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EDIT: I have decided that unless they agree to do a license I'm not touching it. It really doesn't bug me if I don't get anything money wise from the project but it would bug me to give up my rights, and gain no money. So license or no go is what I have decided on.

Ahoy, there I'm just here to get some advice regarding a note I received.

I received a note on DA from somebody who makes miniatures for table top games, wanting to know if I do art for an artbook they were going to 'sell' in their next kickstarter campaign. IT was pretty much what I expected they would not be able to pay me up front put i would get a small portion of what they make for each book sold. Now I did a little research and they've had fairly successful kickstarter campaigns in the past so that doesn't really concern me.

What concerns me is that they want me to give up my legal and commercial rights to my art. Now I'm no copyright expert but this seems a little risky to me, especially when not being paid up front.

Chances are I'll end turning this down but I would like your input.

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2015 06:34 am (UTC)
So he's looking to pay only royalties while gaining complete copyright for the work. Not a temporary license, but a complete transfer of rights.

Honestly, I'd tell him to take a hike. There's no guarantee that anything will do well, and you may end up doing hundreds (or more!) in art for nothing near what you would have made doing a complete up front sale.

Of course, I've only had two commercial sales and both were all up front.
Feb. 28th, 2015 07:08 am (UTC)
What is successful? Do we mean they just squeaked by? Or did they go or get close to viral and they maybe half as much if not more than what they set out to ask for? KS success is no guarantee you'll get a decent cut of anything.

Most collaborative art-based KS I've seen/cared for/pledged to, unless its something that has to be made from the prototype UP, have paid their artists for the contribution at the minimum! Money from the KS that would be their cut? Just icing on the cake. You don't want the icing without the cake... at least in this situation.

If they won't work out something with you where you are paid upfront AND you get a cut from the KS, pass.

That's just me though.
Feb. 28th, 2015 05:41 pm (UTC)
They exceeded their goal by quite a bit.

I think at this point I'll offer a license and if they decline, I'll decline the offer. Handing over my rights without being paid up front seems to be asking too much.
Feb. 28th, 2015 10:43 am (UTC)
In this kind of situation granting a copyright licence* for a set period of time (i.e a year) would be the way to go rather than full copyright assignment. That way they get permission to use the work for that time and purpose and you get the keep the copyright and the money agreed to.

*A copyright licence usually covers- the people involved, the work, the fees, how the work is used, where it is used (area/territory- i.e north america), the duration the work can be used for and exclusivity.

I would not assign full copyright in this case as there's no upfront fee and the profit may well be very small.
Feb. 28th, 2015 03:16 pm (UTC)
What they are askin for is a work for hire, where they own the rights to the artwork which is the case for most artwork done in house for a company, but for that to happen they need to pay reasonably well for the artwork and the rights. The only solutions I can see to this is to discuss that you either keep your rights and be paid with royalties (which is still kind of a meh deal), or they raise the kickstarter money to hire you properly, though that might not work if they already launched it. Ideally you would be paid properly, they get rights for only the very specific characters you make for them (word your contract very carefully that you are allowed to make derivitive works - you do not want to make them say a kobold character that looks wolfish, and from here on forth you cannot make any characters of your own that are wolfish because it looks similr to theirkobold character- such is the caution for work for hire) AND you get royalties. Apologies for typos, I am a butterfingers on the ipad.

Edited at 2015-02-28 03:17 pm (UTC)
Feb. 28th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
I'd turn it down, honestly. 'My kickstarter will pay!!!" is never a good enough backup. If you do work for them, sign a legal contract.
Feb. 28th, 2015 07:02 pm (UTC)
"Thank you for considering my artwork for your publication. Please email me a copy of the contract with your proposed rates and payments/royalty schedule, and I will consider it." And then review it carefully, with an eye towards WHAT they're asking for, per oceandezignz's response.
Feb. 28th, 2015 08:20 pm (UTC)
The percentage of sales offer should be something on top of the price of the artwork and licensing, not just your only chance of payment you might receive.

They're basically saying "Hey, give me this stuff for free and if you're lucky you might get paid for it assuming we succeed, don't know how much we'll pay you though."

Basically it's a gamble on you receiving payment for your work, personally I would decline if there was no money being put down from the start, especially if you don't know what you'll be receiving even if it is successful.
Feb. 28th, 2015 09:35 pm (UTC)
Hmm while we are on this subject for table top games while this is off topic there's an article that is related to this it showed up in one of the tumblr blogs i follow.

Mar. 2nd, 2015 01:33 am (UTC)
Sounds like what they want is Work For Hire, which is the standard on artwork done for business purposes. The arrangement itself is nothing shady.

Bu-u-ut "royalties based on the success of my Kickstarter" definitely ISN'T standard. This arrangement needs to include a contract clearly delineating both the rights transfer and what/when you'll be paid (typically something like half upfront half on approval, and a markedly higher total amount then your standard fandom commission).

I think you're making the right decision not getting involved.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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