Monday, January 11, 2010

Back to Bad Contracts

In an earlier post I talked about a bad contract I received for a stock photograph a publisher wished to use as a book cover. The original contract had all kinds of language allowing reuse and copyright options that were unnecessary for such a transaction. I told the publisher that I would not sign any such contract, but I would sell one time usage for the stock image for a fee and nothing else. After negotiating and sending proposals back and forth, we settled on a contract that spelled out exactly what I offered originally. They bought one time usage for a cover for a specific book and nothing else. I don't know why they sent me their original contract, maybe they hoped I wouldn't read it, but the whole exercise was not needed for a one time simple use. Moral of the story; read any contract you receive and be willing to say no until you can negotiate the sale to what you want to sell and to what the client actually needs.

2 comments:

troyfreund said...

Great job of paying attention to the details and not being afraid to question the contract set before you. A lesson for all photogs--sell the needed usage and both you and the client should be satisfied!

Jason said...

I found your blog thru ASMP, nice stuff! I had to comment on this because I have had several "incidents" similar to this myself recently. I think you are right about them hoping you don't read it, because I have had potential clients question the fact I wanted look a contract over. I also have many of them squirm at the thought of a contract, like I am some CL shooter with a day job to support me. A car dealer refused to even entertain a contract for the work they wanted, and when I asked them how selling a car without a contract would work, they had no answer. I declined the gig.