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Britt Griswold <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 17 Feb 1998 12:47:05 -0500
text/plain (70 lines)
>I have a question from a colleague regarding a client's request to reprint
>a job that was completed more than 2.5 years ago. In their original
>contract there was no provision for reprinting the job in the future. The
>job was computer-based and the client never wanted an electronic copy.
>This client has just contacted my friend and asked him to turn over the
>electronic copy so they can send it out for reprinting in another country.
>It would seem fair to charge a fee for this - would everyone agree? Has
>anyone ever had this type of situation? Can anyone send advice I can pass
>along to my colleague?

This is a real sticky issue.

Was there a written agreement?

I am ashamed to say most of my agreements did not go into that level of
detail when I was doing freelance. But most of my work was for scientists,
and the understanding was that I was doing work that they or their in-house
collegues would be able to use as nessicary for their publication and
research, whereever, whenever.  Most of it was so esoteric that reuse by
others was a minimal consideration.  The one case where this was not so was
with base maps. I designed several B&W basemaps that proved to be popular.
So the deal was that Other people in other Organizations contracted with me
for rights to use the maps in all their own research papers for a one time
fee (I didn't get rich doing this by the way)

It worked the same way when I was doing a map for National Geographic.  The
US Information Adgency wanted to use one of my map in a reprint of a
Geographic Traveler article.  I got a reuse fee.

I know of only on instance where one of my electronic base maps is being
reused by the scientist and is being modified for him by another artist
with new data.  I consider mayself to have been paid for the base map file
when I first did it for his work, he can modifiy it for his own use as much
as he wants.  I just desire him not to be passing it on to other reseachers
to use in their work, independant of his.

It comes down to what the client bought 2.5 years ago.  If nothing else you
could justify a charge as a handling fee, and have him sign an agreement
about what use will be allowed from now on.  On the otherhand do you want
to piss the client off, if they done feel they should do anything but get a
disk in the mail (Are they still giving you new work?).  I heard some
recent horror stories on the Illustrator List serve about an artist who was
making 5 figures a year from several clients who basicaly cut him off after
they ahad enough of his Illustrator vector art to have inhouse staff redit
what they hade for reuse.  He did not have the art copywrited, and I
suspect his written agreement was not specific on reuse an modify issues,

P.S. make sure the text is all turned to outlines.  This will limit the
ability to modify easily, and can easily be justified because of legal
resrictions on the sharing of fonts.  Plus there will be no goofups at the


Britt Griswold
Graphics And Publications
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Code 253  Bldg. 8  Rm. N15
Greenbelt, MD 20771

(301) 286-3381
(301) 286-1705 (FAX)
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