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.


Anonymous 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.