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Old 10-27-2006, 10:41 AM   #1
djb
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Default The clients want the files?

Creative Business has a 2-page white paper "How to Answer: 'I'd like the computer files'" available for download until November 1, 2006 at http://www.creativebusiness.com/CB163.lasso

This question has been regularly discussed since design and publishing began... This piece is a nice distillation of many, many conversations and discussion threads I've party to for more than 20 years.

You've got a few days, get thee hence and download!
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:20 AM   #2
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Creative Business has a 2-page white paper "How to Answer: 'I'd like the computer files'"
Thanks. Very useful discussion.

   
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Old 10-27-2006, 01:15 PM   #3
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Excellent - have gone hence and downloaded. Thanks for the pointer!

   
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:45 AM   #4
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When I clicked on the URL, this is what I got:

An error occurred while processing your request.

Error Information
*

Error Message:*
The file "/CB163.lasso" was not found or was disabled due to security restrictions.

Error Code:*
-9984

*??
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Old 11-06-2006, 08:56 AM   #5
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The file "/CB163.lasso" was not found or was disabled due to security restrictions.
As I said in my post, the file was available till November 1.

It is now past November 1.

A logical conclusion is that the file is no longer available.
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Old 11-06-2006, 09:02 AM   #6
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An error occurred while processing your request.
Dave said it was available for only a limited time. Interesting publication.

There is useful specific information in the article — you may want to visit the Creative Business web site and buy a copy of the PDF ($15). If you buy four or more articles, you may be entitled to a free 6-month trial subscription to the PDF edition of the newsletter. (They also sell a CD of complete issues from 2001-2005 for $139.)

Meanwhile, here is a brief summary:

Legal: Tools used to produce work (mechanicals, plates, films — and files) are “tools of production” and remain the legal property of the people who make them (designer, printer, etc.). But new technology brings up new issues, and under some conditions prep materials may belong to the client (if withholding them could reduce his commercial options, a sort of restraint of trade). [To me, that sounds like logos, among other things.] A purchaser may have ownership rights to anything “specifically identified in an invoice.” And web files are not prep files but the product being sold.

Business: Clients often believe they own anything they pay for. They can often afford to sue (and you may not be able to afford to defend). So the Creative Business publication recommends being specific in proposals, defining what is client property and what remains as sole property of designer (including unused designs and all materials). The client should sign off on the detailed proposal. They also suggest that you contact service bureaus, printers, web developers, etc. and ask them to agree in writing that “your electronic files will never copied or provided to anyone without your written permission.”

Responding: Never give a client things you do not own: software, fonts, illustrations, photos, etc. Try not to debate ownership with your good clients; they suggest that you “provide the requested files with a smile and without charge.” You may want to discuss with the client the problems that can arise if they try to work with your files. You may want to bill for any problems that arise after the fact or for special prep work to make the files more useful to the client. If the client is an occasional and you are willing to give up the files, charge for the effort and media, and advise them that they will need to buy fonts or other materials. When you don’t want to give up files, tell the client that they contain proprietary information and that “as much as I’d like to cooperate, I’m afraid I can’t.”

Never say “I’ll lose money.” It suggests you have been low-balling your quotes to get work, planning to make it up later. Time to standardize your rates and hours. And never say “You’ll mess it up.” They might, but what’s it to you? And if they ask you to fix it for them, it is a new billable job.

Pricing [for files you do transfer]: Two ways: 1. Time and materials; set a minimum fee, rounding hours up to next half day. Or 2. Value to the client (but you should probably charge no more than 25 to 50 percent of the original design fee).

   
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:02 AM   #7
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As I said in my post, the file was available till November 1.

It is now past November 1.

A logical conclusion is that the file is no longer available.
Ah, that should teach me to read the entire post before clicking on the URL.
Thanks.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:09 AM   #8
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Thanks for much for the summary, Kathleen. Looks like it's worth the $15 for the PDF. Several points in your summary are issues I've dealt with over the years. For the most part, it seems I did pretty much as suggested, but I did learn a couple of new things.

Barbara
Hope you are very happy tomorrow. ;-)
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:51 AM   #9
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Hope you are very happy tomorrow. ;-)
You too! (We had better be! )

   
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Old 11-08-2006, 11:50 AM   #10
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You too! (We had better be! )
Well? Are we having a good time yet? And it got even better today.
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