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Whose Artwork is it?

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Steve Lamb

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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:42 pm

Whose Artwork is it?

Does this sound familiar?

We saw a new customer yesterday, he was in a bit of a panic as another company had let him down several times ( I may add it was a franchise company!!). He needs 4 Transit vans with all the company info plus about 8 logo's of affiliate companies.

One problem, all they have are comp slips of all these logo's and the only way to easily reproduce these logo's is from the 'unreliable company' that has let the customer down, not easy.

So I offered to re-dig all the logo's, at a cost of course and he excepted.
I quoted the job this morning inc all artwork etc, after a bit of a haggle he excepted and sent an order. Thanks.

Now he would like to have these logo's for future use and asked if I can send email them to him????

Now, I would not normally do this at all and would offer the safe keeping on our system.
The customer would like them though!

Although they are not our logo's we spent over 4 hours scanning, redrawing and digitising them, so in effect they are our logo's

What do you do?

Cheers
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Adrian Howard

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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 7:01 pm

send him raterized versions tiff, jpeg etc
for general advertising, and use on there office pc this is all they need
i tell the customers that the vector files are special signmaking files and
they couldn't read it without expensive software and a dongle (cdl, plt etc)

Adrian
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Simon Clayton

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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 7:04 pm

I have had the same thing, I released the artwork with no extra charge, and low and behold 6 weeks later he had used it to get all his other sign work done by a cheaper company…(the usual, I have another 6 shops, 10 vans and 30 relatives all with shops.. I only ended up with the small A board)
I will no longer release artwork that I have vectorised, There are a lot of people who go out and buy a vinyl plotter and call themselves a sign company, but have no idea about sign concept or design.
Think of all the work involved in doing a sign job..
Site visit to get sizes, Quotation…time spent doing artworks/visuals to show client
(That’s a good few hours work….If I do a survey for any other company, I expect to get between £50.00 and £80.00 per visit) and than someone who has got your quote given to them, under cuts your price.
I now hold onto all artwork and say if you need any other sign work or stationary etc, I will only be too glad to help.

Simon
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John Singh

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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 9:04 pm

I go along with Adrian
What does he want with vector files anyway?
As you say it is your artwork

John
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Aitor Asencor

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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 10:24 pm

That's the eternal problem.

Basically you sell him the finished work, (vinyl, poster, catalog,...).
No digital files may be included. We never give a copy of the archive.
Sometimes the digital archives could cost more than the work itself.

The excepcions:
A - You create for example a logo and you charge $$$ for the design. Then I think you should include a CD with the digital versions.

B- The client asks for the archives before the order. You must add extra $ in the price. It's just another work.

C- You have really no other option as the client don´t want to pay you or whatever... give him a low resolution jpeg.

Sometimes they want a logo just for templates in word or whatever.
Just ask him the use, a small jpeg may be enough.

Two years ago we composited a catalog with tables, prices and about 100 color photos. Ordered to us by a printer. We had to give him a copy on CD for the client, even we advised him. Past year another printer got that work but the client had lost our CD. The new printer comes to us asking for another copy. You know, just some price changes and finish. Ha!
Finally they paid about 700 euros for the copy.


Aitor
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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 10:39 pm

i had a right sneaky customer, this person wanted her daughters shop window done in vinyl. she took about 5 months to decide on design, which took me a good few hours to find. then one day she came in and asked for her design to be put on disk. said she was new to pc's and wanted to try out printing her letter heads etc. (she was very genuine i thought) okay i did, i had the image as a pdf. i distilled it to eps. only for me cutting in signlab. guess what one i put on a floppy? yes the eps. (by mistake) her new neighbour had just started up in the sign business, and he undercut me by a third just to get the job. sad or what! now no-one gets anything now from me, except a jpg. i did not mind in the end when i seen the window done, it was rubbish she only got what she paid for! Nicola
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Phill Fenton

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Post Thu Oct 23, 2003 11:59 pm

I would regard the vector file you have created as being a tool to produce the final artwork. Yes your customer owns the design - but you have created a tool to replicate that design, therefore it belongs to you to do with as you wish.

I have given away vector artwork as a gesture of goodwill. But if you feel your customer is using you then I would refrain from passing on the actual vector file as others have said.

At the end of the day there is no hard or fast rules in cases like these. You have to go by your own instinct. Is your customer simply trying to ensure he doesn't have the same problems in future if you should let him down - or is he using you to shop around for a better price. In this situation I would suspect the former in which case there is a lot of good will to be gained by passing on the vector artwork. He will probably use you in future anyway and is only asking for a back up. By being open with him you may gain a loyal customer who will provide a lot of repeat business. Being seen to be "awkward" may alienate him.

You know your customer better than we do - only you can decide :D
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Tim Painter

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Post Fri Oct 24, 2003 8:58 am

I think this is a problem for every sector of the graphic arts industry.

In answer to your point John he may want the Vector art for litho print work to be able to colour seperate it.

Basically no one wants to pay I guess

With most of my business being litho printing & associated artwork I see this quite often I try and find out what the artwork is to be used for.

If the client was paying the services of a designer to create a logo it would cost them so why do so many not want to pay. Personally I think general jobbing litho printing is worse than signage for not being paid for artwork as many use this freebee offer to attract business.

I think a lot is working out if you are helping the client who appreciates this and will be back to you for every job in your line of work or have you done the donkey work so he can achieve a cheap deal with fly by night fred down the road.

But I would agree if the task is large then quote for logo origination and digital supply of artwork on disk as a seperate item.
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Rodney Gold

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Post Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:03 am

Don't call the logo and design work and "artwork fee" Call it a preparation fee (make sure they understand it's a once off) and then if the client wants "artwork" send them a jpeg or a raster image.
This way you haven't been paid for "artwork" and don't have to provide it.
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Lorraine Buchan

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Post Fri Oct 24, 2003 4:17 pm

I just call it a set-up/origination charge.

If the customer wants it they get a .jpg. They don't know what they are really getting, they don't even know about vectors in most cases!
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Martin C

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Post Fri Oct 24, 2003 5:46 pm

I've never been asked, is my work that bad >:-?
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J. Hulme

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Post Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:14 pm

Not a chance.

Even supplying a PC .tiff or good quality .jpeg will enable your competitor
to convert to vector easily, we convert from jpeg with outstanding results to vector with good software.

If we do any artwork whatsoever then it's us that'll do the job, if we don't do the job the artwork is never released, we don't work hard just to enable other local so called 'sign' businesses to take our profits.
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James kelly

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Post Mon Oct 27, 2003 11:51 am

I agree, jpeg images that are good enough for printing are often good enough for tracing and cleaning. The 'Cheepo Sign Co.' down the road will usually be happy to spend an hour or two converting an image to vector format just so they will get the lucrative work. Let's face it, the Cheepo Sign Co wouldn't bother if they though it was for a one off sign for 30 quid! It is usually worth their while. No point in making it easy for them by supplying artwork ready to cut, at least a jpeg will make them work a little for their money.

When a customer asks me to put his artwork on disk I always ask him or her what it is for so that I can supply it in the right format :wink: If it is for signmaking they are hardly likely to admit it so they will say it's for a newspaper advert or something. In that case a bitmap is supplied. Occasionally the customer will chance their arm and say 'just give me it in several formats'. In this scenario I tell them that there are many formats and converting to each format takes a lot of COSTLY time as many technical aspects need to be addressed for each purpose.

Around 10 years ago fairly large local company had me doing the usual running around for ages designing a logo. I supplied many samples before their faces were 'lit up'. Even then they wanted silly things like 'that printout of the lorry design looks great but could you print us a few more samples with the wheels in different colours'... honest!!! Well, I guess I should have seen the writing on the wall, I got doing their only curtain-sider (27ft) and supplied them their logo on disk then they gave the rest of the vehicles to the local cheepo who, suprise suprise, couldn't paint onto curtains. I have given them a price for each vehicle and I guess they probably thought they saved quite a few quid on getting their vehicles done, that is, a design bill arrived through their door for 1,700 GBP plus the bill for the curtainsider. If they didn't pay this I had them by the short and curley's as since their fleet was displaying their new logo (I took photos) I would be in the position to hit them for copyright violation. They paid!
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Steve Lamb

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Post Tue Oct 28, 2003 2:18 pm

Thanks for all your opinions on this. We still have not given the customer the artwork as the more important issue of the production and installation of the graphics has come first, so I'll see what happens. If push comes to shove I will issue low res jpeg's.

Cheers
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andie lines

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Post Tue Oct 28, 2003 5:45 pm

whose artwork is it

i cant believe some of the opinions on this!!!!. the artwork copyright belongs to the guy who designed it unless he has specifically released it. you can only charge them for the work you do in converting it to vector, if they want a copy charge them for that too.
ask yourself this how would you feel if you were the guy who designed it!
end of story.
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Alan

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Post Tue Oct 28, 2003 6:33 pm

Re: Whose Artwork is it?

rising wrote:So I offered to re-dig all the logo's, at a cost of course and he excepted.


I suppose Andie is right on this one and according to the above quote the customer would feel justified in expecting the vector images that he has paid for.

In a circumstance like this perhaps we should make it clear that the cost is for converting to vector for the purpose of this job only. Simply saying the charge is for converting to vector implies the customer is purchasing that vector image and is therefore entitled to the image.


Alan
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Aitor Asencor

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Post Tue Oct 28, 2003 7:00 pm

Andie, this is not related to artwork copyright in my opinion. It's related to the translation to digital archives of that artwork.

As I said if you design a logo, you should include a CD. (You charge $$ for the logo design). So then, the client could give you a digital archive.

But if you haven't designed that logo and got for example a visit card to create a sign. You need to redraw it. And lots of times you can't charge all the work needed to redraw it. If the client want a copy of the digital archive you should charge an extra $.

We always give the client a digital archive if he advised us before asking for the final price. It's just another work. We charge an extra %, it depends on the work.

Also, sometimes the client want the archive one year later or more then we charge more for the archives.

Aitor
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Steve Lamb

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:25 am

Andie Wrote:
the artwork copyright belongs to the guy who designed it unless he has specifically released it.

I totally agree with what Aitor wrote, this has absolutley nothing what so ever to do with the copyright.
This was about a sticky situation with another graphics supplier who badly let down my (new) customer. We needed to re- create or digitise, what ever you want to call it, 8 different logo's from letterheads etc
as there were no other options.
We offered a price for the time that it would take to make these logo's useable for the job in hand, I did not mention anything else to him. That is what he is paying for.

It was only after he saw the whole layout via fax he asked for an email of logos etc. I eventually sent a colour print out so he could see the logo's more clealy and we could get an approval to cut the graphics.

Could it be Paranoia or good business sense to hold onto your work. Who wants to make it easier for a potential competitor if relations break down between us and the customer, not that this happens very often but who knows!

I will be holding onto it as tightly as possible whilst grining through gritted teeth. :x
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Rodney Gold

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 5:27 am

Logos are actually trademarks and have to be registered , ideas to build or make something , processes , business ideas etc cannot be copyrighted ,only your original drawing can .

However if your drawing is amended in the slightest degree its not a breach of copyright - your drawing or sketch just can't be reproduced in its original form (like scanning it and blowing it up) , the ideas within can.

If a customer actually copies your drawing on his truck in vinyl - there is nothing you can do - it is NOT your actual drawing and it isnt a breach of copyright at all.

You can register the logo you designed as YOUR trademark - however it's highly unlikely you will succeed in court defending your action in demanding the co who is using it stop. We registered a competitors trading name and all it's varioations , the co in question was bought from someone with an outstanding debt of gbp 4k owing to us , the new owner was fully aware of the outstanding and refused to pay and legal proceedings would have been useless in terms of costs etc, he tne poached one of my salesladys who knew all my customers etc (Despite a restraint of trade agreement - he employed her under another co that wasnt related to the business we are in - my hands were tied) and at that point we decided to demand he stop using the name etc and make life difficult for him (hes a real slimy type) . Even tho I legally owned his business name - we got a letter back that we had not traded under that name and thus were not harmed and if we proceeded further , we would be subject to a countersuit of unfair trading etc. I just decided to leave it and compete normally. So much for the law!!!
At the end of it all , you retain your customer by service , quality price etc rather than tying them in or with veiled threats. I would never deal with a co that said the stuff I paid for and commisioned them to do was not actually mine - I wouldnt expect them to give me constructional drawing but would give em the finger if they told me I wasn't allowed to go elsewhere especially if they gouged me or didnt offer me the service one generally expects.
Customers who are fickle for a few cents are not worth keeping mostly , we all build up mutually respectful relationships with our customers and suppliers and a price shopper generally has no such idea or notion - they normally are the ones that put you under pressure as they are so busy shopping around their deadlines just get shorter.
Obviously there is nothing wrong with minimizing costs but being squeezed by a customer is unpleasant - one tends to get annoyed and becomes obstructive - and if one does accept the job , it's in a begrudging manner and what the customer saves in money , he loses 2 fold in that one narmally doesnt put one's best efforts into a job like that.
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Steve Broughton

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:20 am

Right I've just copied this ( :lol: ) from the UK Copyright Service's website,
Copyright Law Fact sheet No. P-01
Issue: April 2000
Amended July 2001

This fact sheet outlines the laws covering copyright in the United Kingdom and the work to which it applies.

Introduction
Copyright law and copyright originated in the UK from a concept of common law, the Statute of Anne 1709. It became statutory with the passing of the Copyright Act 1911. The current act is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

About copyright law
Copyright law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions rights to control the ways in which their material may be used. The rights cover; broadcast and public performance, copying, adapting, issuing, renting and lending copies to the public. In many cases, the creator will also have the right to be identified as the author and to object to distortions and mutilations of his work.

International conventions give UK copyright protection in most countries, subject to national laws.

Types of work to which copyright applies literary song lyrics, manuscripts, manuals, computer programs, commercial documents, leaflets, newsletters & articles etc. dramatic plays, dance, etc. musical recordings and score. artistic photography, painting, sculptures, architecture, technical drawings/diagrams, maps, logos. typographical arrangement of published editions magazines, periodicals, etc. sound recording
may be recordings of other copyright works, e.g. musical and literary.
films broadcasts and cable programs
Computer programs regulations in 1992 extended the copyright of literary works to include computer programs.


When copyright occurs
Copyright arises whenever an individual or company creates a work: A work is subject to copyright if it is regarded as original, and must exhibit a degree of labour, skill or judgement.
Interpretation is related to the independent creation rather than the idea behind the creation. For example, copyright will not exist in names, colours or ideas, but will exist in a work composed of these elements. In short, copyright may protect a work that expresses an idea but not the idea behind it.

Who Owns The Copyright On A Piece Of Work
Normally the individual or collective who authored the work will exclusively own the copyright. However, if a work is produced as part of employment then normally the copyright belongs to the person/company who hired the individual. For freelance or commissioned work, copyright will usually belong to the author of the work, unless there is an agreement to the contrary, (i.e. in a contract for service).

Copyright does not subsist in any part of a work which is a copy taken from a previous work. For example, in a piece of music featuring samples from a previous work, the copyright of the samples would still remain with the original author.
Only the owner, or his exclusive licensee can bring proceedings in the courts.

Duration of copyright
The 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act states the duration of copyright as;
For literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last remaining author of the work dies, or, if the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or if made available to the public in that time, (by publication, authorised performance, broadcast, exhibition, etc.), 70 years from the end of the year that the work was first made available.
Sound Recordings and broadcasts
50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was created, or, if the work is released within that time: 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first released.
Films
70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the last principal director, author or composer dies, or, if the work is of unknown authorship: 70 years from end of the calendar year of creation, or if made available to the public in that time, 70 years from the end of the year the film was first made available
Typographical arrangement of published editions
25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published
Broadcasts and cable programs
50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the broadcast was made.

Acts restricted by copyright
It is an offence to perform any of the following acts without the consent of the copyright owner: copy the work, rent, lend or issue copies of the work to the public, perform, broadcast or show the work in public, adapt the work.
The author of a work or director of a copyright film may also have certain moral rights; the right to be identified as the author, right to object to derogatory treatment.

Acts that do not infringe copyright
'Fair dealing’ is a term used to describe acts which are permitted to a certain degree (normally copies of parts of a work) without infringing copyright, these acts are; Private and research study purposes. Performance, copies or lending for educational purposes. Criticism and news reporting. Incidental inclusion. Copies and lending by librarians. Acts for the purposes of Royal Commissions, statutory enquiries, judicial proceedings and parliamentary purposes. Recording of broadcasts for the purposes of listening to or viewing at a more convenient time, this is known as ‘time shifting’. Producing a back up copy for personal use of a computer program. Playing sound recording for a non profit making organisation, club or society. [Profit making organisations and individuals should obtain a licence from the Performing Rights Society.]

http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/law(01).htm
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andie lines

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:49 am

Aitor wrote:. And lots of times you can't charge all the work needed to redraw it. Aitor

why not you charge them for everything else dont you?
you could also keep the costs down by not charging them for vinyl or substrate aswell couldnt you!!

P.S. NICE ONE STEVE
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Aitor Asencor

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 10:12 am

The problem is not charge for the redraw, we charge it as part of the work.

But if the client only wanted the digital conversion of a logo as a final work, we'll charge more for the redraw. Why? Because few companies make that type of work.

And about the substrates. . . no comment.
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James kelly

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Post Wed Oct 29, 2003 10:37 am

Nice one Steve, well found. Do you realize that you have just broken the copyright on the copyright law!!! :lol:

I have that on paper from my university days (mature(ish) student) and keep it in my filing cabinet for reference purposes. A useful thing to keep.

rodney wrote...
[quote="However if your drawing is amended in the slightest degree its not a breach of copyright - your drawing or sketch just can't be reproduced in its original form (like scanning it and blowing it up) , the ideas within can."][/quote]

I don't know anything about the laws in SA but here if someone ammends someone else's logo in any way without permission, it IS violating copyright. The courts use disgression and treat reasonable similarity as an offence. Simply modifying or changing colours of a logo does not make it a different design.

In the UK, US and many other countries the laws are along the same lines. Breach of copyright is taken very very seriously by the courts here with severe penalties given. Most cases never reach court here as generally the offenders are told by their solicitors that basically they haven't a hope in hell of winning.

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