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Thread: contract for digital services

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    contract for digital services

    I have recently been accepted as a member in a coop gallery and will need to submit work on a regular basis. I usually only work in black and white using traditional processes and do all my own processing and printing in my lab but have recently started to also work in color. To date I have not used any digital processes but in order to prepare some color prints for the gallery I have employed the services of a friend as a digital lab. Since I do not yet work in Photoshop I am having him edit my images under my direction. I would like that that I remain in control of all the files that he prepares and that they remain my property. At some point I will setup a digital darkroom at my house and will want to make my own prints using the files that he has prepare. Does anyone know if there is a boileplate contract available somewhere or offer an alternative?
    Thanks in advance
    Art
    Last edited by Arthur Nichols; 6-Apr-2009 at 06:00. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Greg Greg Blank's Avatar
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    Re: contract for digital services

    Hi Arthur;

    On reading your request, I am missing the point. Is the point that you want a contract for services he is providing,...a release of the digital files made for you, from your own images. Or is the point you want a contract to cover you when you decide to create digital copies for someone else, of their work?

    In both cases you don't need a contract. In case (a) if you are paying this friend which you should be doing, he needs to provide an invoice to you or your business.
    A good idea for when you eventually get audited.

    In providing an invoice you are agreeing to pay him "whatever". By generation of an
    invoice he is agreeing to the state where he dwells and the IRS to compensate them a portion of that agreed upon payment<The IRS is good at valuing things - if you doubt me ask them

    Under a payment agreement he has no claims unless stated on his invoice regarding use of the digital copies of your work. That doesn't mean he won't use them it just means you can sue him if you have the 50,000 needed to retain a lawyer.

    Now under case "B" it's just reversed if you are coping someone else's work you have no claim to use their imagery unless agreed upon...a good example using the images to show work you have done in the past on your website. That would need a disclaimer and a signature on the invoice. You will need to create invoices for this scenario, its a good idea for when you eventually get audited. Its also a good idea to have a signature when art is copied because who is to say the person owns rights to the work they want you to copy..you need a sign off from responsibility and acknowledgement by the customer that they own the rights, especially if there is anything like a symbol on the work or a signature other than the customers.





    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Nichols View Post
    I have recently been accepted as a member in a coop gallery and will need to submit work on a regular basis. I usually only work in black and white using traditional processes and do all my own processing and printing in my lab but have recently started to also work in color. To date I have not used any digital processes but in order to prepare some color prints for the gallery I have employed the services of a friend as a digital lab. Since I do not yet work in Photoshop I am having him edit my images under my direction. I would like that that I remain in control of all the files that he prepares and that they remain my property. At some point I will setup a digital darkroom at my house and will want to make my own prints using the files that he has prepare. Does anyone know if there is a boileplate contract available somewhere or offer an alternative?
    Thanks in advance
    Art

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Atlanta, GA
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    Re: contract for digital services

    Look at work for hire clauses in contracts for software developers as the same principles apply and then add a clause for derivative works. Whatever you do, don't rely on advice from the web and get an attorney involved to at least validate what you propose using. The fact that you posted the question here implies you perceive a high risk exists and an attorney can better help you mitigate those risks as well as maybe some you haven't thought to consider.

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