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A Guide on Usage and Ownership
Answered by Jay Nelson, Editor and Publisher, Design Tools Monthly

Occasionally, and certainly more often than we enjoy, misunderstandings arise between our freelancers, our staff, and our clients. In particular, we need a common agreement on ownership, copyright, and legal usage of artwork. Is there an authoritative resource we can use and recommend to our creative partners?

The one essential reference I've recommended for many years is The Graphic Artist Guild's Handbook of Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. Besides addressing the issues you mentioned, it's also a time-honored reference for how to professionally run a design business and how to buy and sell work. It includes:

    • Descriptions of workflows in actual design studios -- including website design
    • Technological issues, including ownership of digital files, document transfer, derivative works and use of
    royalty-free images
    • Two dozen standard contracts with an in-depth discussion of their importance and uses
    • Recent court decisions and legislation affecting artwork and design
    • Essential information on Character and Merchandise licensing
    • A chapter dedicated to Surface and Textile design
    • Global copyright issues
    • And much more

It costs $35 and makes a terrific gift for your favorite clients and associates. Get it at the Graphic Artist Guild's website:

This question was answered by Jay Nelson, Publisher & Editor, Design Tools Monthly. We love DTM's tips and advice and think you will, too. For a free sample PRINTED issue, contact Design Tools Monthly at 303-543-8400, e-mail, or go to their website:

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