>>Do you free lancers often have clients
who never sign contracts?<<
Be careful. I have been burned by folks who were once a very friendly
contact. When things go awry, having no piece of paper can be a real drag.
I had one good experience with a client (Scientific America) who did not
work with a contract, but who came through for me even though the project
took some unexpected turns. But far more often in the early days of my
career, I would allow a project to proceed sans contract and then regret
Consider that although you have gotten paid, the actual rights transfered
have not been clearly outlined. This is not a good thing for you. If they
decide that they want to reuse your work in another context, what proof do
you have as to the actual arrangement. They have the cashed check and can
say that ALL rights were transfered for that fee. If you wanted to, you
could probably fight it and win but do you have the time and resources(?).
Some clients may figure not and act in their own interest. And even when
the individual involved is considered a strong business ally, remember that
unless this is thier business, they may leave and be replaced by someone
who has no sense of responsibility to you or your work.
Most clients should have no qualms about acting in such a professional
manner. But some clients may be as afraid of speaking business-ese as us
artists. The key is to convince the client that it is to THIER advantage to
have the agreement in writing. Be sure to word the contact to include
clauses that protect them (ie. "artist states that all copyrights licensed
are property of artist and that client is indemnified against any
infringement claims over said artwork.").
And most importantly, don't be shy about asking to have the contract in
hand before begining the project. It's how business is done in America.
Frank Ippolito [log in to unmask]
American Museum of Natural History
"Anywhere you go, well . . . .there you are."