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Subject: artist consent contract? rss

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Ian Carson
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Hi,

We are in the process of writing our artist consent contract or our Indemnity contract.

I am just curious if anyone knew of or had any good examples to work from. Any information would be helpful. Thank you!

-Ian
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Sean Freeman
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Google "boilerplate art contract" is a good place to start.
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Christopher Taylor
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A quick google of "work for hire artist contract template" had lots of examples, too.

A lawyer should be able to crank one of these out quickly, too.
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Ian Carson
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Thank you Christopher and Sean!

I found this page:
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/simple-work-for-hire-copyri...

and it turned out simple and complete.

Thanks!
 
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Jason D. Kingsley
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Just so you know, work-for-hire is an allowance in US Copyright law, but it isn't considered respectable by the art community. There's not really any reason to "own" the rights to commissioned illustration work in its entirety, when you can just ask for exclusive rights. If there's a good reason to completely "own" the artwork and strip the artist of their rights, that's between you and the artist, but it should come at a higher compensation (as if they were actually working for a company with all inherent benefits of a full-time job).

interlockgames wrote:
Thank you Christopher and Sean!

I found this page:
http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/simple-work-for-hire-copyri...

and it turned out simple and complete.

Thanks!
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Malcolm Brown
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I am assuming that it would benefit my games to have the artists display the work they do for me on their portfolios and elsewhere. Getting this kind of exposure seems like a win-win scenario for the designer and the artist, although I suppose there are exceptions.
 
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Sean Freeman
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Arctic Dragon wrote:
I am assuming that it would benefit my games to have the artists display the work they do for me on their portfolios and elsewhere. Getting this kind of exposure seems like a win-win scenario for the designer and the artist, although I suppose there are exceptions.


If you're implying that the right to use work a person has done in self-promotion is some kind of compensation for the rights to an artistic work you are abysmally wrong, morally, ethically, legally and by definition.

The ability to show one's work in a portfolio is a given unless the client pays 50x the hourly rate for the labor. The Pringles Can was designed by a team contracted or directly hired by the Pringles people. Hence they already own the work. They had to pay a lot of money for that, whether that be by hiring artists or paying high advertising firm fees.

The ability to retain copyright is a given unless the client pays 20x the hourly rate for the labor. This is standard. The reasons are that the material costs of learning to perform this job are very high. Just because I can do a job in 10 hours and it would take you 100 does not mean my time is worth less than yours. It means, in fact, that my time is worth much, much more because of the investments I've made learning and perfecting my skill sets.

The ability to use the work per-use should be negotiable. That means every time you put the thing on a thing, you have to pay for the rights to do it. It could be 20 dollars, it could be thousands. It depends on the scope and use of the art.

Anyone who doesn't follow these basics of art economics is shooting themselves and others in the foot, on both ends of the deal, and you won't see any large successful buinesses practicing any other way.

This is because the hourly wage merely pays for the use. If you want to own a piece of the artist's history and talent, to own for your own self some of the years they learned becoming enough of an expert to actually make you that one art piece, you have to pay for all those years of college and braces and pencils and being dumped by girlfriends because she didn't like the blue color in that one painting.

Any artist will tell you this is true or they are the type to shoot themselves and other artists in the foot by not doing so.
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James Wahl
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Guildenstern_artist wrote:
The ability to show one's work in a portfolio is a given unless the client pays 50x the hourly rate for the labor.

[...]

The ability to retain copyright is a given unless the client pays 20x the hourly rate for the labor.


Bah. The difference between work-for-hire and licensing work isn't 20x. More like 2x or 3x. A lot of people are glad to pay to own work outright, too, instead of being caught in a relationship with people for the rest of your life. Plenty of companies want to own work outright without having the output that would justify having a full time artist; I think locking yourself out of that market without actually doing a cost-benefit analysis is unwise.
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Lawrence van der merwe
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a contract I always use and is quite popular with artists, is a work for Limited use contract.

http://www.artpact.com/

these are the ones I use exclusively now.

Tbh If you want to own art outright dont be annoyed if the artist wants to charge you the earth. we get attached to our work.

and yea as an artist depending on the work I would also want 20X, but that I'm afraid is per artist basis. Some artist will NEVER sell their rights to their art simple as that.

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Sean Freeman
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Fauxfox wrote:
a contract I always use and is quite popular with artists, is a work for Limited use contract.

http://www.artpact.com/

these are the ones I use exclusively now.

Tbh If you want to own art outright dont be annoyed if the artist wants to charge you the earth. we get attached to our work.

and yea as an artist depending on the work I would also want 20X, but that I'm afraid is per artist basis. Some artist will NEVER sell their rights to their art simple as that.



Getting attached to art makes it much harder for me. For me, it's about food and those braces I mentioned. My bills are high and my school was expensive. I have to think about that investment.
 
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James Wahl
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I really like those. Thank you for pointing them out. The All Rights for Limited Purpose looks good for any of my purposes with a game, though All Rights for Limited Time would be good for specific events and promotions.

Fauxfox wrote:
a contract I always use and is quite popular with artists, is a work for Limited use contract.

http://www.artpact.com/

these are the ones I use exclusively now.

Tbh If you want to own art outright dont be annoyed if the artist wants to charge you the earth. we get attached to our work.

and yea as an artist depending on the work I would also want 20X, but that I'm afraid is per artist basis. Some artist will NEVER sell their rights to their art simple as that.

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Ian Carson
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spindrift wrote:
Just so you know, work-for-hire is an allowance in US Copyright law, but it isn't considered respectable by the art community. There's not really any reason to "own" the rights to commissioned illustration work in its entirety, when you can just ask for exclusive rights. If there's a good reason to completely "own" the artwork and strip the artist of their rights, that's between you and the artist, but it should come at a higher compensation (as if they were actually working for a company with all inherent benefits of a full-time job).


Thank you for your insight into this matter. I understand the reasoning behind not owning a piece of art. In the case I was using this for I believe it is the best decision but for future uses I will be revising the contract. Thank you.

Ian
 
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Scott Stevens
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I have a couple of questions along these same lines- I'm working on a game that will need some art for the playing cards. I've never done anything like this so I have questions about all aspects.

One of the artists I solicited mentioned that they wanted me to pay them for the art, and set it up in such a way that I would then have the rights to use the art for X number of copies of the game. If the game went on to be a success, I would then have to renegotiate with them to reuse the art for future prints of the game. I don't like this idea.

I don't know that I need to "own" the art and take away the artists rights, but I feel like if I pay them to create it, I should be able to use it an unlimited number of times.

Also, just out of curiosity, what exactly are the artists rights? For example, say I hire someone to design the art for my game box, and then my game becomes a huge success. Could the artist then use that art and start putting it on T-shirts and posters and selling it, taking advantage of the "brand" I created? (I'm not really thinking my game is going to be that amazing- just theorizing.)
 
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Muroni wrote:
I have a couple of questions along these same lines- I'm working on a game that will need some art for the playing cards. I've never done anything like this so I have questions about all aspects.

One of the artists I solicited mentioned that they wanted me to pay them for the art, and set it up in such a way that I would then have the rights to use the art for X number of copies of the game. If the game went on to be a success, I would then have to renegotiate with them to reuse the art for future prints of the game. I don't like this idea.

I don't know that I need to "own" the art and take away the artists rights, but I feel like if I pay them to create it, I should be able to use it an unlimited number of times.

Yep, that's right. Normally you would licence it for unlimited use on your game for a flat fee. There are probably some artists who get paid x cents per copy, gambling that it will be a big hit -- that might be a good alternative for you.

Muroni wrote:
Also, just out of curiosity, what exactly are the artists rights? For example, say I hire someone to design the art for my game box, and then my game becomes a huge success. Could the artist then use that art and start putting it on T-shirts and posters and selling it, taking advantage of the "brand" I created? (I'm not really thinking my game is going to be that amazing- just theorizing.)

I think it's fine if the artist does this. It's their art, so they can sell posters etc of just the art (without the game logo etc). If you're really paranoid about this you could get a different artist to create the game logo, so that only you would have the rights to use the logo and art together.

In general, the greatest barrier to getting your game published is paranoia, the fear that someone will steal your great idea. The absolute worst thing you can do is get NDAs, patents, trademarks, etc. These just stop people looking at your game, provide little protection (due to the weird nature of game IP), and frequently cost more money than you will ever make from the game.
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Scott Stevens
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In general, the greatest barrier to getting your game published is paranoia, the fear that someone will steal your great idea. The absolute worst thing you can do is get NDAs, patents, trademarks, etc. These just stop people looking at your game, provide little protection (due to the weird nature of game IP), and frequently cost more money than you will ever make from the game.


Yeah, I understand this, and I'm not really worried about anyone stealing my idea. Just curious as to how this all works.

Thanks!
 
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Lawrence van der merwe
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Quote:
One of the artists I solicited mentioned that they wanted me to pay them for the art, and set it up in such a way that I would then have the rights to use the art for X number of copies of the game. If the game went on to be a success, I would then have to renegotiate with them to reuse the art for future prints of the game. I don't like this idea.


even as an artist I dont really like that idea too much, id say they might get royalties after so many sold after a pacific amount maby.

specific use contracts are really good as you get to use all the art for that pacific project, and the artist keeps the rights to the art. unless you want to pay a lot more to buy the art outright, although some artist dont mind this.

as for artist selling prints - t-shirts etc.. We dont always make much money on the art we do in alot of out work so that's a little bonus for the artists..

Quote:
Yeah, I understand this, and I'm not really worried about anyone stealing my idea. Just curious as to how this all works.


if that's the case dont post anything online EVER! otherwise what Phil said.




 
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Steve Kling
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Some of these recommended contracts have some issues with gaming. There are some many variations, miniaturizing of pieces, joint ventures, expansions and a whole host of issues, the licensee needs to fully consider.

I generally agree with the license concept and nearly all of the game designer's or publisher's issues can be addressed with a carefully prepared document. It should also layout any confidentiality during game preparation, limit the artists use with a competitor, in violation of law or in any way derogatory of the game or the designer and publisher.

I would never propose a work for hire since it just is not fair. On the other hand, when I pay for art (and I do some of my own art), I want to the right to do just about anything with it related to the game, directly or indirectly, etc., etc. for as long as needed, including later republication or re-implementation. I draft my agreements accordingly. I see a lot of people with no legal experience just grabbing forms from the net without understanding them.

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