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Licensing an already produced map

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#1
Revenant

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Hello all,

I am seeking advice on a new (for me) business circumstance: a potential client would like to obtain from me the rights and original Illustrator files for a map I have already created previously for another project. The derived map will be used on signage and a brochure (whereas the original was printed in a book).

I typically do work-for-hire so I've never licensed an already produced map before. And I'm wondering if anyone has any insight they would like to share on how I might come up with a licensing fee.

Assuming I retained the rights to the map, and supposing the original cost me $x to produce (based on an hourly rate), what should I charge the new licensee? $x again? A percentage of $x? If so, what percentage - 50%?

I realize there's probably no magic bullet answer here, but I thought I would see what others had to say.

-Roop

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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First thing to wonder about is whether or not the contract you had with the client who originally comissioned the map allows you to license it to other client. If not, you should probabely try to get permission from them.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#3
rudy

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I know that in the graphic design and arts world a "re-use fee" is sometimes paid but this is only in cases where the same client that commissioned the work is asking to re-use it. I've been paid this in the past for some work I hads done previously. In this case, no contract was signed. I think it amounts to what is in the contract. I'd recommend putting in at least a clasue about re-use. You might want to also include a clause about being able to repurpose the product as you see fit.

#4
Dennis McClendon

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The correct answer is always "what the traffic will bear."

Now, the new client knows that you're not having to undertake a large amount of new work, and will have adjusted their expectations accordingly. I would talk up the work involved in repurposing the map, and suggest something like 60-70% of what you charged originally.

Some years ago I was told that you don't make any money the first time you sell a map, and I've found that to be about right for most clients. Selling variations of the same map over and over isn't that interesting, but it's profitable!
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
Jean-Louis

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I never sell other than in a licence form. Basically I get the client to identify all the ways in which he plans to use the map. Then I formulate the contract as his paying for a licence to do all that. In other words, the contractual language does not say he buys a map. He buys the right to use my artwork in all the ways that matter to him as if he had bought outright. This is much easier to control. The only restriction I insist upon is that he cannot modify the artwork himself or sell or give away the licence to another. I never had a client refuse this arrangement.
Jean-Louis Rheault
Montreal


#6
Revenant

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Thank you all for the helpful answers.

The original map was done on a handshake and not a formal contract (yeah, yeah, I know) which I believe implies that I retained the right to the artwork since it wasn't explicitly transferred.

Most of my work is highly customized for a particular client circumstance so repeatedly cashing in on already produced maps is not really an option for me, but in this case I was able to charge about 80% of what I received for the original map.

Thanks again for the the advice.

-Roop




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