:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - banrai - Mar. 12th, 2006 02:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Sickening... - banrai - Mar. 12th, 2006 09:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: Sickening... - crssafox - Mar. 12th, 2006 02:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - lilenth - Mar. 12th, 2006 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
I just wish people didn't need to make/sign contracts; just use common-fucking sense, and not steal shit (both sides) and not be a dumbass (both sides as well).
Mar. 12th, 2006 12:48 am (UTC)
Re: Sickening...
But not everyone has "common-fucking sense".
Re: Sickening... - xodiac - Mar. 12th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - lilenth - Mar. 12th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sickening... - xodiac - Mar. 13th, 2006 08:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - silver_huskey - Mar. 12th, 2006 03:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Just kind of... blinking at the current comments. o_O;

Artists, at least professional illustrators/etc, use contracts all the time (when dealing with both commercial businesses, and private commissions). Most people I know use them just as a receipt to have as a record of the work. I don't see a problem with having a contract at all. Of course, the example one here is a bit stiffer than one I'd use, specially for private commissions. :)
Mar. 12th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
I don't see a problem with it in general. But for myself, a low-life wanna-be artist STRUGGLING to get commissioners? I'm steering clear of contracts cause I don't want to scare the very few commissioners I get. But that's just me. I know others don't really have to worry if they'll get commissions or not, they've made a name for themselves and can even afford to turn some commissioners away.

But I do see Mix's side about scaring some people from commissions when they see that contract.
Mar. 12th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
I like this muchly, especially since there are buyers who sometimes suspiciously don't want signatures on what they're getting. Would you plan to have a photocopy of each piece to save with the contract in case problems arose? Seems like an idea to me...
Mar. 12th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)
That seems ok to me as well, but the same term "I don't want this image on the web" would apply to the artist as well, from me.

Buyers sometimes really realy hate having their characters commishion used in the artists's portfolio. It's looks poor on the artist as well because it will seem that he/she cannot come up with his/her own original characters, but needs the support of her/his commishioners to build his/her portfolio.

That's my homest opinion.
(no subject) - conorchu - Mar. 12th, 2006 01:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thaily - Mar. 12th, 2006 02:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - quoting_mungo - Mar. 16th, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
That contract would be totally unacceptable to me, and I would take my business elsewhere.

When I commission someone, I am paying them to create a piece of art to my specifications. Under US Copyright Law, a work for hire is copyrighted to the commissioner, not the artist. If you want to make a contract that you can use the image for prints or other purposes, I will probably not have any problem with this. But if you want me to sign away my copyright on the image I am hiring you to create for me, forget it.
Mar. 12th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
This all depends on what you are commissioning.

Are you commissioning a company logo, to be printed on letterheads and business cards? If so, you'll want every possible right to reproduce the artwork.

Are you commissioning a drawing of your character? If that is the case, I can completely understand an artist wanting to keep their rights to the artwork. Because it would really suck if someone commissioned artwork - and assumed ALL rights to said piece - and turned around to sell prints of someone else's hard work, making all the money in the process.

I think it's one thing if it's an idea that you might not have the means to create yourself - like a design for a logo or a mascot or some such - so you hire someone else to do it for you. But if you're just buying something for personal use, or for a personal collection, the artist should retain all rights, not the buyer.
(no subject) - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crssafox - Mar. 12th, 2006 12:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
BS - uneide - Mar. 12th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eski - Mar. 12th, 2006 03:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 05:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - uneide - Mar. 12th, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
Love the comments thus far.

As opposed to professional artists, casual fandom artists charge a pittance for their work and don't get anything black on white. As a result it's come to bite them in the ass on some occassions, though not enough for the idea of a contract to be acceptable.
Though with the way things are going I have a feeling artists will start making clear agreements with their customers in the future.

Furries are so fucking spoiled.

Personally I don't mind customers reposting their commissioned artwork (though a link back to my homepage is always awesome) or cropping it for icons etc. But if they started selling prints or taking credit for the work I'd be pretty agitated.
Maybe I should add an "I agree" TOS to my commission form when I add it to my homepage. I think it'd be less offensive and cumbersome than a contract.
Mar. 12th, 2006 02:25 am (UTC)
I like the idea of an "I agree" TOS. I'd be kind of put out if an artist started demanding things like my phone number, or my address if I was comissioning something digitally.

And apreciate an artist letting me crop for icons (with permission and credit of course!) I also would like to post the art I comission people for on my website, not only because I like to show people what I've gotten, but it helps the artist get more comissions, because I link back. And not only for a year...
(no subject) - regalis - Mar. 19th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fiercereaper - Mar. 12th, 2006 02:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eski - Mar. 12th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mix_hyenataur - Mar. 12th, 2006 05:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 03:48 am (UTC)
I am extremely surprised at most of the comments that have been received so far... Asking a client to sign a contract is standard procedure in every other corner of the art industry, EVERY professional uses contracts to secure rights, payment, and to generally agree on what is going on. This is done so that if either party does something stupid, the contract is there to back up the victim. What makes any of those who think this is a bad idea, think that anthro artists aren't professionals in any way? In essence we trade money for our services, which is what professionals artists do. What aspect of being an anthro artist makes a situation were signing a contract is a bad idea?

You all need to realize that taking private anthro commissions IS a job, and whether you put a contract in a form like this, or in a general Terms of Agreement document on your commissions website, this is done to protect the artist AND the client, and not to screw the client. Most artists have commission pages where prices and terms of use and such things are posted. I require all my clients to read my page all the way through before agreeing to commission me. This is just another form of a contract, legally binding just like this one posted here. Sure, that may be less "scary" to a client, because it doesn't require a signature, but it acts just as the above contract does legally.

If you're so scared, read the contract and agree to some changes. You don't have to sign anything you're uncomfortable with. go_banana's even said she'd agree to changes according to each individual client. This contract is so non-threatening, running away from commissioning her because of it is like running away from a one legged kitten. This is standard stuff people, get used to it.
Mar. 12th, 2006 04:15 am (UTC)
Hey! I agree with it. :] you're not the only pro-contract voice.

And I've found internet to = suspension of reality on more than one occasion.
(no subject) - eski - Mar. 12th, 2006 04:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jods - Mar. 12th, 2006 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - go__banana - Mar. 12th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - crssafox - Mar. 12th, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - evol - Mar. 12th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 06:45 am (UTC)
Some of these comments, just crazy. 0_o
I get contracts for every single professional freelance job I do. I get them for some of the comissions I do. A contract spells out what is expected of each party in what time frame for how much money.
I've had to sign some fairly restrictive contracts in my day, and negotiate quite a bit to get even portfolio display rights to some of my liscenced work, and usually that's not permissible until a set amount of time passes or the work or product is in full production.
A lot of both furry artists and comissioners are new to the buying and selling art, especially younger artists, and I feel there's quite a lack of professionalism missing from some people on both sides. I hope that with time and posts like these that changes.
Mar. 12th, 2006 11:54 am (UTC)
While I am not too fond of the contract at hand... (The one posted here is a bit scarry XD) I wouldn't walk away from a good artist just because they asked me to sign a contract, though I do say I would have to have some changes made to a contract like this before I would sign it... when I get commissions done I like to be able to post them on the internet to show my friends... I can understand the part about prints, it would be shitty if I paid you $100 for a commission and turned around and made mounds selling $10 prints...
I would sudgest toning the contract down a bit if you are selling to the general public, that's fine when you are working with a corperation or something, but it just seems very intimidating to me, an average, every day, kinda guy.
Mar. 12th, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC)
I think that's kinda what a lot of people don't get here in the comments up above.

A contract like this one would be used more for a corporation or a business, if you were creating a logo for them to use, or even doing web design or something. YOU are coming up with something for THEM to use over and over again, and of course they'll want printing/reproduction rights to be able to use it where they need to.

In the instance of a private commission over the 'net (or even at a con) a contract would only really have to say something to the extent of: "The purchaser agrees the finished product will be used for personal use only. This may include display of the image, whether in person or on a web site... yadda yadda no prints may be made and sold for money...." and that's about it. Because those are the main concerns of an artist... if they gave up ALL rights to a private commissioner, then that person could actually pretty easily turn around, claim all the works that they'd purchased as their own, sell prints, and screw over the artist completely.

So no, you're not going to give a lot of rights (or ANY rights, save perhaps reproduction for the purpose of web site display) to a private commissioner... but a business is not going to pay you to design a logo that they can't use at all. Businesses need this mumbo jumbo to be able to actually use the designs they've commissioned.
(no subject) - the_snappy_wolf - Mar. 12th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 12th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
I see no problem with having a contract, especially if it can be altered to fit the needs of the parties. I'm actually quite surprised by several of the comments above. :/
Mar. 12th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
Contracts are a HAPPY HAPPY THING -- thank you for posting this one!
Mind you, each artist has their own preferences about the rights they're fine with relinquishing, which ones they are lax about, what kind of things they genuinely don't care about.

On some of the other comments... >.< There seems to be some confusion between random contracts, commissions and work-for-hire contracts, and
about who holds the rights to what. Unless -YOU'VE- made all your artists commit to a Work for Hire contract: (Here explained by the wonderful Ellen Million, fyi) http://www.ellenmilliongraphics.com/ellen/archives/00000037.html

Personally, I research each commissioner that approaches me, as I reserve the right to refuse a commission for any reason/personal preference. Unless it was a big company that needed me to sign one (and compensated me accordingly) there is no way in hell I'd agree to one -- certainly not over a fursona/personal character what not.
Mar. 13th, 2006 04:02 am (UTC)
I'm not going to argue over whether a contract is industry standard, or whether selling commissions over the internet is a profession. I'm just going to say, remember who you're selling to. Keep in mind that not everyone can comprehend legalese (I don't, and when I see it, it can be a big turnoff, depending on the situation) and not all of us have lawyer friends we can go to.

Personally, I would not sign a contract if I commissioned someone on the internet. But I understand your desire for one, so my suggestion would be to offer a layman's term agreement first, THEN present the legal version. Legalese can come off very cold, so that way, you don't leave a bad first impression, and everyone can understand what's going on. Another suggestion, if you're editing the contract anyway, would be to add that you will finish the commission in a timely manner (or by a date, in terms of conbadges)...you'd have to talk to the lawyer peoples on how to put that one in though. That way it's like, I get something out of signing it too. (and for those who want to talk industry...deadlines anyone? ;3 Sorry, couldn't resist!)

I've already typed too much! I'm sorry. T_T;
Mar. 13th, 2006 08:02 am (UTC)
thanks poofy!!! :D
Mar. 13th, 2006 11:04 pm (UTC)
Can you lend me a feelin....
( 62 comments — Leave a comment )


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