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Working for Charity Advice

So, I have a bit more of a question to ask people here for advice about the situation I've been recently finding myself in and know is going to go and how to protect myself and my rights as an artist.

I work often for a charity run by a scientist and frequently create art for them to use on their website, promotion, papers or even in court cases.
(Examples: http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-10-30-MorganRakeMarksHuffPost.jpg
http://www.freemorgan.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/help-morgan-facebook.png )

I've also lately been creating art towards the movement I stand by which I allow people to use free of charge under the assumption nothing is used for profit.
(Examples: http://okura.deviantart.com/art/Who-is-Shamu-Poster-411168698
http://fav.me/d7gr5zw )

My situation comes from lately that I have had a lot more of the organizations take notice of my work and are keen to get me to make stuff for them. Some are asking for freebies and others want to pay for it so they can sell it and a lot of other situations.

Thing is, the scientist I work for a few other select charities I work with, I will do free of charge, but others I would charge. The scientist I work alongside personally and she knows my restrictions and respects them.
Others, not so much...

I'm wanting some advice and suggestions on how to protect myself with this.
Like, how should I react if a company is wanting to purchase the rights of an image I make them to sell items?
What do I do if I discover them doing it without my permission?
How should I react to a charity accusing me of offering one organization freebies but not theirs?

And anything else anyone can suggest is important I should know.

Thanks in advance guys!

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 10th, 2014 12:21 pm (UTC)
My take:

a company is wanting to purchase the rights of an image I make them to sell items?
Charge them a fair market price for the rights.

I discover them doing it without my permission?
1. Demand they stop. Legal letterhead is good.
2. Demand a fair cut of the profits.
3. If they wish to still use it, make sure they pay for the reproduction rights.
4. Keep a sharp eye on them in the future.

A charity accusing me of offering one organization freebies but not theirs?
It's your time and energy. It's none of their concern what you do with any time they are not paying for. Charity or not, the response should be the same.

In short, rules for charities should be no different than rules for everyone else.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:24 am (UTC)
Thanks for these notes. I've noted them down in case I need them in the future.

And thanks for the advice about the freebie section. That's been one of the harder things for me to do, in saying no, as its a cause I support, but I see what you mean. I will have to start putting my foot down more.
Jun. 10th, 2014 12:22 pm (UTC)
Just because you give free work to one organization doesn't mean that you have to with others.

1. I would offer a buy out to the inages that folks want to sell. The common phrase I see here is 3x the commission cost.
2. If you don't already have a ToS, I'd make one immediately that outlines your rights if they choose not to buy out your image.

As fir what legal steps you can take, I believe there are members here who have more experience with that.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:23 am (UTC)
Alrighty. Thanks for this.

I'll be working on a ToS soon for this, as I've been getting more requests a lot lately. Thanks for all the advice!
Jun. 10th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC)
What the others said: if they are not projects you are able or willing to do for free, don't do them for free. If you don't want to sell them art, that's your prerogative as well. It's nobody's business if you choose to do free art for someone else but not them. Just like if you were dealing with an individual, if they throw a hissy fit about it, I'd say that's a pretty good indicator of how they'd be to work for (in other words, stay away from them).

If they do not respect your limits in regards to how they can use your work, ask for them to stop--I believe in giving people a chance to correct their mistakes--and if they still don't, you are within your rights to pursue legal action. Or take it to the local news.

It's just like any other commission. Make sure everyone knows the ground rules, and stick by them, or you could easily find yourself taken advantange of.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:19 am (UTC)
Thank you for that.
I'll be keeping a close eye on things and keeping my terms firm. :)
Jun. 10th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC)
"How should I react to a charity accusing me of offering one organization freebies but not theirs?"

You tell them you're sorry but your time is limited and that you have obligations that prohibit you from working for them. You owe them nothing beyond that, anything else you tell them they'll probably just throw in your face in an attempt to bully you into cooperation.

Also I'd suggest that, if you're not doing this already, when you supply the art, supply it with the Terms of Use and a bill.
Basically whatever you would ordinarily charge and then give them a 100% discount on account of them being a charity whose cause you're sympathetic to.

That way they know the work is not worthless; it took time and effort and most other people would have to pay for it. It helps people not under-value your work and treat it with more respect.
Also, depending on location, you might be able to use it as a tax deductible.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:18 am (UTC)
Thanks for that suggestion.
I took that up with the scientist I regularly work with and she was extremely keen for me to do so. Stated it would be useful in many ways.
So I've started preparing invoices for any type of work I do.

Thanks again for that!
Jun. 10th, 2014 09:20 pm (UTC)
If you feel strongly about and believe in this charitable organization and want to do work for free/grant them rights for free, that's completely your prerogative. If you WANT to work with this other charity and grant them free rights because you support it too, that's also no one's choice but yours.

But, I'd caution, be careful how thin you spread yourself with the volunteerism and be prepared for the point you'll have to starting saying no. Nothing against any cause in particular, but charitable work in general (everything from free-the-whales to TNR-the-cats to deworm-the-orphans) is something where there's always more to be accomplish then there is available time and labor. The point where it's just too much WILL come. Don't feel bad saying no or drawing a line in the sand.
Jun. 17th, 2014 08:15 am (UTC)
That's good advice. Thank you for that.

And yes, the second has been a bit of an issue for me lately. I'm having to learn to say no, despite my eagerness to please and get the message out there.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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