I read this story today about Garbage (the band) requesting the use of a photo in a planned book and while I’m not qualified to comment on the legal issues (the band say they already own the rights so asking is a courtesy), I’m not impressed with the overall assumption that creative artists should be willing to donate their work for free to a “for profit” venture, or that artists should be always willing to help another artist out. This is the same week in which Madonna, Jay-Z and various other artists launched Tidal, again with the idea that creative artists should want to pay over the odds for other people’s creative art out of a general spirit of support.
So here’s my manifesto, as a creative artist, as a consumer of media and as an employer (via my own employer) of interns and other staff.
- All creative artists should be paid for their work if that work is considered valuable.
- If you sell your work via a buy-out agreement and it subsequently makes millions for someone else then sue for royalties.
- Any creative artist ought to be free to use someone else’s work but if that derivative work goes on to make millions the original creator deserves a cut of those profits.
- Don’t hire anyone to do for free a service that is generally regarded as professional.
- If you’re trading favours, establish an hourly value of your work so you know what you’re trading.
- When considering an internship role, look for detailed training programme and a clear understanding of what skills you are expected to gain.
- Remember that other people don’t have your skills and price them accordingly.
- Also remember that people expect work available on the internet to be free
- Make it easy for people to pay you and provide free samples of your work
- If you are perceived as successful then people won’t see you as a needy cause, so don’t launch a kickstarter if you’re already seen as having made it.
- Return on investment is key to most projects – but you get to add a category for self growth
to be continued