How Should I License a Request to Use Photos in a Calendar?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by astrostu, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I was contacted a few weeks ago by a woman and her friend who said they want to create a "Lunisolar" calendar featuring local Colorado artists and they wanted to know if I would send them high-res versions of some of my moon pictures (since the ones on my site are max. 10" at 72 dpi in an effort to prevent commercial use without asking me).

    I replied asking if the calendars were being sold or given away as some sort of charity thing since obviously if people are making money off of my work I want a piece of the pie, so to speak.

    She replied this week with:

    So I'm curious to know what you guys think. Should I say "what the heck" and just give them what they want with the assumption they're honest and may give me 2.5% or whatever of their profits? Or should I be fickle about this and request some sort of contract, etc.? Or should I ask for more information (considering the sample month she sent me didn't open ... some sort of PDF error)?

    Advice is appreciated.
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    You have some great images and I think a contract is a must. this will protect both parties. Up to you whether you can trust them to be open. Would be easy for them to never pay and claim a loss at every stage.

    If your work is critical then there's a value and your images should be paid for.

    Who are their "collaborators"? How many are there? Can you get their contact details to see what your work will be placed alongside? How many are sharing in their "profits"? What is their intended circulation area and how many calendars are they printing?

    Loads more questions need answering but this would be a start!

    I'd not be keen on just giving my images away free (again). Did it once got stung - not again.
     
  3. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    I agree!!
    Even if you made this deal with your bestest friend in the world I'd say a contract is still needed!

    I'd also want to contact anyone else that's involved (other photographers I mean) to see if everyones been offered the same thing.
    Make sure that everyones getting the same amount of the pie and that they didn't promise one guy 10 % another 15% and everyone else 2%.
    If they wont give you their contact information or at least pass yours on then I'd be a bit skeptical.
     
  4. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    I'd bet they are all #1s :)
     
  5. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    Even if they don't pay you for the images, you should have a contract detailing the terms and time limits of their use. That way if they do another project sometime down the road, they can't just go, "Why not just dig up those moon pictures we used before?" I understand that the designers of the calendar are investing quite a bit of their own time and money, but what is their main motivation for the calendar? They might be artists and this calendar is their vision, or they might just be looking to make a profit for themselves using other people's work. Find out what other projects they've done, or any other artistic endeavors they've been a part of. Personally, if such an offer was presented to me at this point, I would probably accept it without compensation (or whatever nominal % they offered), because I'm just starting out and could benefit from getting my name "out there." Also, since this is related to something you care about (the moon) there might be an incentive for you to "donate" your photos, so to say.

    I don't understand the part about awareness of the moon. Is this going to be a new age or educational calendar, or something along those lines?
     
  6. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    After talking with my Aunt, who's a graphic designer, I think I'm going basically with your post, Aquarium Dreams.

    I'm going to ask to meet with her at a half-way point (she's about 90 minutes away) to get the "feel" of her (like, does she seem like a professional or does she seem sleezy). Assuming that there are no red flags, then I'll have her sign a very simple contract that states I'm providng her the images for the limited use in the calendar, they have to display my name and copyright and website, and I have to approve the final calendar design. I'm thinking I'll also include something in there about good faith profit sharing for a small amount (like 2.5%?) of the profit, but I'm not certain if I'll include it or not.

    My Aunt suggested that, since I have no real way of knowing how much is sold and how much profit is returned that I should go into it with the idea of just getting exposure and any cash returned would simply be a bonus. She also said that with something in writing, if, down the road I were to see the images used elsewhere, I would have documentation with which to take her to small claims court, if I were to wish to pursue that.

    What do you guys think of that?
     
  7. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    It's great that you're close enough that you can meet in person. There's nothing like face-to-face contact to get an impression of someone or of a situation. This could be very exciting for you! Keep us updated!:)
     

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