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buy-out fee for the copyright ownership


#1
Hello, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on something I've not dealt with before.

Basically I've been commissioned to design a run of theater posters and they have mentioned paying me a 'buy out fee' so they will owe the artwork exclusively, and so that it cant be re-used elsewhere.

Does anyone know a reasonable figure a designer would charge for this?

thanks for your help
 
#2
Most artworks created by designers are bespoke to the client anyway, so are of little use to re-use, unless you have created some form of image/illustration/photograph that is somehow generic and re-usable by yourself.

Price wise, I'd have a think about the value of whatever imagery your posters contain and whether you actually could re-use them with another client. Also think about the time it would take to re-create said imagery should you have to and use that as a guide to the amount to charge them.

A bit more detail on the nature of the artwork would be useful...
 
#3
Thanks for the reply. the following are few extracts from the brief:

It would be original artwork for a show, which would mean we’d have to be clear that the image is ‘protected’.

Then, once we’ve agreed on this you would need to let me know a price for developing 4 different concepts for the poster.

Something to consider when working on these designs is creating an image that can be adapted for various sizes of posters, ads, leaflets. Basically so it’s simple and flexible enough for an A1, a 6-sheet, a ¼ page ad in a local newspaper, or a small leaflet or web banner. We should also be able to easily adjust it for a landscape poster or portrait, or B&W image, all using the same logo/concept.
I normally never charge a fee like that, but I guess this will be branded around a fair amount [including items not involving me] so they feel its fair. I cant see myself using the designs outside of this project however.

thanks
 
#4
Not really sure what the last post means?

Are you happy to create the artworks for £X, they pay you and they own the artwork? That is the usual way of things unless for some reason you want to keep hold of the work?
 
#5
thats how I would normally do it, however they are insisting on a 'buy out fee' on top of the price for designing the artworks, which I would be foolish to turn down?
 

Dave L

Well-Known Member
#6
So they basically want to pay you not to reuse stuff that you don't want to reuse, right? Tough to put a figure on that but the only logic I could apply if that's the case (and if they insist) would be to charge whatever it would cost you to recreate something similar using different style and content , i.e. to effectively double your fee. The alternative would be to officially sign it all over to them as a goodwill gesture (and I have to say I think that's what I'd probably do).
 
#7
As per Dave above.

The third option (if they insist) is an invoice for £0.01 (if you pay the penny immediately it makes records simpler!).

That's what we have done in this scenario. Can be tax implications when giving away for free.
 
#8
Are they just trying to make doubly sure that you will never re-use any of the artwork you have done for them? In which case, could a clearly worded contract (or if too late for a working contract, a closing contract) not suffice?

Although it will be very tempting to take the extra money, if you can make sure everyone understands the terms between you, they would be more than happy to come to you again next time they need posters. I don't suppose they have masses of cash to 'spare' and would be glad to save a bit where they can without paying out for unnecessary exclusivity terms.
 
#9
I think they want you to refrain from using it in your portfolio. It might be worth asking them if this is what they want.

I have a clause in my contract that allows my client to buy the artwork in whole, and by doing so my promise is that I will not include the artwork in any marketing / portfolio. This would be the only way I'd reuse an artwork.
 

Stationery Direct

Administrator
Staff member
#10
I can't imagine that it will be so you can't use it elsewhere as what you have done is tailored to them. Would it not be so they have 100% ownership of the artwork, which allows them to have it altered elsewhere in the future should they wish, maybe if they wanted to use an element from the design on something else, or if they wanted to print the design on t-shirts and sell them, having copyright assigned to them allows them to do all these things and more without any issues from the original designer.
 
#11
Yeah I think you guys are right in terms of charging too much. I received a bit more information from them which is below:

Obviously we own the ‘***’ logo, which will be incorporated into this too. It’s what you create around it that we would need to technically own for unrestricted use in the future. It’s not how I’ve dealt with you in the past as we’ve already been using our own copyrighted logo/image. It’s just something that would be part of the deal with an agency so it should be with you too.

The only difference is that they often do it free of charge in the hope they get the marketing/advertising gig off the back of it, which of course doesn’t apply here.

Maybe the thing to do is, rather than putting a price on the copyright is just to think how much the gig is worth overall – the 4 concepts described in the brief that we would own + revisions to those concepts until we (theoretically) get one we’d want to run with.
so really we are just talking a small fee on top of the standard pricing?
 
#12
I can't imagine that it will be so you can't use it elsewhere as what you have done is tailored to them. Would it not be so they have 100% ownership of the artwork, which allows them to have it altered elsewhere in the future should they wish, maybe if they wanted to use an element from the design on something else, or if they wanted to print the design on t-shirts and sell them, having copyright assigned to them allows them to do all these things and more without any issues from the original designer.
yeah i believe this is more a along the lines of what they mean