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Old 03-19-2005, 08:23 AM   #46
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Thanks for moving the post to the correct thread, Czar.

And thanks again for the welcome

I have changed the email address, and updated my profile as well.
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:21 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally posted by Czar
perhaps we'll be able to simplify both players' processes and, in doing so, finally work towards eliminating the "us against them" attitude that is held by some players on both sides of the fence.
Yes I agree this is the real answer but it is going to be tricky. Licensing is expensive but one way to get around upfront payments for publishers is royalties, which are very common offline and starting to happen online as well.

The problem is that there is no clear accountablility of revenue on most humor sites, and licensing fees for professional content will most likely be too expensive for most small publishers.

But I have other ideas about content acquisition and an agency, not unlike Webshots, I believe could be very successful and I would like to be involved.
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:11 PM   #48
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Vimal, thanks so much for the kind offer.

JT, did you see his post and the link to the free images? Thats 2 folks who provide images and I assume all the necessary paper work/emails to protect them and you.

Other ideas for JT,

1. A digital camera would be nice? Take and post funny pictures.

2. The Art Schools (Post Secondary Education) are full of really talented folks who love to draw cartoons. Contact the placement office, offer them an intern position, many will do this work for free in excahnge for building their "book" and or a link to their own site. Your are a host so maybe even a free hosting account would make the deal work. Please, I'm not inferring that their work has the polish and pop of a professsional but you would be amazed at what these "kids" can produce and yep, I'm speaking from direct first hand experience. Also, make sure you get the "rights" papper work completed with each one. They are used to that and it's even taught in some schools along with a "taste" of IP law

Returning to the other aspect of this thread if it's OK JT? That is an "agency" kind of thing where Publishers properly license work from artists in excahnge for money:

1. Foundation: Respectfully, I'm not convinced that both sides of the issue are ready to sit down at the table and try and reach common ground. This would be the best way but not the only way. Like Josh/Czar says their is a business model inside this relationship and thus a quasi "Comstock" like organization which is run for profit and then the marketplace determines weather both sides will make the deal work.

2. On the other hand, who wants to converse with 100 screaming Publishers and 100 screaming artists. Find a neutral place to "talk", a mature and seasoned neutral party to ride heard, and each side of the table appoints a rep or two who would talk.

3. I would favor the original idea of JT to start and I would definetly NOT try and please everyone. This is business. It's not about grudges, mad, and hate. It's facing the reality that the "tooth paste is already out of the tube" and trying to strike a business deal that acknowledges the realitites of the Web and at the same time compensates the artists and provides the Publisher with a large number of images in one buy which are easy to manage and track, at a reasonable cost. This of course is what JT suggested and I agree that this is the way to start.

4. Ready for me to toss some numbers at either side? Respectfully, please remember that this is a "start" and certainly NOT designed for every Publisher or Artist on planet earth. Nor is it in stone but it does start the dialog and supports the KIS theory.

0.99 cents per image with a minamum Webmaster buy of $499.00 and this includes a "cut" for the agent/broker, licensing, identification of each image, and all the other legal stuff. Figure a net net of around 450 images for a paltry $499. You license the images for a specific site, you may not resell, alter, and all the other legal stuff which I am simplifying.

A given artist needs to provide a minamum of 50 images to join a given distribution. Thats a total of about 10 talented artists or even fewer if they provide images in lots of 50. If a given artists prefers not to work this cheap then thats just fine with me. I respect your thoughts and please don't take it personally since this is business and not a cafateria food fight

5. I can imagine the "drama" in both camps. Artists fighting with each other over how cheap they work and Publishers screaming at each other over how they can't offord 500 bucks and would rather roll the dice. Thats fine as long as I don't have to read it Fish or cut bait and lets move forward.

And you?

Good luck to all

Last edited by Steve_S; 03-20-2005 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:24 AM   #49
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Hi Everyone,

I have been a silent reader from some time but I think I should also get in the discussion now. I am glad that JDT is agreeing for a settlement but Oliver does have some strong points. We, as a team of artists, would love to work in an environment where we can get our work published without any fear of our work being misused.

Few years back, we had some requests from webmasters of creating content similar to a particular site. They would send us a link and simply ask to redo the idea with different artwork and music. Back then, there was no awareness about how crucial this copyright thing can get and then some of our clients got sued due to that content. Anyways, we learned our lesson and started accepting the request for 'original' content only and results have been outstanding.

Lately we got involved into the broadcast industry and working on few large projects but we still do licensing of our Original content and produce custom made static and animated web content as well. So we would like to be involved in the copy "right" or "wrong" debate to play safe.

Just to let you guys have a better understanding, we have been providing creative content for Oliver, Adam, Kat and many other websites as big as flowgo.com and 00fun.com etc...

If you want to have a look at the quality of work we produce I suggest checking our showreel.

http://www.web-dyn.com/showreel.html

Or if you want to have a look at the Original Licensable eCards please have a look at this link.

http://www.funpunch.com
(112 Original Flash Cartoon Animated eCards available on non-exclusive license)

I hope we will be able to settle this issue with out ‘banning’ anyone from GV :~)
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:35 AM   #50
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Since we are on the topic, I would like to raise few questions.

Should an artist be allowed to use some of the work he produced for a certain company in his portfolio to attract more clients?

If he uses that content in the showreel assuming that he created that work, can he still be penalized under copyright law?

If that company says “No!” or remove the work done for their company from the showreel, don’t you think it’s unfair to the Artist when he’s just trying to show off his potential to another prospect? and that the particular company is exploiting the artist? Is there anything which can be done in this regard?

Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2005, 10:45 AM   #51
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well let me answer that for you FunPunch, in a work-for-hire situation it would depend on the contract. Does your contract allow for such use?
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Old 03-22-2005, 11:23 AM   #52
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Default Excellent thoughts

Those are some very good thoughts, Steve. A win-win for the webmasters and the artists (only those who can afford to work at those rates)

I had myself thought of some kind of Micro-payment method earlier, where I'd earn the license fees for my work in the form of a "Revenue share" for the content used. The webmaster just diverts his TRAFFIC to my content on his own site. The more the content is used, the more money the content makes for him.

And the more money he makes from my content, the more would be my fees or "revenue share". Enough to motivate me to keep bringing fresher content with better quality and keep on improving.

The only problem was it was too much hassle setting the entire project up. Major being 'trust' as I would not be sure how much the content is being used, or how much money is being made. Too many complexities in tracking it made me change my mind.

If anyone can better that idea, it would be an additional source of Free content of high quality for webmasters and earning additional money as well.

Regarding Steve's idea above, I would be the one willing to give it a try. I have a team of artists / animators working in my studio - ( http://www.ecardfunny.com/1.jpg - sorry not a professionally shot picture )

I've also worked with many members from the Humor / Ecards industry, notable being Kat, Karl, Leon, Tom, Chris and many more.

I would invite a more detailed dialogue from the people reading this thread as to how to get these excellent thoughts from Steve into being implemented, rather than just keeping them into ''possible ideas" stage.
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Old 03-22-2005, 12:24 PM   #53
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Hi Vimal!

You seems to be talking about a royalty licensing arrangment. This is good for the publisher because they incur no production costs or liabilities but there must be an accountable revenue stream.

Now online this could be advertising revenue, but most small humor sites do not make very much money on the advertising and I am not sure how one would track other affiliate revenue and attribute it to a particular page. At least with pageviews, you would be able to account for banner/pop advertising revenue.

I think the best way to go is yearly non-exclusive licensing fees. This might make it possible to keep the costs down for publishers.
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Old 03-22-2005, 02:26 PM   #54
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WOW Some great thoughts. Welcome Newbies and everyone else. I have some additional thoughts:

1. The problem with either compensating the Aritst via a % of revenue from a given site and or traffic flow (Page Views/Circulation) to a given site is a matter of "trust". The web is to immature for this to be a viable solution for both Webmasters/Publishers and Artists. Please consider what we already have or don't have:

Lets look at the CPC, CPM, and CPA space. Some Pulishers are already distrustfull of Affiliate networks who they think are: shaving impressions, stuffing cookies, dropping sales, and not paying either on time or never In some cases the Webmasters thoughts are spot on. In other cases the Networks have to deal with cheaters, fraud, shills, and yuky stuff. No offence intended to anyone reading my thoughts. In essence, neither side trusts the other in some cases.

The Web itself does not even have a universall way of accurately measuring traffic accross all sites. Certainly, their are some players who try but given the immaturity of the medium it bares little resemblance to the magazine industry which does have a trusted third party and other industries which have been around for decades with respected third parties. Think "Nielson" as an example for your next TV campaign.

From an Artists perspective it can generally be argued that they aren't as "Web Aware" as a Publisher. Thats not a critizism, it's rather a reflection of how they have worked for decades. Pen and ink, on dead trees Artists are used to working with an in person agent with a reputation and word of mouth. Their perception of some new kid on the block who claims to fairly and accurately report impressions and or revenue from a given site would be met with skeptisism and distrust. In some cases an Artists very first impression of the Web was the "theft" of their images accross numerous sites and absolutely no monetary reward. Yikes!

2. I'm certainly not adverse to licensing individual images during a subsequent roll out of the model and at a higher price than a bulk distribution for the exact same image/work. Pay, agree to to the non exclsuive licensing agreament and that concludes the transaction.

3. Everyone should understand and I think some of you do that the third party who compiles the distribution of say 450 images is a for profit business with absolutely no skeletons in their past, 110% transparent, and absoluletly outstanding moral and ethical standards. When I had much more hair I used to work for Corel Draw as an independent contractor and co-authored some books and CDs with our very own member named "geekbooks" and Chris Dickman.

Compiling a distribution is work. A lot of work! Fraught with complexities, legal exsposure, a single mistake on a CD run of of say 200K can turn into a nightmare for everyone. Plus they have to handle payment to artists, Payments from Publishers, some talent in selecting images, filter Artists submissions for fraud, track/book data on sales, legal stuff, and numerous other issues

Thus, from a purely pragmatic view, the bulk distribution provides more revenue per image for the third party who handles the relationship. Thats why you see tons of CDs full of clip art, video clips to tweak in After Effects, and photo collections. Think "economy of scale".

4. It would be great and very valuable to see posts from Webmaster/Publishers in this thread and your own views and reasons with respect to paying money to license images.

Please post!
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Old 03-22-2005, 03:41 PM   #55
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A few comments on pricing within the proposed IP marketplace:

The project shouldn't involve a standard 'cut' mass CD distribution, IMHO. A subscription method or ad-hoc item-by-item puchase/licensing agreement would provide an original model supportive of a broader variety of uses than simply cooker-cutter archive development.

The market for ho-hum clipart supply is already saturated and a no-margin business for both artists and the distrubutor/manufacturer. Even at retail rates, clipart/free music discs seem to sell best in the sub-$20 range. They also dilute the value of artists' work by turning them into costless commodity pieces.

This project is all about bringing together high-end professional artistic product and professional web publishers who want royalty-free usage of these materials for web-based projects (minus archives and other free distribution mechanisms). The model most comparable to this is that concerning the supply of high-end photographic material and multimedia elements, where each image or element is priced suitably enough to meet the needs of the artist, while deliberately limiting distribution to a smaller selection of publishers so as to maintain the unique quality of the work.

Publishers know and expect that they'll have to pay a premium rate for near-exclusive use of a particular work, and doing so can be a huge drawcard for the site that publishes the piece.

Of course, package bundling and different pricing tiers will make some items more accessible, but this should not be a project designed to make 100s or 1000s of creative elements available on a single CD for royalty-free use by anyone who is willing to fork out a few bob. If that's what a publisher wants, he/she could easily just duck over to ArtToday.com, AnimationFactory or one of the other countless number of royalty-free clipart/animation distributors.

2 cents.

If this is what artists are looking for, we will proceed with development of the platform within the next week or two. If they're simply looking for a bulk CD distro, perhaps someone else within the Geek/Talk community will be willing to support the project.
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Last edited by Czar; 03-22-2005 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:44 PM   #56
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Excellent thoughts. You have a good handle on the licensing situation, IMHO.

It is important to read careful the licensing agreements on Art.com and any other RF sites. Most Royalty-Free photography for example exclude such uses as e-cards and other web content. But I do believe there are some sources of RF art that would allow some use of humor content (iStockphoto.com - up to 50,000 pageviews then steep fees apply )

I am excited about your realization that to attract the professional artists any agency must limit the uses, mostly with pricing. Flooding the market is never recommended and severely limits the value of intellectual property.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:51 PM   #57
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The result of this lawsuit is that I have to pay a trustee of Eric D - 2000 dollars, then pay attorney fees of 500+ on my side.

I suppose it's a lesson in either extortion or copyright law or maybe some of each..

JDT
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:51 AM   #58
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Default Re: result

Quote:
Originally posted by batcavenet
The result of this lawsuit is that I have to pay a trustee of Eric D - 2000 dollars, then pay attorney fees of 500+ on my side.

I suppose it's a lesson in either extortion or copyright law or maybe some of each..

JDT
Extortion? Excuse me! How is using one of your legitimate legal options to protect your property extortion?
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Old 03-23-2005, 10:52 PM   #59
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While we're talking about extorting copyright "damages"...

http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read.html?id=3313

Quote:
How AFP killed an Online News Site by Suing Google


Political Gateway.com- Mar 23 – Last Thursday AFP, a French based news service and the oldest news service in the world, sued Google, the biggest search engine in the world for copyright infringement. An amount around 17 million was asked for in damages. This story will give you an overview of the situation and the damage it has done.

AFP is saying Google presents AFP headlines and summaries on the search engine news aggregator. And that is more than ‘fair use’ and they need to ‘pay up’. Google has no ads on the news service and Google is just one of many news aggregators out there. What Google does is common practice on the web.

Topix.net is another example. Just today an announcement of a merger with Topix.net and a few companies like the New York Times show how important these services are for readers and businesses alike.

No matter how you look at it, AFP will lose this battle. It is inherently just an attempt to extort money out of Google. What AFP does not realize is how badly they have damaged their clients. Political Gateway is one of their clients and we have been devastated.

Last edited by Amok Entertainment; 03-23-2005 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 03-24-2005, 02:27 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by photocartoonist
well let me answer that for you FunPunch, in a work-for-hire situation it would depend on the contract. Does your contract allow for such use?
Forget about the legalities for sometime; tell me, do you think it is ethically fair to the artist to bind him by the contract, not to use his very own creation or even a small part of it in his portfolio? Do you think limiting the artist to the extent of “just forget you did some work for us” type of clause should be included in a work-for-hire contract? Does this serve better to an artist by any mean?

Sorry JDT for being slightly off-topic but I think my questions are somehow related to the discussion we are having regarding artist's rights. Czar if you think it's not adding any value to the current discussion, please feel free to move my posts to appropriate forum/thread.
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