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Print Map Partnership, Royalties and Auditing


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#1
Unit Seven

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Hi All,

Wondering if anyone here has ever had any experience in producing a product in partnership with another company who are in another country?

What I have is a person in Belgium who wants to produce a Belgian translation of my Brain Map (www.unitseven.co.nz) and offset print (sounds like over 100 copies) at 1000mm wide and sell. He has offered to pay royalties or give me cheap printing of my English version. I am more inclined to go with the royalties but an interested in knowing how I can tell how many he has printed or sold apart from his word. There must be some kind of standard terms of business for this type of relationship and the auditing if things get suspicious. Is it a case of contacting a Belgium based auditor and having them pay him a visit and if so what needs to be in the contract at the start?

I still need to work out with him numbers, royalty amounts etc and am prob going to pick the Brain of the contracts lawyer at my dayjob but just want to do some homework first.

If this works out the person is also talking about going on to do a German and Russian translation so I don't want to have to sour the relationship before it gets off the ground but or seem to draconian but I also don't want to leave myself exposed to exploitation.

Any feedback or other thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Sam
S a m B r o w n

U N I T S E V E N
unit.seven@gmail.com

Miramar, Wellington
N E W Z E A L A N D

#2
Dennis McClendon

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I think the usual way is to get a printer's affidavit telling how many they printed. I've never done this, but have the impression that it's fairly common.

It's easy to get carried away and think one's work is going to be the next million seller, but, realistically, how many of these can he sell in whatever language he's planning to use? Given the distance, I'd be inclined to just ask for a few hundred Euros up front and tell him to sell as many copies in Flemish as he can.

I have also done a sort of sliding scale with publishers, asking for one fixed price for 5000 copies, and an additional fee if they print 10,000 copies, and a third price for a full buyout. My inclination has always been to trust my customers in this regard.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
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#3
François Goulet

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I've worked with a publisher for 2½ years making reference books and translating in numerous languages (our best seller was translated in more than 30 languages and sold in about 60 countries by partners) and we would ask permission and pay for every picture, data, ..., used in our books. I guess, like Dennis said, that they would have to trust us... But we generally bought rights for reprints, so it was one contract, which included all the possible translations (and sometimes new possible books too). Their names was always in the credits even after 10 years.

I working with a weekly newspaper and I sell them my maps with "first publication rights", which means that I guarantee them exclusive maps, but after they have printed it, I can do whatever I want with it and they can reprint it as well, as long as my © is there.

You could ask for a price which could include the translations so you wouldn't have to bother after it. You will certainly not have the money you could have if you were receiving a fee for each print/reprint/translation, but you should have a certain peace of mind that could worth it...

No matter what you choose, make sure they sign a contract so legally, they'll be binded by it. I'll ask my ex-coworker wha had to sign those contracts if he could send me one for reference.

#4
Dennis McClendon

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A contract might make you feel better, but it has little relevance to whether the client will pay or not. Are you really going to spend $8000 in legal fees trying to collect $800 in usage fees?

And, as "evidence of indebtedness," an invoice for the $800 has nearly the same legal significance should you ever end up in court.
Dennis McClendon, Chicago CartoGraphics
chicagocarto.com

#5
François Goulet

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A contract might make you feel better, but it has little relevance to whether the client will pay or not. Are you really going to spend $8000 in legal fees trying to collect $800 in usage fees?

And, as "evidence of indebtedness," an invoice for the $800 has nearly the same legal significance should you ever end up in court.


Oh well! ;) I still think that in the contract, you could have specifying clauses determining how much they should have to pay you in case of a reprint, of a translation... You could still send a invoice but each one, but as Dennis said in his first reply, at the end, it's a question of trust... I would not do business with someone I don't trust at first. An invoice could be a good evidence of indebtness, but once they have paid, what would prevent them to reprint the map if they haven't sign anything saying that they couldn't do it without paying you?

I still prefer the "package fee"... They pay once, they can print and translate the map as they see fit, as long as they don't sell the "source" to others and you are credited of the map. The problem is still that the customer is thousands of miles away so you can't check everything.




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