To work or not to... at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old June 29th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 217
To work or not to...

Ok Have a client I use to edit for (color correct, audio sweeten, dvd author).
Issue though, he started nit picking about minor things audio sounds low, or is still peaking, video looks a bit grainy or low res. All these complaints over DV.

So after some back and forth time on several finished products (which he paid for). I realize that this was only delaying me from doing more.

We had a meeting and basically I told him garbage in garbage out.
The actual product doesn't start with us, but starts from the capturing.

I took a 3week hiatus spoke to him on several occasions, but never showed up I guess I was tired of the run around. In the end I settled to do just the DVD menu while the other editors do the rest.

My question to everyone... How can I get away with giving him designs
and ensuring my work isn't reused? I thought about just doing a png file (which would give me some control), but the other editors made it clear that they wanted layers so photoshop would be used. I believe that making a layer that has already been rasterized would really help.

In the end I feel my only security is a contract stating the terms and usage
of my work. HELP GUYS I'm a bit lost here...

Sorry for the lengthly message.
Dante Waters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
You answered your own question ... if it ain't in the form of a written contract saying what you deliver and what he gives you, signed by both parties, it don't exist.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
You answered your own question ... if it ain't in the form of a written contract saying what you deliver and what he gives you, signed by both parties, it don't exist.
Well yea but a contract can't lock people down...
Even if I say one thing he can still do another (un-known to me)
Dante Waters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2007, 01:19 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 3,840
Dante,

What you are struggling with is copyright issues. Basically, is the work you do a 'work for hire', or do you own the copyright.

There are a number of factors that determine whether your work is a work for hire or not. Amoung them, wheter or not it is explicitly stated, whether or not you work at your own leisure, and other things.

If you determine that you own the copyright to your work product, and the client is only licensing the work product for a limited distribution, than your contract should explicitly state that.

Sure, it won't keep him from stealing it. Locks only keep honest people honest, they don't keep crooks from being thieves.

That takes time and money.

You'll have to decide how much of your time and money is worth pursuing any 'theft' or 'missappropriation' he may undertake.

Only you can decide that. I don't know what your finances are like. But if it were me, I'd 'fire' him as a client, and find somebody else to work with.

And, yeah... get a good IP attorney to write up your contracts for you. Some money upfront will save you grief in the long run. Pay now, or later.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: NY, NY
Posts: 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez View Post
Dante,

What you are struggling with is copyright issues. Basically, is the work you do a 'work for hire', or do you own the copyright.

There are a number of factors that determine whether your work is a work for hire or not. Amoung them, wheter or not it is explicitly stated, whether or not you work at your own leisure, and other things.

If you determine that you own the copyright to your work product, and the client is only licensing the work product for a limited distribution, than your contract should explicitly state that.

Sure, it won't keep him from stealing it. Locks only keep honest people honest, they don't keep crooks from being thieves.

That takes time and money.

You'll have to decide how much of your time and money is worth pursuing any 'theft' or 'missappropriation' he may undertake.

Only you can decide that. I don't know what your finances are like. But if it were me, I'd 'fire' him as a client, and find somebody else to work with.

And, yeah... get a good IP attorney to write up your contracts for you. Some money upfront will save you grief in the long run. Pay now, or later.

Wow thank you sir... I had actually walked away from him because of his non-sense, but just want to get this Mac Pro and other equipment out of the way, but I need to realize my value and start cutting folks off.

At any rate the work would actually be his, but for 50 bucks per menu design that's rather cheap. So it would be in my best interest to do all in my power to keep him from adjusting the files while at the same time telling him the 50 is just for the designing and not the ownership. In the end I know he would want everything, but this isn't his world it's mine, and he's just a part of it (hehehe).
Dante Waters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 29th, 2007, 02:41 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
In the end you've got two different scenarios -

#1 - he hires you to do a "job", and the work product is his, including the copyright on the completed project (unless he's doing it for a client who specifically is retaining the copyright...)
#2 - you design and license your "work" for specific use and nothing else

Practically speaking, I'll almost guarantee he's thinking #1, and you're thinking #2...

Yes you're working cheap, that's your choice, but if you didn't negotiate copyright stuff up front, do the job and move on, hope to get credits on the finished product so you've got it to show less annoying potential clients...

Creative and artistic stuff is tricky - and you need to sort it out up front, or live with the results...
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 30th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 126
Dante: if he's paying you to design menus for him, it is a "work for hire" situation and he owns those menus to do with what he wants, including reusing them with alterations (not done by you) in the future. As a fellow freelancer, I accept this as the way things are and my only advice is: charge him for your time and creativity what you think it is worth NOW, accounting for the fact that he may never use you again.

MANY people try to get me to reduce my rates with the promise of future gigs; I counter with a promise to lower my future rates after we actually do more gigs :)
Brian Mills is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > Taking Care of Business

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:07 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network