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Submitted on
July 25, 2008


Recently i fell into an arguement with a fellow apartment dweller in my block. She claimed that if i didn't stand up for my rights i was letting the entire building down. My stance was that i didnt give a shit either way as i had other things to worry about than getting a window fixed.

But by applying this thinking to things that are important to me i can see where she's coming from.

Signing a 'work for hire' agreement or committing to a free pitch not only devalues your work and your ideas.... it devalues the entire industries work and ideas. 'Work for hire' is an American contract that most creatives are made to sign transferring all copyright and intellectual property rights of their concepts to the client. The fact that many people out here sign such contracts tells you a lot about the American creative industries in general. By signing this contract you are completely negating the entire potential value in your creations... you are selling yourself short... and you are selling the industry short.

Back in England, where i come from, we have these things called intellectual property rights for artists, photographers, and musicians that protect your creations from such corporate plundering. What you create is a commodity and should be sold as thus. When a client is paying you an hourly rate they are not paying for your concept but merely for your time. Your concept comes with its own price for buyout or for license and to give up this copyright for free devalues everything you do for a living.

Free pitching is another concept that devalues your work, the industry, and even society. By submitting a free pitch you are sending a message to clients everywhere that your work is almost worthless... that you will do anything for some dollars... and that essentially everything you do is garbage (its free right?). You are opening yourself up to copyright theft, to corporate bullying, and generally pervading the idea that free pitching is an industry standard.

If everyone refused to sign 'work for hire' contracts and refused to pitch without compensation for their time the entire client industry would be without creative work. This would force them into re-working 'work for hire' and free pitching.

End rant.
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JaiBiz Aug 4, 2008  Professional General Artist
brilliantly worded.. .. . :ahoy: ill toast to that!
Bluesigma Jul 26, 2008  Student Artist
aww man is their any way of fighting this
Yes. Dont sign work for hire contracts and dont free pitch (spec).
MikeHaff Jul 25, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The corporate morons are paying for your vision, version, and concept. Charge what you think you're worth. Undervaluing yourself not only screws you, but other artists as well since you are setting a precedent that you are willing to get screwed thus letting the corporate morons use that as leverage against the next artist that comes along.
yeah... thats what i said.
MrFlurry Jul 25, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
Thats all fair and well, but surly your creating to earn money? You need money to survive. The one thing that client work cant take away is your OWN personal creations which are priceless. You are being payed to create for the client and what the client briefs. So in turn, its what the client wants in their head on canvas , they just need to the right person to create. Any client work i dont look at it as a personal gain, just a means to make cash and build a portfolio, and here i am thinking that one day all my hard work will pay off. Ha doubt it.

I'm gonna go and shave my toes.
Na you got it wrong. Unless a client is specifically briefing you on the look and elements in a design it is still personal. Im just as proud of the corporate design work i do as the art i create and when i have my massive retrospective at the Design Museum in 2050 i'll be able to show all my work as i've held onto the license for it all.

Go Nils Jawa Retrospective 2050!
DepartmentM Jul 25, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I hear you bro, these days artists are put up against a wall to decide whether to sell out and live well, or keep to their ethics and sacrifice a steady paycheck.
Yeah its fucked. Especially here in the states. It's a completely unfair set-up... the problem is there's 100 kids ready to jump in and take the job for crap money.

Clients need an education about what makes good art and design and what's cheap shit.
Joey-Zero Jul 25, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
You just said the main reason why everything is so fucked up here... There's literally 100's that will jump in your fucking grave if given the chance. You say no, the client's like "fuck it, I'll find someone that WILL bend over." It's so ass-backwards. Your last sentence is spot on, because the client doesn't really give a fuck about talent, just the end product. Fucking sad.
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