I just got an agreement for the redesign of my blog from Naomi Niles. And I’m super excited to work with her.
My assistant’s assistant (seriously? yes, my assistant hired an assistant to help us with the move) handed it to me to sign and I was about to do that thing I’ve done so many times in the past … sign it without reading it.
But this time, I didn’t do that. I actually read it. (Yes, I’m a lawyer who used to not read agreements for a variety of reasons all relating to ways I was sabotaging myself and this is why I’ve created my LIFT Foundation System for women like me. It’ll be available soon.)
In it, I looked for a work for hire provision that said who owns the work. (She does until I pay in full and copyrights are transferred to me, which is cool and smart.)
Then I saw something wonky I wanted to get your opinion about.
It says I have to pay Naomi if I use the work in anyway other than on my blog. 15%. Now I have to think about that one.
What do you think of that provision?
15% if I want to make Life, Business & the Pursuit of Happyness T-shirts. What about if I use the name or the graphics on a future book? Would I have to give her 15% of that?
That doesn’t sound right to me. But what do you think?
I’d love to hear from creatives and those who hire creatives alike. The more input the better. And of course I’ll chat with Naomi about it and see what she thinks too and clarify the term of the agreement so we know what it covers.
But, I want to hear what you have to say too. Not just signing legal agreements without reading them is smart. Actually understanding and talking about the provisions that we don’t understand or are not sure about is even smarter.
I figure if I go first (and I’m a lawyer and supposed to know this stuff) that you’ll be willing to talk about the things you don’t understand too.
So, let’s talk about it. What do you think?
First of all, thank you for all of your great comments about the contract provision. After posting this, I spoke with my designer, Naomi, and she readily agreed to take out the provision because it made me uncomfortable. She’s very sweet and easy to work with.
And listen, that’s the most important part of all of this. By reading the agreement and talking with Naomi directly about a provision that concerned me and I didn’t understand, I got to see what kind of a person Naomi is, not just at her surface, but really. I got to feel out whether she would be adversarial or understanding. And she was very understanding.
Susan’s comment below is very well taken. I completely understand that designers need to be paid for their work, especially when it’s created for one context and then used in a broader context.
Bottom line, read your agreements. Don’t take anything for granted. Have an open discussion about anything you don’t understand or aren’t sure about or want clarification on. You deserve it, your designer deserves it and your business deserves it.