possible license agreement issues

If you are worried about infringement or your work has been copied and you want to take action.
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berg
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possible license agreement issues

Post by berg » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:52 pm

Hi there

i am a freelance illustrator, in late 2012 i did a series of drawings to be used in an upcoming project run by a well known charity. When i invoiced them i included a license agreement stating that the usage for the images would run for a year, as this was the understanding we had agreed to. (at the time they weren't certain if it would be a success so it was only to run for a year)

A few days ago i noticed that not only was the initial project a success but they have continued to run it over the last 2 years, scaling it up to cover the whole uk, and they have continued to use the images as the centrepiece for the project. Featuring them prominently throughout their website, advertising materials, branding etc. However i have received nothing in terms of communication and as a result im not sure how i should proceed.

I am sure this is an oversight and i would prefer to try and resolve this as amicably as possible. I would really appreciate any advice anyone can offer over what steps to take about this and wether i have a leg to stand on should they tell me to take a hike. Alternatively does anyone else think im wasting my time?

i appreciate any insight you guys can provide, or even recommendations as to who i should speak to as i feel a little bit lost. i havent contacted them directly yet as wanted to swot up before i do.

many thanks in advance and let me know if you need any more info :)

b

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:52 pm

Hi berg,
No need to feel defensive about this. This is your business and you need to make sure you get paid the correct amount commensurate with the usage of your work.
I expect this is just an oversight and that the person you dealt with initially was either not involved with the extension of the campaign or had just forgotten the term of the licence.
I suggest that you contact the person you were dealing with previously and calmly remind them that the licence has expired and that you need to negotiate a new one to cover their continued use of your work. No need to mention infringement or any sort of damages, unless of course they start being difficult. Chances are, a simple phone call could sort it out, if it is just an oversight.
Make sure that before you contact them, you have worked out what fee you require a) for their use from the expiry of the original licence to today, and then b) what you would charge for their future use, either for a fixed term, or for an open-ended (ie perpetual) licence.
I assume you already have a simple methodology for calculating your fees, so just follow that. If you are not sure what is a suitable fee for subsequent use like this, maybe try contacting the Association of Illustrators to see if they have a guide to fees, or you could use the NUJ website although this seems less detailed than you may need.
Some more useful advice can be found on the own-it website.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

berg
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Post by berg » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:35 pm

thats so much help, thank you andy

I tried speaking to citizens advice, business gateway and even intellectual property office however was none the wiser how to proceed. thank you for your help :lol:

i agree im sure its just an oversight and would like to go by that basis. (legal stuff would be a total last resort in my view so fingers crossed they dont get shirty)

il get onto the links you sent me before contacting them but thanks again for your help. you've saved me countless hours of scratching my head :)

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