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Old October 25th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #1
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Client reusing graphics for print brochure

Saw a brochure today from a client I had last year. They had taken frames from the video and used them prominently in a glossy colour brochure. These stills had graphics I had spent a lot of time designing, and they made up 80% of the brochure. In the good old days of NTSC 4:3 video, no one would be very interested in using our low-res graphics for print but now the images are HD and suitable for printed materials in small sizes.

So I thought I would mention this here as a "heads up". I think we need to include this in our contracts and protect our work. If a client wants to reuse our work that's fine, but they need to ask our permission at the very least. Any thoughts?
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Old October 25th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

What does your contract with the client indicate they can do with the product you provided? Did it allow for distilled works?
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Old October 25th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #3
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

Hi Chris. Wasn't covered, but it's on my radar now.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #4
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

One of the old problems really. We send an invoice for a single product, what we have produced for the brief. We believe we own the copyright on what we have produced. Clients believe they bought the entire thing and it's theirs to do anything they like with.

The reality is that unless these terms are very clear in the contract, then it would (in court) be quite reasonable for them to claim this was exactly what they did - commission a product, pay for it, and use it.

In the UK there is even a law regarding unreasonable contract terms. If you designed a logo or caption for the client's video, did you ever mention it wasn't theirs? Would a court consider that small print stating that they could not use it in another product was a reasonable contract term?

Somehow, I doubt it.

We always seem to consider that the products we produce and then sell we in fact hire to them and they have no right at all to do anything with them, apart from press play!

We could explain this up front, but we like to assume they understand how it is, and actually read the small print. The average consumer can't even get their heads around basic copyright law (look at illegal downloading) what makes us believe they understand what is fairly advanced restrictions in use clauses.

I have given up attempting to stop clients using the material I produce in ways other than intended, and encourage them to always think of new ways to use it, offering to keep the projects on file so changes can be made. I'm currently reworking an old one so they can use the project on tablets, phones and other new gizmos. So it's a re-re-edit with plenty of cropping and tweaking. They could have done it with quite a few companies, but came back to me because I made them aware they could, and offered to hang on to the footage. works for me.

Telling a client that they have used bits of your work without permission is never going to work for you, because the obvious (from their perspective) comment would be - but I paid you for it?
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Old October 28th, 2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Dobie View Post
So I thought I would mention this here as a "heads up". I think we need to include this in our contracts and protect our work. If a client wants to reuse our work that's fine, but they need to ask our permission at the very least. Any thoughts?
If you're going to give them permission, why not just include it in the contract, rather than make them ask?

I'm with Paul.

For me, next video I did for them, I'd offer to put a brochure together with the raw, uncompressed images for another $250. Another $250 in your pocket and another solution for the client.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

Good points, thanks. Sounds like UK copyright law is a bit different. I guess the closest thing to this would be photographers and stock photo agencies. They charge different rates depending on how their work is used. I like the idea of being proactive about it and clearly covering this in our contracts.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

Coming from a graphic design background, what I'd recommend you do is to take advantage of this very sort of thing and use it as an upsell for your services. After all, it's even more worthwhile for a client to book in the video guy instead of a photographer when they can additionally use the footage stills for pics in their brochure.

Take full advantage of this and use it to make your video services even more indispensable.

Andrew
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Old October 31st, 2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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Re: Client reusing graphics for print brochure

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Originally Posted by Keith Dobie View Post
Good points, thanks. Sounds like UK copyright law is a bit different. I guess the closest thing to this would be photographers and stock photo agencies. They charge different rates depending on how their work is used. I like the idea of being proactive about it and clearly covering this in our contracts.
I'm with you. What the client is paying for is the use of the imagery, not the making of the images. You want it as a video, it's $X. You want it for a video AND a brochure, it's $X plus Y. Want to use it locally, it's $Z. Want to use it globally, it's $Z plus. Of course to use them the images have to be made and so the cost of making them is part of the fee but it's the extent of the usage they are licensed for that determines the total bill. And a work-for-hire, where the client actually ends up owning the copyright, is gets double or triple or more the fee.
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