Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net  

Go Back  Sculpture Community - Sculpture.net > Sculpture Roundtable Discussions > Sculpture focus topics
User Name
Password
Home Sculpture Community Photo Gallery ISC Sculpture.org Register FAQ Members List Search New posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-20-2011, 10:54 AM
Del Dios Del Dios is offline
Level 2 user
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: san diego county
Posts: 22
Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

If I am being commissioned to create a sculpture for a corporation, who retains the rights to the original? Is it customary for the artist to have the rights to sell additional copies? With the original corporation's approval? What about the rights to smaller versions?
I understand all this will be in the contract but I am wondering what is customary for me as the artist to ask for.
Thanks for any input.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-20-2011, 12:56 PM
Mack Mack is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: VA
Posts: 604
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

Others will know more about this than me but I would avoid specific references to what your rights are in regard to the sculpture. It's your work and can't be reproduced by others unless you give permission to do so. Usually they will want the right to use images of the work in their literature etc. But you dont have to get permission to do an edition of this piece or different sized versions of it. It's your creation and yours to do with as you like...unless of course you sign away those rights (perhaps unnecessarily). The Corp. commissioning your sculpture may not care about any of that so why bring it up or put it into a contract? If they do have restrictions for you along these lines, let them raise them and then you can agree to them or not. Basically as the artist you are "asking" them to pay you according to your payment plan and promising them to deliver to them in good condition, on time, the sculpture that they ordered from you. You're not asking them for "rights"to do this or that... you already have them.
But as I said, others here have much more experience with this and can be of help. Good Luck.

Last edited by Mack : 02-20-2011 at 01:09 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-20-2011, 03:47 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 647
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

Mack's correct; you own the copyright unless you sign it away. Unfortunately, there's been a disturbing trend towards forcing artists to waive all their moral rights by agencies commissioning sculptures. Avoid doing that if you possibly can, and if they insist on being designated the sole copy-right holder, at least make them pay significantly more for that. You can license them to make a certain number of copies without forfeiting your copyright, if that's all they want to do - it wouldn't prevent you from making more copies yourself.

Andrew Werby
Juxtamorph.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-22-2011, 11:29 AM
tomdanahy tomdanahy is offline
Level 3 user
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Taos NM
Posts: 31
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

Having had my feet in the Corporate world longer than directly in the Art World I would advise a different strategy. Put together a contract as you want it and present it when it becomes obvious they are serious and you are going to be chosen. Have it reviewed in advance by an attorney (Maybe one of your collectors). A good offense is the best defense in this case. Leaving it all open and blowing in the wind is just putting the strength where the deep pockets are if it turns nasty. If you negotiate a change to your contract put it in writing and both of you sign it.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-22-2011, 01:25 PM
Mack Mack is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: VA
Posts: 604
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

Good points.
First thing of course is to get the commission! Once they've chosen your piece, they'll list their requirements and give you a contract. That's is when you can make YOUR requirements, copyright, editions etc. known. Depending on how much you want the commission will determine whether or not you'll agree to give up your rights regarding the sculpture. Depending on how much THEY want your piece, will determine their willingness to agree to your desires i.e. to make other versions of the work.
But again, they may not care at all about any of that (i.e.nothing about any of those issues in their contract) and it could be a mistake to get them thinking along those lines and making them have meetings etc.and come to decisions etc. that probably won't serve you well. If they don't put restrictions on you in writing, that you have agreed to, they can't defend the omission of them later.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-23-2011, 12:06 PM
tomdanahy tomdanahy is offline
Level 3 user
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Taos NM
Posts: 31
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

Mack, I agree with your comment that if it isn't in the contract, don't roil the waters, but go prepared with the way you would want it in your hip pocket.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-29-2011, 01:05 PM
Chris_Johns's Avatar
Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
Level 5 user
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 87
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

I would always makes sure that intellectual property issues are clearly laid out in any contract. It's better to negotiate a deal which is acceptable to both parties than rely on assumptions which lead to unnecessary disagreements later. I don;t think that avoiding the issue and hoping it doesn't come up is a very good plan in the long term.

In my experience it is always better to take pains to tell customers exactly what they are getting,if both sides enter an agreement with widely divergent assumptions about what they are going to get then someone is going to end up unhappy with the end result. A satisfied customer is good news for everyone involved.

If you are being commissioned to design something then there is potentially a case for the commissioner to claim at least some rights as you have produced the work at their instigation. Even if you have a better case fighting it out at some later stage is something you want to avoid

To a great extent it depends whether the work is going to be a one-off original or whether there is any question of producing open or limited edition copies. Personally, I would consider that if I am selling something as a one-off then it would be unreasonable to make copies for sale if this was not spelled out in the original agreement since uniqueness is part of the value of the work.

Also be aware that three dimensional work is covered by design rights, rather then copyright which is intended for reproducible media (images, text etc), although any drawings, photographs, documentation which you produce would be your copyright.

I think that it is good policy to draw up a set of terms and conditions of business which covers these issues as appropriate to your own practice.

What is reasonable will depend to a large degree on the nature of your practice. If you work in site specific installation and see each piece as a one-off and move on to the next project then reproductions are much less of an issue than if you make for example, limited edition bronze castings.

If you or your customer does intend to make reproductions then this is something that you really need to sort out from the start as it significantly changes the nature of the job and how the work is valued.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-29-2011, 04:37 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
Level 10 user
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 647
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

What are these "design rights" of which you speak? Are you saying that you need to apply for a design patent on any 3D work, and that copyright doesn't apply? Maybe things are different in the UK, but in the US, we certainly can copyright 3-dimensional sculpture, whether or not we intend to offer it in editions. Design patents are typically reserved for functional items like toasters. They offer more comprehensive protection than copyright, so small changes in the appearance of something won't protect an infringer, if the design is essentially similar. To win a copyright suit, you have to prove that the infringing work is derivative of the original; winning an action for violation of a design patent just requires that the unique features of the design are present in the violator's product.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-31-2011, 01:49 PM
Chris_Johns's Avatar
Chris_Johns Chris_Johns is offline
Level 5 user
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Warwickshire UK
Posts: 87
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

In the UK design rights work pretty much the same way as copyright but specifically for 3-dimensional objects so just a difference of terminology I suppose.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-01-2011, 12:02 PM
tomdanahy tomdanahy is offline
Level 3 user
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Taos NM
Posts: 31
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

Yes, that is a UK difference, here, in the USA copywrite covers sculptural work too.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-01-2011, 10:18 PM
ironman ironman is offline
ISC Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Silver City, New Mexico
Posts: 1,603
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

GET A LAWYER (BARRISTER)!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:12 PM
JPL Studio JPL Studio is offline
Level 1 user
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Re: Who owns the rights to a life-sized installation?

This is not a very complicated answer, but there are many answers to this question. You either sell the piece as an edition of 1 and it cost a premium,or you agree that you will make a very limited edition and the next one will not be installed within a certain radius of the other. If I sold one in Dallas, Tx not many people in Orlando, Florida are likely to see the next. This is always worked out in negotiating the price to the initial buyer and how much the price break is for a very limited edition against a one of a kind. My experience has always been it comes down to money and I'm sure you can work a deal whether it be a municipality or an individual. The main thing is to get the deal done to do the first piece. When you get greedy you not only lose money but the chance for your work to be seen by other potential clients. If an individual or institution is interested and excited about your work they want to know that someone else is too.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


Sculpture Community, Sculpture.net
International Sculpture Center, Sculpture.org
vBulletin, Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Russ RuBert