The pricing game, redux

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In this kind of world, what am I actually worth?

Following on from an the previous post on understanding licensing, I thought it’d be instructive to also revisit the remaining elephant in the room for any photographer – especially newly-minted ones – is the question of how much to charge. Attached to that comes the mechanics of it all: invoicing, accounting, collecting payment, and the big one: licensing. Oddly, I find that this part of the business is something that seasoned pros are the most reticent to discuss; perhaps it’s part self-protectionism, perhaps it’s the cultural omerta towards money (at least in Southeast Asia, everybody seems to judge you by how much you earn, but to ask outright would be a major social faux pas*) or perhaps it’s because some of us are afraid to admit how little we’re actually charging.

*Nobody is likely to tell you the truth anyway; culturally, it’s like asking a lady her age in the West. It’s the age-old dilemma of one’s ego wanting to show their success, but simultaneously being afraid of being a target of jealousy. Whilst boastfulness is never a desirable trait, I think we need to be proud of our work and position as professionals and craftsmen – like every other form of social posturing, others tend to judge your implied relative value on external appearances.

And here’s the dilemma (or is it a trilemma since there are three options?): if they ask, do you tell your competition – remembering that you may well be competing for the same job – what you’re billing, in order to maintain rates across the board? Do you not tell them so you win the job, but potentially at the expense of eroding rates for everybody? Or do you give them wrong information – for any one of a number of possible reasons? Let’s consider the last situation for a moment: perhaps you give a false answer because you simply don’t want anybody else to know. It could be higher or lower than the other guy – in the end it probably averages out to no harm, no foul. You could deliberately give a higher number – all other things being equal, that would win you the job at the expense of long term sustainability. Or you could lowball and hope the other guy just backs off without submitting an even lower quote, in which case you’d lose the job and affect future rates.

The problem with all of these scenarios is that none of them are win-win situations for everybody. The only situation that’s sustainable is complete transparency and meritocracy in selection – and we all know that not only does this not happen, it’s pretty much impossible to be objective when judging the relative artistic merits of photographers. Here, client opinion is law – if they don’t like your work, there’s no point in trying to argue otherwise. (In fact, there are plenty of reasons not to pursue the job – but that is another topic for another day.) As a photographer and industry member – this situation is concerning, to say the least.

Like it or not, the reality is that the professional photographic industry – perhaps to a greater extent in Asia than elsewhere – is a numbers game. Education plays a big part in this: even relatively savvy clients will choose a photographer on price as one of the primary considerations. If the difference in image quality or output is say 10%, but the price is 50%, diminishing returns never wins. This of course means two things: firstly, mediocrity thrives because it’s cheap and easy; secondly, it’s very, very difficult to perpetuate and promote a premium product and service because the incremental cost to do so far outweighs any potential returns. And in the end, if you’ve got to charge the same or close to it to get the job and the client doesn’t really appreciate the difference, then all you’re doing is running at lower operating margins than the competition. This will not be in your favor in the long run. This is also one of the reasons I decided not to switch to medium format even though there was definitely a clear jump in image quality. I’d have to spend north of US$30,000 just for a basic kit, and even then I’d still have to retain the Nikon for some things – it simply didn’t make sense in our economy.

This brings us back to the core question: pricing. You can’t charge more just because you’re using a more expensive camera, or at least it makes no sense that it’s justified; I’ve said it time and again: your equipment is in no way indicative of your skill level. And if anything, if one photographer requires less equipment to achieve the same results as another, then it should be clear that the deficit is being made up through skill. But how does this translate into money? How much better qualitatively is a $100 image vs a $1,000 one?

Ultimately, it’s down to the client, of course. But it’s important to have at least some internal scale of charges you use as a baseline to start from. Although ostensibly getting a rate quote from a photographer should be fairly simple, it’s not. Let me explain why by starting with a list of things we have to consider:

  • Physical shoot time required
  • Retouching
  • Travel costs, if any
  • Complexity of setup
  • Whether we have to bump or reschedule other things – you might do this for a large project, but not for a small one – this of course comes at the expense of other things and potentially written-off revenue
  • Permits and planning
  • Any additional things we might need to hire or buy – props, talent, lights, location, equipment, makeup artists
  • Volume
  • The client – both ability to pay, and how much you want to work with them
  • License model

In practice, the last two items are the ones that invariably provide us with the largest headaches. Let’s look at three examples, and calculate cost on a per-image basis.

  1. Photojournalism/ reportage style assignment for a corporate client, one day of shooting. Let’s say it’s documenting a new production line process or something. Final delivery of 50 images, for internal PR and comms use only.
  2. Commercial shoot for an ad campaign for a large international brand, five images of a couple of watches, some of which involve props. Has to be done on-location at the factory in Switzerland. Images will require heavy retouching and compositing, and be used worldwide for a period of two years across multiple media.
  3. Whilst on job 2, another one of your existing clients calls you up and says they heard you were in Switzerland; would you mind coming over and shooting a couple of watches for them? They don’t know how many images they’ll need, but it’s two watches and you can do your usual thing of shooting first, sending over a contact sheet and they’ll pick what they need from there. You happen to have a spare day, and the necessary equipment.
  4. A new client calls up and says they got your name from a friend, they’re opening a restaurant and need some photos of the food and interior. How much do you charge?
  5. You get an email from a small agency who would like to use one of your images they saw on Flickr for an advertisement in Peru. There is no indication or offer of payment.

Life is suddenly not quite so simple, is it? Day rates go out of the window for #3, 4 and 5. And yes, I’ve had all five situations happen to me. In the same month. For 1., I’d go with a day rate – let’s say 100 units**. That number of images and the scope of what I have to cover sounds like about a day of work; the retouching/ postprocessing should be relatively minor since it’s documentary rather than commercial work – perhaps another day at most. I generally assume a day of shooting translates into a day of processing; this is mostly true except for the most demanding commercial work, where it’s higher. This might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re shooting fewer pictures in the first place, chances are a) you’re getting more of it right in camera, and b) those images are going to need increased amounts of individual attention. So for the most part, it’s accurate. I price retouching in with my day rates – I’ve found it easier than to split the two out; if you do, clients tend to ask ‘would it be cheaper without retouching?’ The answer of course is yes, but there is no way any halfway serious commercial photographer worth their lenscaps would even contemplate releasing unfinished images. As for licensing, in this situation the images probably have zero value to anybody but the original client, so the license model doesn’t affect pricing – I can’t make any more money off them, so whether it’s single use or worldwide unlimited exclusive makes no difference.

**I’m playing coy Asian now. Of course, how you determine what 100 units translates to in real dollar terms depends on several factors in itself: your skill level, your credentials, your client list – clout and experience, if you will – prevailing domestic conditions like cost of living etc – and how much you personally need to survive off. I figure there are two ways to do this: either make it a low number so you’re billable and busy for a relatively high portion of each month – income will be consistent, but you will be tired and not really able to grow – or assume you’re going to shoot only about 1/4 of the time or less, and extrapolate from there. The reality is that I average between four and six shooting days a month. The rest of the time is retouching, planning meetings, client pitches, producing content for the site, teaching etc. This allows for both variety and expansion: if suddenly I’m shooting 10-12 days a month, my income doubles – success means that I spend less time pitching and meeting, and more time planning and shooting because people come to me. 

So, in situation 1., we have a per-image cost of 2. In situation 2, we’ve got travel costs, props, rental of stuff over on location, possibly location rental itself and permits, and in this case, either a day rate or a per shot rate. I’m guessing it’ll take two days to shoot, but given that it’s for a global ad campaign, even a raw per shot cost of 40 is on the low side. Here, I’d probably start with say 100 per shot, add incurred expenses at costs – travel – I dunno, perhaps another 200 – rentals etc – another 100. Now we’re up to 800, for a total of 160 per shot. Would the license model make a difference here? Oddly, again not directly: you can’t use the images for anything else, but what it does give you an idea of is the scope of use, and how much money they’re throwing at the overall campaign – and thus its relative importance, and the relative importance of your images. If your work is helping to sell more expensive product, why shouldn’t you get a larger portion of the proceeds? It seems like a win-win to me.

Scenario 3. is a tough one. You can’t charge travel costs because they  know you’re already there and your costs are being covered by the other client – and it’s important to find out if they mind or not for the longevity of your relationship – and you can’t charge a day rate either, because you know the end images will be used commercially and require similar levels of work to the campaign images. But you’re also going to have to shoot a lot of raw material because the client hasn’t given you a shot list or have a concrete idea of what they need. In this situation, I have an idea of what these kinds of images cost – let’s say 30-50, on a relative scale compared to situation 2. – so what I’d probably do is say it’s 50 per image for x images, then if you pick more, I’ll give you a sliding scale discount down to 30 per image. You’ve already done half the work, so if for not much more incremental work you can increase your revenue, then you might as well do so. At the same time, if you’re the client, you need some incentive to buy more images – especially if they’re ones that that are ‘nice to haves’ rather than critical. I see this situation as an incremental opportunity rather than a new one – so the rates tend to be dictated by  preserving the relationship and long term sustainability.

Scenario 4. happens more often than you might think. If the brief has that little information in it, chances are you’re dealing with a client that has absolutely no concept of IP, licensing or even retouching. They’ll ask you to do things like ‘photoshop in people to make the place look busy’. With jobs like this, I will usually ask for an estimated number of shots and assume unlimited use since they’ll probably be no good to anybody, and explaining any other kind of licensing model is near-impossible; if they can’t even give me that, then it’s a day rate and a guess based on what they need. If the number works, then we go ahead. If not, then I don’t touch it with a barge pole: I’ve been burned in the past. Convincing people isn’t the problem; it’s the disconnect in their expectations and yours. Never underestimate how much of a headache the inability to communicate your artistic requirements can be. Many years ago, I once had a fashion client that insisted he didn’t want the model looking at the camera; I warned him that the images would look distant because of a lack of direct viewer engagement; he insisted; and then complained afterwards when ‘the model isn’t even looking at me!’. Ugh.

The final scenario is also fairly common. I start off by informing them that I’m a commercial photographer and images are available for license; rates depend on the usage. If they come back after that, then usually we’re good to go – name a number and if it’s reasonably in line with prevailing rates, then you’ve just gotten a sale. I guess it’d be around 10-20 or perhaps more, depending on usage. If you get a reply along the lines of ‘but it’s only for xyz and it’ll be great exposure for you’, then thanks, but no thanks. Not only will nobody remember the photographer in some obscure campaign in some obscure location, but chances are your image will probably land up being used somewhere else too because they have no understanding or respect for IP. It’s one of the many reasons why I will never put full size images with any remote sort of commercial value online anywhere^. The basis is this: clearly your work has commercial value because the end user would like to employ it to help sell whatever widget or service it is; but they are not willing to reward that value, so why should I give away something for free – especially when there’s no value that returns to me?

^And given that I refuse to show unfinished work in case it’s attributed to me, this means I’ll just never post full size images period, no matter how many review commenters ask.

In these five fairly common scenarios, we’ve got per-image prices that range anywhere from 2 units to 160 units – a variance of 80x – for the same photographer, and probably the same equipment. Now, see why the question of ‘how much do you charge?’ is about as easy to answer as ‘how long is a piece of string’? Of course, if you only shoot one style – say full blown commercial campaign only, or reportage only – then your prices are likely to be a lot more consistent, but I’m sure you can also understand why there’s no way I can charge 160 units per reportage image, and 2 units per campaign image would be completely unsustainable.

To some degree, this means that rates are self-moderating; I can’t actually think of that many other photographers who both shoot reportage assignments and luxury watch campaigns. And within the categories, there are of course tiers; the more famous you are, the more you can charge. Of course, we all know that fame doesn’t necessarily correlate with ability the domestic wedding photography market is perhaps the best example of this, and also the worst example of a regulated industry. You’ve got famous society ‘pros’ who are little more than button pushers charging five figures per day; at the same time you’ve got some seriously skilled amateurs who do it as a weekend hobby for a few hundred for the entire event. There is simply no consistency here.

The same applies to teaching and workshops: if that’s all you do for a living, then you need to have consistency of income, which is brought on through volume. If you’re a bona fide working commercial photographer, then there’s always a tradeoff: the time you spend teaching is time you can’t bill a client for, and it must be committed to far in advance of the actual workshop – and you have to do it even if you have another better paid job for the same period, and less than half capacity. Here, as a student, you’re paying for the photographer’s opportunity cost and of course their knowledge and experience. Value here is relative; clearly there’s more to be learned from somebody who’s proven their images have commercial value than somebody who just blogs. Yet this doesn’t seem to be the case in the market, most of the time: as usual, the loudest voice wins. Just because he shouts loud doesn’t mean what he has to say is worth listening to. As usual: judge value by output. Be very careful of people whose images are either limited in style/ subject matter – a lack of diversity points to a fundamental lack of skills in some areas – or just downright crap.

In a roundabout way, this brings us back to our starting point. I firmly believe in a couple of things: how much you charge should be proportional to both the work required (obviously) and your level of skill. And your level of skill should be determined by both your clients, and by implication, your peers who also shoot for those clients. There’s a degree of information available that should give you a fair idea of what to quote; if not, be honest and ask what your client’s expectations are. Some will try to lowball or game you; most will be honest. The nice thing about this system is that whilst nobody really knows how much everybody else charges, they all have enough of an idea not to spoil the market. In the long run, whilst charging less will get you the job today, it means that things become tougher in the future: in every other industry, rates up with inflation and experience, not down. At the high end, a lot of this is semi-regulated by the agencies; whilst traditional ad agencies engaging photographers directly almost always take a sizeable cut of the bill presented to the client, they also handle a large number of major commissions; large enough that there’s a general benchmark for prices. Still, in recent times I’ve experienced (and heard) a lot of companies going direct to the photographer in the interest of saving some money; the photographer, not always being aware of the agency markup, will (if they’re smart) quote a lower price than the agency would, but a bit higher than their normal rates; there’s a bit of a positive shift going on at the moment.

Now what we need to do is be consistent to ensure that a) everybody wins and b) rates don’t erode further in the longer term. I don’t think the sharing of actual numbers is a bad thing, but I think we need to be a bit careful who we share with: you want to make sure that a) they’re not direct competition but still in a similar line, or b) you have tacit agreements not to poach each other’s clients unless the client makes the first move. There are a small circle of pros here who believe the same; in the longer term, the plan is to set up some sort of agency or accreditation/ regulatory body with the aim of both taking care of the long term commercial interests of the photographer, as well as educating clients and ensuring quality control. Despite what everybody thinks – it isn’t all doom and gloom in the industry, but it’s going to require a lot more collaboration than we have at present*** to make it stick. MT

Coda: Look out for a future article on understanding licensing: I originally wanted to roll it into this one, but by the time I explained the pricing model, we were already at dissertation-length and probably broaching the limits of most readers’ patience.

***In Malaysia, at least


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  1. I experience the exact situations you listed. Additionally I get the words “While you are out here can we also get a few shots of x? It will only be a few minutes.” Of course they presume it to be included in the original contract price.

    I have also had large projects that require long distance travel, models, rental gear etc. The stress of planning and managing such projects far outweighs the net revenue they generate. While it is fun to say “I am off to London to shoot the new Aston”, the sad truth is that some punter photographing a local dog show may be taking home more cash than you. I have been quite happy shooting 6-2 jobs a week for smaller sums but the annual net works out well for me. Americans are also averse to sharing incomes (Puritanical nonsense but still a strong social constraint) but I have taken home six figures for the last dozen years and have a paid for home and a decent retirement savings while living in California, a notoriously expensive state.
    My rationale for multiple small jobs is that losing any one client is a minimal economic hit and as I get to shoot a lot I stay on my game.

    • Makes perfect sense to me, and the same conclusions I came to in the end. Rather than one job representing 50% of your total annual take and being a huge risk financially (especially for what must be fronted, delayed client payments and in Malaysia -them trying to bargain you down) – I’ve tried to spread them out into no more than 10% each. I got burned once on a car shoot where the client had the cheek to ask for a 15% discount if they paid in full on time (after already bargaining down the quote) – not realising (or perhaps realising and not caring) that the 15% was my entire margin for a six figure job! Even then, they took almost nine months to pay and up to that point I was basically free finance for them. Never did another job with them again after this, even though they came back several times.

  2. Hi Ming, Check out Rob Haggart’s site – He often discusses how he negotiates rates. Actually his latest post is an example.

  3. Hi Ming,

    Completely out of topic,

    I took a picture at the same spot in Chicago – but there was no Trump sign there 😉

  4. In my case, the figure in the photo would consider would consider all aspects of the question, give them candid and serious deliberation, then throw herself off the bridge.

  5. Ming, this is a great post! I did have to laugh at scenario #5 though. The thought of anyone in Peru, or a myriad of other places I could name, asking for usage information about an image found on Flickr was quite humorous. I gave up trying to track down my images and stopped contributing. 🙂

    Your posts are always so well thought out and informative. Thank you for continuing to make such a contribution to the photography world!

  6. When I get an inquiry for a job I ask for a complete description of the project. I listen to the whole thing then ask whatever followup questions seem relevant. At this point in the conversation, the client has invested time into using me, and know by my questions that I care enough to take it seriously. This makes the next question seem more natural: “What is your photography budget for this project?” I’ll either get a hard number or a high-low range. If it’s a big project, I’ll offer to get back to them (usually within a few hours) with a proposal listing what I can offer in that price range. I usually offer more than one package, to create the feeling of power through choice. If it’s a smaller project or one I’ve done often enough to feel comfortable with, I’ll just them what I can offer for that amount.

    If they have no idea about their budget, I will say something like, “I have packages for this type of project that start at” then give them a my least expensive package that is still going to be worth my while. Honestly, if they never thought about a budget before I asked, they are usually going to be a tougher client to sell anyway.

  7. jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    What really makes it worse is the way everyone on Earth now thinks they are photographers, because of their blasted cellphones. So they don’t appreciate the product you are creating, as much as they did until quite recently.

    Although I regard myself as a “serious amateur”, I’d hate to be a professional photographer. Trying to earn a decent living, using very expensive gear, by selling “creative” and/or “artistic” and “quality” images to a completely unappreciative market.

    On a really bad day, it must be like taking a blind man for a tour of an art gallery.

    • Professionalism is an attitude, a consistency and the ability to deliver regardless of other factors. Whether you use a phone or not is not really relevant…but I’ll grant for the vast majority of clients, there are expectations. Lucky is the pro who gets a client who trusts your vision and lets you execute it however you best see fit…I am very fortunate to have had quite a few of those.

  8. When I was John Deere’s Australian photographer, a gig that ended in 1996, I signed a single contract, and its duration was seven years. In their model, I shot for them once or twice a year at my daily rate ($1,200 AUD), and all expenses were paid (travel, accommodation, food). The contract I signed ceded copyright to the company, so they owned the images (I had permission to reproduce any for my personal advertising purposes) and I submitted the raw files to them at the end of the shoot, so zero work after the job concluded. All shoots were a week to ten days on location (country Australia).

    This worked out well for me. I have never understood why photographers want to licence their work, though I have no objection to the model in principle—the way I thought about John Deere is that they were paying for your time and expertise. If you buy a work of art made by an artist, it’s a once-off sale, isn’t it? And it’s not as though the work you are doing for them constrains any other work you will be doing—if you are creative, then those juices flow when needed and your work will be sought.

    I found working with the company and the art director they provided each time a truly excellent working experience, and I made some memorable images. I would rather work this way than any other; it’s simple, uncomplicated, and clear. My background as a live television director may be influencing my perspectives, but a daily rate that includes ceding copyright makes perfect commercial sense to me.

    • Tim Shoebridge says:

      When you buy a work of art you are still bound by a restrictive licence, you can not for example photograph it, distribute those images for commercial gain, put them on merchandise etc etc. The original artist retains those rights, well any savvy artist will ensure this arrangement.

      • However – there’s a big difference between art photography and commercial use commissions…

        • CRAIG WEINLEIN says:

          When you buy a work of art you have purchased and acquired title to the physical object, not the copyright to the work. Because the purchaser of the work of art has not purchased or licensed any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner, the purchaser of the work of art has no right to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies, prepare derivative works, publicly distribute copies of the copyrighted work, or publicly display or perform the copyrighted work.

          • This seems a little odd. You can buy a work of art but you aren’t allowed to show it?

            • Precisely why I so much prefer my deliberately high daily rate. In fact, as one of the early videographers (I was a film documentary and live TV director for the ABC in Australia) I charged exactly the same as a daily rate for shooting video, too, and a negotiated rate for editing, post the location shoots. Ceding copyright, while not common among photographers, has many advantages assuming a suitable daily rate, I believe. If you are creative, you are always going toe be able to make another outstanding image, or program, for that matter.

            • CRAIG WEINLEIN says:

              Yes, not “publicly” without the permission of the copyright owner, at least in the United States. Ownership of a copy is separate from ownership of the copyright. Purchasing the physical object does not include the author’s right to display the copyrighted work publicly in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work. There are certain limited exceptions to the general rule, including for face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, or a public performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work without any purpose of commercial advantage and without payment of any fee to the performers and no admission charge for the public. There are other special rules for pictorial, graphic and sculptural works that portray useful articles or are incorporated in a building. The general rule is designed to prevent someone from purchasing the copyrighted object and then selling tickets to the public performance or public display of the copyrighted work without the permission of the copyright owner. The physical objects that contain the copyrighted work (i.e. the copies) can be sold and resold by their owners at any price without the permission of the copyright owner. But the owners of the copies need permission to make further copies or to publicly display or perform the copyrighted work, subject to very limited exceptions. Sorry to be so technical but that is how copyright works in the United States.

              • I understand the spirit of it. This raises a lot of practical questions, though: if somebody walking past your house sees it through a window, is that public display? If you share an image of it in context? etc.

                • I thought that “freedom of panorama” had come up in your articles before, but a while ago there was a lot of controversy about the restrictions in place on publishing images that showed famous buildings, landmarks, and so on. It appears that some architects and artists seek to retain control over how (or even whether) their works are depicted, despite those works being in a public space. And some cities and countries pander to such interests, making the sharing of images complicated and prone to legal intimidation.

                  Naturally, a work held in a private space is a slightly different matter, but the principles at work are largely the same. If someone is paid for a tangible piece of art, should they continue to exercise control over how that tangible object is used? And these principles extend to things other than art, all in the name of “intellectual property”. So you can have mass-produced items that you “own” but do not control, where there would be no chance of you cloning and selling those items from the individual item you have in your possession, but you are denied various rights – to repair, resell, and so on – nevertheless.

                  I am personally in favour of copyright as a form of empowerment, both for creators and those who receive works, the latter hopefully participating in the creative process and becoming creators, too. Sadly, copyright and other instruments are all too often misused for revenue maximisation, disempowering others and impoverishing our common cultural wealth as a result.

                  • I think it was discussed in the comments below the line, but not as a full topic on its own.

                    You raise good points with mass production vs intellectual property – clearly, in this case, owning and using and displaying is not the same as control (or duplication and deriving additional commercial value). Perhaps it is nothing more complex than that: is there profit to be made? If not, then you’re good. If there is, and this is made mainly or entirely off the original work of the creator, then unless the original sale agreement states this is allowable – then it is not.

                    • Even the notion of profit is rather expansive. You may remember videotapes (also DVDs, other media) having the “scare screen” at the beginning (together with patronising “piracy” warning at the end) about the product not being intended for consumption under certain, almost bizarrely specific, conditions like viewing on offshore oil platforms and, more generally, in other places where communal viewing might take place. Ultimately, the rights holders regard such use of their works as undermining other profit opportunities.

                      This also came up when people were being sued for file sharing, with the absurd notion that every download was monetarily equivalent to a full-price sale, hence the astronomical damages sought for people sharing songs that were playing almost continuously on the radio or television already. Thus, it is easy to get the impression that some industries want to have as many chances to monetise a single work as possible, even if it contradicts intuitive notions of property that have been around since humans first created tangible objects of value.

                    • Agreed. I appreciate the spirit of the law – but the interpretation needs common sense, which is generally lacking and left to the person with the most expensive/twisted lawyers…

                • CRAIG WEINLEIN says:

                  Hi Ming. Yes, what constitutes a “public” display can be a matter of dispute and controversy. The U.S. Copyright Act provides that “to perform or display or work ‘publicly’ means to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered.”

                  Thanks for this excellent article and your many, many other excellent articles. Much appreciated.

                  • Does whether admission is charged or not matter? If an artist knows they are selling a statue for installation in a public square (without admission charged) would this violate the copyright act? Even if the artist knows (and likely intends) that the work will be publicly seen? One could argue that to have success as an artist at all requires the work to be seen in the first place…tricky interpretation, this.

    • That sounds like a fantastic deal. But yes, I agree: corporate-commercial specific stuff has no real application beyond the initial commissioner, so it doesn’t make much sense to retain the possibility of retaining royalty at the risk of annoying the client…every commercial consideration is merely a question of price.

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