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Charging for Copyright

Discussion in 'Graphic Design Forum:' started by RDF, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. RDF

    RDF New Member

    I have a client who wants to own the copyrights for a logo. Does anyone have any info or can anyone recommend a graphic designers guide to copyright and what is generally charged for transferring copyright?

    I stand to get plenty more work form them so don't want to scare them off be appearing to be picky over charges for copyright. Afterall the designs were done for them in the first place!

    Is there an experienced designer or company that can advise please?

  2. Eagle

    Eagle Member

    Especially for logos, always include written assignment of copyright. Clients expect it and it's unethical not to give them it as part of the project.

    For other projects such as, say, advert design, there's room for a little negotiation. :) Always be upfront about what a client will get with their project and explain things to them should they ask.

    Hope this helps,

    Mark :)
  3. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    I agree with the above, the cost that you charge the customer should already take into account assigning copyright to them. As you have said the logo is no use to you and was created for them.

    As Mark says always be upfront and ensure you always assign copyright (logo design), it's the professional thing to do.
  4. RDF

    RDF New Member

    Thanks, for your advice. I agree that it does seem unethical to charge an additional cost on a logo design for assigning copyright as the client has paid you already to create a brand for them to use.

    There seems to be an awful lot of grey area on the subject of copyright in relation to graphic design. It is good to hear what other professionals think.

    In this particular case an illustrator was comissioned to do a caricature for part of the logo. Am I right in thinking that I need to get him to sign over copyright of this also before the client can truly own copyright of the logo as a whole?

    Also a whole range of branding for the stationery and signage has been developed, should there be a charge for signing over copyright for this if they want the whole lot. As this is getting into doing a brand specification, so as to specify what exactly is signed over....

    I was thinking of saying that there will be no charge for assigning copyright only a charge for setting up the necessary paperwork and if required a brand specification.

    What do you think?......Any comments...???

    In 3 1/2 years of trading I have only had two clients ever ask to own the copyright. Is there a standard form or guide to setting up paperwork for this?
  5. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yes you will need copyright assigning to you which you can then pass on, hopefully he/she will have incorporated this into the cost you have already paid, however, in the past we have had to pay extra for copyright with regards to illustrative work.

    All this should have been negotiated and agreed prior to taking on the job, basically the professional thing to do is assign all copyright to your client, if you feel you want to charge extra for the brand you have created you will have to see if your client is now happy to pay for this. In future you must discuss with your client exactly what you will be doing and how much you charge for each part, so everybody knows where they are.

    In this particular situation I think this is fair, however, in future ensure your quotes already incorporate your charges for assignment of copyright and make your client aware of this, as it is a selling point to be honest as I am sure many designers don't do this.

    Will see what I can find, maybe one of the other designers on here may show what they currently use.

    P.S: Let us know how you got on in the end.
  6. RDF

    RDF New Member

    Dealing with Clients

    The problem was that the job started as a basic logo design and then the client kept coming back for separate items, which then meant that the overall job had turned into full company branding. The client had not mentioned the additional items in the briefing session initially. I don't have a problem with clients coming back for extra bits, but I would have perhaps approached the job differently if I had known all the info up front.

    Is it best to compile a baseline pricelist to enable easy quoting for addons like this?
    At present we usually quote based on esimated design time with set costs for regular items such as logo design. The problem lies in jobs like this that evolve from what was originally requested or in a series of additional items.

    When is the right time to step in an notify the client that they have gone past what was originally agreed?

    I would be keen to hear what practices other companies use for quoting and dealing with clients as it is sometimes hard to be upfront about all the costs and what they will get if the client is not upfront about their requirements.......

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