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TMA Design
03-08-2009, 03:54 AM
Hi Everybody,

Just wanted to introduce myself:

I am a freelance designer and musician currently working on my Masters degree in Media Design. I was just turned on to this forum and am really impressed with the content and activity I have seen so far. I'm currently involved in an Ethics of Design course and wanted to throw out a question:
"What kind of effective guidelines are there to licensing art for reproductions, for example a clothing design that will be used for an undefined amount of prints?"


03-08-2009, 05:51 AM
Hi and welcome!
As to your question, I think, as far as I know, will be agreement between the clothing company and the designer. In some cases, the designer gets to take a cut for every sales/reprints.

03-08-2009, 06:39 AM
Hey, Welcome to the Cafe TMA Design!

03-08-2009, 07:22 AM
Hi and welcome.

In my experience, there are basically 2 ways to handle your issue.
1. You sell your design as a buyout, whereby you negotiate what you and the client think is a fair price, but you then have no further claim. Generally, this is unlikely be a significant amount to make it worth your while.
2. You negotiate a royalty deal with the client, whereby you get something (either a fixed sum, or a percentage) of every item bearing the design that is sold. You do stand to earn more this way, but his one is obviously way more complex to monitor, and you have to have full trust in the client not taking you to the cleaners.
(I had a situation of a publisher being somewhat economical with the truth when it came to declaring accurate sales of my designs... very messy, and difficult for me to prove).

Should you go with number 2, you need to specify several things, eg. precise usage on what items (electronic rights usage, advertising, print, posters, cards, calendars, DVD's etc), the regions covered (worldwide/local etc), period of time the contract is in force, and any rights the client has to cede rights to secondary distributors/publishers etc. As I said, it's complex, and you'd do well to get the advice of an experienced attorney preferably.

Oh, and it occurs to me that Ethics in Design is one thing... Ethics in business may be quite another!

[Edited on 3/8/2009 by dogtrombone]

03-08-2009, 02:47 PM
hey namaste from KTM Nepal! On clothing designs, which this must one of the capitals of the knockoff world, there is no way to protect a design once it's in the wild and accessible from here. Must be the same for Bangkok and Beijing as well. Most production houses here i suspect take the actual garment and tear it apart for patterns, but drawings probably help too. But i have seen jewelers working from magazine pictures too, so I suspect stuff on the web if not carefully formatted are used too. Which brings me to my point TMA, as a business you should note this activity and consider how much you want to disclose your assets. It's not up to the rest of the world to be polite and lawful. We have no such responsibility other then the theoretical one of world pees. So if you don't mind sharing it, do so, but if you want to protect it, u have to figure something else out. posting protected assets in an open forum like this is just irresponsible, inmho.
business owner in Nepal

[Edited on 3/8/2009 by mixedupmacandpc]