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Author Topic: work-for-hire copyright question  (Read 1005 times)

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Offline swlorimer

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work-for-hire copyright question
« on: June 21, 2014, 10:13:11 PM »
My writing partner have written a graphic novel which we would like to publish online for free.
We have the money to hire and artist and would just like some information on the copyright legality of such an arrangement.

How do you hire (not find) an artist?
Is there a contract that must be signed? (and where can I find a template for this?)
Who then owns the copyright of the images?
How/when is payment usually made?
Would we then own the rights to all the art once we've paid for it?
Could we sell it?
publish it?
what's the deal?



Offline legomaestro

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Re: work-for-hire copyright question
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 10:23:03 PM »
You hire an artist by making an agreement with them, you commission them basically. You discuss the terms of the comission. Professional artists who have done a lot of work generally have their prices already set up e.g 2 dollars per full colour page. But that may not apply to a full comic work.

Things like contract you would have to agree between you and the author. If there are things like profits to consider then you could negotiate over price, that's if they want constant payment for their work, or you could arrange to pay them off and own all rights to the proceedings.

I don't know how payment is usually made, perhaps paypal?

That's all I know from what I've seen so far. Have you tried pitching the question to anyone random on perhaps Deviantart?

Anyways that's my 1 cent

Offline swlorimer

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Re: work-for-hire copyright question
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2014, 08:04:42 AM »
Thank you for the advice!

What I still want to know is if there are any legal documents that must be signed?
And once I've paid for the artwork do I then own all the rights to it? If I paid outright for it?
Does the artist still have any ownership over the work?

Ideally, if I have to pay for it, I want to own all the rights to the artwork, concept, pages etc to do with as I please.



Offline legomaestro

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Re: work-for-hire copyright question
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 02:41:08 PM »
You'd need a lawyer to know absolutely sure if you're that nervous, but you could also write a digital document outlining the agreement, or scan an agreement between you two. Even a slip of paper with a signature is enough proof of mutual agreement, so so long as you're careful you're all good.

As for payment for artwork it depends on the artist. What do you want? Do you want  to pay outright? Then tell any artist you seek for hire.

Copyright over the work... I think so long as you don't say you're the one who drew it you're okay? (That of course after the fact that you've bought/paid for everything.)

It's not too crazy an ideal after all people pay comissions for their own characters all the time. You just have to hash out such details between you and the artist.

Protip? Communicate through something more legitimate like emails and such. And look at portfolios, better to hire someone who has done the sort of thing before.

I really wouldn't know where to look though apart from deviantart.