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MartinBrandt
10-22-2009, 12:22 PM
An artist illustrates a picture that inspires you to create a story based off it. The two of you brain storm some ideas. You put together an outline and discuss it with them. Then the it goes no where because they don't have the desire/drive/focus to do it.

Years later you revisit the idea with a new artist. Does the previous artist have any right to this work now? The idea has evolved some and new character concepts are created.

Just curious how you guys feel about that. I've run into the situation a few times where I brainstorm with someone and come up with an outline, some script, and then they drop out. But if I try to trudge on without them I get grief over it for not including them.

The Anti-crest
10-22-2009, 12:58 PM
it seems like the respectable thing to do is to ask the original artist if its OK to use.

MartinBrandt
10-22-2009, 01:15 PM
And if they don't want to be a part of it, but are not happy with you using the idea, then what?

Walk away from your work?

MartinBrandt
10-22-2009, 01:17 PM
Uhg, I am sounding like a douche when I say that. Maybe I answered my own question.

I just hate having to drop something I see potential in because someone I was originally going to work with on it decided he was done with it.

The Anti-crest
10-22-2009, 01:40 PM
I'd walk away from the project if the original artist - who you say inspired the project - says that they don't want you to use it.

I don't know about the legal rights to the concept but is it morally sound? From what you've said here the artist started the creative process, you would not have the work without his initial drawing.

macclint
10-22-2009, 03:10 PM
Offer them $50 bucks for all rights. Otherwise tell 'em it dropped.

L Jamal
10-22-2009, 03:19 PM
It really depends on how tied to his original drawing the concept is. If it's directly tied to the original drawing, then you have created a derivative work and can't use if further without his permission.

If it's tangentially based on the drawing, then you and the artist created the new work jointly and both have rights to use it as long as the other is compensated with 1/2 the profits of the works that result.

However, don't take advice Internet know-it-alls (even me) seek out an IP attorney and get his professional opinion.

MartinBrandt
10-22-2009, 03:55 PM
Well it went something like this.

He did a sketch of a cool looking character.

I said, hey that is awesome. Then I came up with a concept where that character was a protagonist of the story. He talked it over and tweaked the idea. This was all concept for a video game. I even included some previous concepts idea I had into this one. Basically creating a history and future for this setting.

We didn't proceed and he has shown no interest in proceeding. He has committed himself to other goals.

This would not be the first idea/concept this has happen to in working with him. (It took me a bit to learn my lesson, guess I was desperate for a good collaboration)

So now it is years later and I feel it would make a great comic series with some revisions to the character and timeline.

Think that covers it all.

Thanks for everyones input. I am just in a opinion seeking and information gathering phase to decide how I should handle this.

maverick
10-22-2009, 04:48 PM
you should go ahead with the project, publish a book, get a movie deal, make millions, and then laugh and him for being a retarded flakey artist with no desire/drive/focus. his fault.

madelf
10-22-2009, 07:00 PM
Reverse engineer it. Take out his character and his tweaks. Substitute your own character, keep your previous concepts and your story, tweak it your way, spin it off into its own thing, and run with it.

That way all you'll be using is what you created. So it's inspired by something someone else did. Big deal. Everything is inspired by something.

Lee Nordling
10-22-2009, 07:45 PM
You've gotten some interesting answers, but none of them come close to the legal truth of things: You are stuck.

Know why so many cool film projects never get beyond the concept stage?

Because the folks brainstorming, whom all contributed, each have a legal right to something moving forward, and unless they're signed off on it moving forward, you're in a bad situation trying to move forward without them.

You CANNOT untangle a creative partnership on a project without a piece of paper...or without going back to the source material.

"Source material?" you ask.

"Yep," I respond with a smile. "Like a comic book, novel, short story, or play."

If development of an idea isn't going forward, when it's based on source material, you can step back, NEVER show the next guy what was developed, make sure you steer clear of stuff that's too close to it, and you have a legally defensible position.

But when you brainstorm a concept together, you're stuck.

And you SHOULD be.

If you want to move forward, buy the other guy out, providing he doesn't want involvement, or offer him a royalty/percentage of the property (without control), and THEN you're behaving like a mensch.

Try to do it without a full acknowledgment that your conceptual partner has a choice and vote, and you're a weasel.

Mensch or weasel; those are the options, and anything that's qualified in the middle pushes the meter closer and closer to the weasel side.

Others may disagree with this, but that's because there's a lot of rationalization that goes on when it comes to acknowledging creative participation...and yep, I am absolutely scrupulous in this area.

When something crosses our path that we CAN'T (or SHOULDN'T) creatively contribute to, then we manage the project (like an agent) instead of package the project (like the entity that needs to be at the legal center)...and this determination comes from us, not the creator.

If somebody helps you create something, they OWN that, unless there's some clear understanding, like pals helping pals; I do that, too.

Great question.

--Lee

The Anti-crest
10-22-2009, 08:00 PM
You've gotten some interesting answers, but none of them come close to the legal truth of things: You are stuck.

Know why so many cool film projects never get beyond the concept stage?

Because the folks brainstorming, whom all contributed, each have a legal right to something moving forward, and unless they're signed off on it moving forward, you're in a bad situation trying to move forward without them.

You CANNOT untangle a creative partnership on a project without a piece of paper...or without going back to the source material.

"Source material?" you ask.

"Yep," I respond with a smile. "Like a comic book, novel, short story, or play."

If development of an idea isn't going forward, when it's based on source material, you can step back, NEVER show the next guy what was developed, make sure you steer clear of stuff that's too close to it, and you have a legally defensible position.

But when you brainstorm a concept together, you're stuck.

And you SHOULD be.

If you want to move forward, buy the other guy out, providing he doesn't want involvement, or offer him a royalty/percentage of the property (without control), and THEN you're behaving like a mensch.

Try to do it without a full acknowledgment that your conceptual partner has a choice and vote, and you're a weasel.

Mensch or weasel; those are the options, and anything that's qualified in the middle pushes the meter closer and closer to the weasel side.

Others may disagree with this, but that's because there's a lot of rationalization that goes on when it comes to acknowledging creative participation...and yep, I am absolutely scrupulous in this area.

When something crosses our path that we CAN'T (or SHOULDN'T) creatively contribute to, then we manage the project (like an agent) instead of package the project (like the entity that needs to be at the legal center)...and this determination comes from us, not the creator.

If somebody helps you create something, they OWN that, unless there's some clear understanding, like pals helping pals; I do that, too.

Great question.

--Lee

Lee, you are a wealth of knowledge. This is a great answer and while I didn't know the legal rights this is what I was trying to get at.

Mark Bertolini
10-22-2009, 08:09 PM
I know the feeling, as the same scenario has happened to me on a couple of occasions. Luckily, the concepts were mine initially, so all I did was get a new artist to work up a new, different, and in most case, better design and went with that. It didn't change the overall idea at all, but it achieved two things for me: 1) Freed me up from any type of prior commitment, and 2) actually re-ignited my drive to actually do the work.

A fresh outlook never hurts.

But steer clear of the possible legal ramifications. If you have to change something, then change it. Better to be safe than sorry.

Edit: after reading Lee's post (which I should have done in the first place), I just wanted to clarify: the original ideas were mine. I created them, and had someone work on the ideas for me. When the artist dropped out, I asked if they would be cool with me using the designs, and they said no. So I found someone else to do the designs. That artist has also dropped out since, but has no problem letting me use the design going forward, as long as I credit him with said design.

MartinBrandt
10-22-2009, 09:03 PM
Lee, that is one of the best answers I have seen. Really makes someone think.

I'll talk to him about it again. See what he says. I know if he tries to get involved it will die again, so I have to be careful how I word it. I guess sometimes friends need to just stay friends. :)

He is a good guy, just lacks the drive to get stuff done.

ponyrl
10-23-2009, 12:17 AM
Or.

What I did when I was in college and had a similar thing occur, during the process, I was the writer he was the artist who took my ideas and translated them into images also using the reference I had drawn from my own meager sketches, I wrote out the first issue took the images and the story, wrote up a copyright ownership contract, and had it all copywritten under me. Sole owner.

He flaked, I owned it outright. Not a dick move, but I was the type then to handle things as a business deal. I was the creative force behind it, provided most of everything including the designs he interpeted.

My situation was more like he would have been hired for art alone.

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 12:52 AM
Or.

What I did when I was in college and had a similar thing occur, during the process, I was the writer he was the artist who took my ideas and translated them into images also using the reference I had drawn from my own meager sketches, I wrote out the first issue took the images and the story, wrote up a copyright ownership contract, and had it all copywritten under me. Sole owner.

He flaked, I owned it outright. Not a dick move, but I was the type then to handle things as a business deal. I was the creative force behind it, provided most of everything including the designs he interpreted.

My situation was more like he would have been hired for art alone.
That's you starting with something that the artist interprets, not like the situation described, where the piece was written based on a piece of art (admittedly and in writing here on the site), and also where the artist contributed to the brainstorming.

You can go back to your starting place (concept/script/descriptions), and he can't, because the artist contributed substantially to the core concept.

That's apples and pineapples.

--Lee

PS. Copyrighted, not copywritten...different on so many levels.

Scribbly
10-23-2009, 01:17 AM
My guess is that you should follow your inspiration and write down what you got.
You can not deprive yourself from doing that.
Maybe something really good will came out of that.

You are pointing that the artist contribution was vital for the
development of your concept.
That makes him your co creator,
Just write it and include him as your co creator.

cbgiles
10-23-2009, 10:48 AM
I didn't read everybody's response...running on 3 hrs sleep...so I'm sorry but what if it was the other way around. You, as a writer, casually mention a character idea and an artist takes off on it and publishes it without YOUR permission?

I have a friend from high school jokingly mention a character. I drew it up later. It was a cool idea as in name only...it was a joke hero to him. He's not a writer and really could care less about the character(he has no background developed or anything and not into comics). I saw huge potential and started developing a background and a series of characters in that universe and book. In '93 I asked if it would be okay to use the character and develop it into a series and would he be willing to give it up to me or could I pay him. I did all this because I felt I owed him something and I didn't want to do just recognition and he blow up over it. He, again jokingly said, "I'll wait till you've made millions and then I'm going to sue you...haha".
This was close to the time Todd MacFarlane got sued over that Angelica character back in the '90's. So I chickened on it. Maybe I'll bring it out and up to him again, but I don't think I have the right to do it unless it's okay with him.

I have most of the work completed but am not pursuing it...til a later date.

madelf
10-23-2009, 12:04 PM
If development of an idea isn't going forward, when it's based on source material, you can step back, NEVER show the next guy what was developed, make sure you steer clear of stuff that's too close to it, and you have a legally defensible position.How is that substantially different from what I described?

If the artist can go back to his source material (the sketch that inspired Martin) and take it off in a new direction without involving Martin, then why can't Martin do the same thing with his own source material (the "previous concepts" and the ideas he originated himself)? So he goes back to the core ideas that he contributed, spins them off into something else without using any of the stuff that the artist provided, and goes forward with a different project.

If he does that it won't be the same project anymore, of course, but that's kind of the point.

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 12:20 PM
How is that substantially different from what I described?

If the artist can go back to his source material (the sketch that inspired Martin) and take it off in a new direction without involving Martin, then why can't Martin do the same thing with his own source material (the "previous concepts" and the ideas he originated himself)? So he goes back to the core ideas that he contributed, spins them off into something else without using any of the stuff that the artist provided, and goes forward with a different project.

If he does that it won't be the same project anymore, of course, but that's kind of the point.
There was no "source" material from the writer. His starting place was the artist's work...which he admits.

I just realized this doesn't adequately address your question. Sorry.

You suggested: "Reverse engineer it. Take out his character and his tweaks. Substitute your own character, keep your previous concepts and your story, tweak it your way, spin it off into its own thing, and run with it.

"That way all you'll be using is what you created. So it's inspired by something someone else did. Big deal. Everything is inspired by something."

In my first post, I wrote what I thought about trying to find ways to cut a co-creator out of the deal, and that still holds.

Sure, you can probably find a way to write so far around something that it's indistinguishable from the co-created version, but we're not discussing something created by inspiration; we're discussing a way to screw a co-creator out of his ownership and participation.

Definitely weasel territory in my book.

From another perspective, weasels do quite well in the finance world, but that doesn't make them moral or right.

In short: greed is not good, but greed can be profitable.

--Lee

NaveenM
10-23-2009, 12:36 PM
I agree on the "buy the dude out" line of thinking. Tell him you want to go forward with the project, and that if he doesn't want to be involved, ask what a fair price for buying him out is. Figure out a price and pay him, getting it all in writing.

If he decides he doesn't want to sell, but also doesn't want to work on the project, then offer him a percentage of ownership (less than 50%), and proceed with the project. He'll get a cut of any profit, which probably sucks from your end, but he was part of the original idea.

If he is so lacking in business sense that he doesn't want to do that either, then come up with a new project that never involved him.

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 12:55 PM
I agree on the "buy the dude out" line of thinking. Tell him you want to go forward with the project, and that if he doesn't want to be involved, ask what a fair price for buying him out is. Figure out a price and pay him, getting it all in writing.

If he decides he doesn't want to sell, but also doesn't want to work on the project, then offer him a percentage of ownership (less than 50%), and proceed with the project. He'll get a cut of any profit, which probably sucks from your end, but he was part of the original idea.

If he is so lacking in business sense that he doesn't want to do that either, then come up with a new project that never involved him.
Either direction makes sense.

Everybody will have their own version of "fair," but our Creator shares work like this:

Concept/presentation that sold to publisher: 25% to the writer for concept, outline, and sample script pages; 25% to the artist for designs, concept art, and sample pages; 25% to the writer of book 1 (because we believe that an IP isn't complete until a book has been created); 25% to the artist of book 1 (because we believe that an IP isn't complete until a book has been created).

For the sake of this discussion, forget that page rates are being paid for the books, which they are.

The first 50% for developing the material that sells to the publisher is sweat equity in creator participation. Sometimes two writers may contribute to the concept, and so they split the writer's concept/outline/sample script percentage.

Some people will say, "The artist only has to create character designs and some sample pages to get 25%??!!"

"Yep," I respond. "And since that's the material that helped set up the project with a publisher, if the artist isn't available to draw the book, that's well worth it. Besides, the next guy is getting 25% AND a page rate."

Developing a flexible methodology for this stuff is tricky, and "flexible" is the key word.

I'm going into this because my partners and I spent weeks debating this stuff, playing devil's advocated, developing explainable positions. So far, nobody working with us has balked, and we're comfortable in our skins about it.

Hopefully some of this will help you folks sort that out for yourselves.

As I told a guy over the phone yesterday: "This is a buyer's market, so you CAN get away with paying X-amount per page and not pay a royalty, but if you want to keep the artists and writers on the job for as long as you want, you SHOULD consider profit participation...or I wouldn't blame them at all for jumping ship to a better paying gig when their contracts are up, and you shouldn't feel they are somehow being disloyal. This is a two-way street."

He saw the light.

And yep, I wandered way off the topic, but not so far off if the topic is: "What's fair?"

--Lee

madelf
10-23-2009, 01:43 PM
There was no "source" material from the writer. His starting place was the artist's work...which he admits.
He also notes that he tweaked "previous concepts" to fit the project. I see no reason why those previous concepts do not constitute source material, which he could go back to.

Sure, you can probably find a way to write so far around something that it's indistinguishable from the co-created version, but we're not discussing something created by inspiration; we're discussing a way to screw a co-creator out of his ownership and participation.

Definitely weasel territory in my book.I think you misunderstand the intent of my post (which may well be because I'm explaining myself poorly). I'm not talking screwing a co-creator out of his ownership and participation. I'm talking about salvaging what was already yours and repurposing it - seperating Martin's work from the artist's work, and going forward with Martin's work only (seperate and distinct from the co-created work). Basically... take the core content that was yours in the first place, and do something different with it. Something not merely "indistinguishable" from the co-created work, but something that is it's own thing and actually not the co-created work.

I don't think that's weasel territory at all. And it's certainly not greedy - greedy (and weaselly) would be the artist trying to lay claim to everything Martin had created (and would later create) on his own, just because they also created some stuff together.

madelf
10-23-2009, 02:07 PM
Some people will say, "The artist only has to create character designs and some sample pages to get 25%??!!"

"Yep," I respond. "And since that's the material that helped set up the project with a publisher, if the artist isn't available to draw the book, that's well worth it. Besides, the next guy is getting 25% AND a page rate."
That sounds like a pretty fair deal. But... what happens when the artist flakes out and doesn't hold up his end of the deal? Does he still get 25% of the rights to everything everyone else goes on to produce without him?

Because that's really what we're talking about here - an artist who sketched a character, suggested a few tweaks to someone else's outline, and then flaked out.

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 02:38 PM
That sounds like a pretty fair deal. But... what happens when the artist flakes out and doesn't hold up his end of the deal? Does he still get 25% of the rights to everything everyone else goes on to produce without him?

Because that's really what we're talking about here - an artist who sketched a character, suggested a few tweaks to someone else's outline, and then flaked out.
If the artist completed the work that helped sell the book, he/she earned 25%. If, for whatever reason, the artist doesn't actually draw the book, if that DOESN'T ruin the deal, the artist has still earned 25%...because the next artist will be building on what was established and sold, and the next artist is getting page rate PLUS a percentage of the Creator's share.

If the artist not continuing ruins the deal, and we have to get it set up again with a new artist's work, then the first artist gets less, depending on how much the new artist has to build on the first artist's work.

At least that's the way we've rationalized it.

--Lee

MattWaterman
10-23-2009, 02:49 PM
At the risk of being an ass, I have to ask: How groundbreakingly original is this idea? I mean, to you, of course it seems original. But I'm talking more in the grand scheme of things. Is it a costumed hero who has four claws rather than three? Or is it something truly original in terms of technigue or devices (a la the first person in Blair Witch Project or panel usage in the Watchmen). Please don't take this the wrong way because I lump all of us in this boat: At this level, the basic level of concept and visualization, isn't it a little premature to be thinking of these millions of dollars waiting down the line...? I mean...it's comics. Ideas get recycled and bitten off of all the time...

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 02:54 PM
He also notes that he tweaked "previous concepts" to fit the project. I see no reason why those previous concepts do not constitute source material, which he could go back to.

I think you misunderstand the intent of my post (which may well be because I'm explaining myself poorly). I'm not talking screwing a co-creator out of his ownership and participation. I'm talking about salvaging what was already yours and repurposing it - seperating Martin's work from the artist's work, and going forward with Martin's work only (seperate and distinct from the co-created work). Basically... take the core content that was yours in the first place, and do something different with it. Something not merely "indistinguishable" from the co-created work, but something that is it's own thing and actually not the co-created work.

I don't think that's weasel territory at all. And it's certainly not greedy - greedy (and weaselly) would be the artist trying to lay claim to everything Martin had created (and would later create) on his own, just because they also created some stuff together.
Yeah, I did actually get your intent: unraveling one contributor's input from the others.

I get the idea, but, frankly, in the scenario, it is not possible without weaseling.

When something starts as an artist's vision, and writer builds on it, and then the two brainstorm, it is IMPOSSIBLE to fairly separate whose idea was whose.

Oh, sure, one of them can TRY to do it as you suggest, and, as I wrote, that just becomes a rationalization for some degree of weaseling.

Seriously, I've seen two people think they each came up with a specific idea.

To be clear, Madelf, I do understand that this is all hypothetical, and we're just discussing our perspectives on what is and isn't fair.

I'm not actually calling anybody here a weasel for presenting a contrasting opinion.

That said, I actually DO understand what you're suggesting, and I'm showing my interpretation of that in a mirror...and nope, I'm not presenting a very appealing reflection.

Now, let me give you an example, without specifics.

There's an anthology being created.

I KNOW what the perfect title could be, because I have a similar title in mind that I've wanted to write for years...a title so cool that I can't believe nobody's ever come up with it before (and let's skip the fact that you can't copyright titles; that's not the point).

So I have a chat with the editor of this anthology, who doesn't have a CLUE what the title is yet.

So, I tell the tale about the title for MY story that I've always to do, knowing that it is just ONE word away from HIS perfect title, a title he will LOVE.

Well, as storytellers do, he gets ahead of me, he sees where I'm going, and suddenly he blurts out the title that I was GOING to give him.

He was the first to say it in our conversation, but never would have come up with it if I hadn't been walking him right up to it.

As far as I'm concerned that's MY suggestion. Now, I could see if he thought it was HIS idea.

Does it matter in this case? A little, because I'm proud to have offered it up, but he's probably equally proud of having figured it out before I COULD specifically offer it up.

Now, this is one story about one title, and I'm sure everybody can see that it is impossible to untangle this.

Now, try brainstorming a whole concept, then taking out just your stuff.

You can try, but I can promise you'll be taking something built on something the other guy came up with, and that's why I say that creative propriety CANNOT BE SEPARATED IN THIS INSTANCE.

Cannot.

--Lee

NaveenM
10-23-2009, 02:57 PM
At this level, the basic level of concept and visualization, isn't it a little premature to be thinking of these millions of dollars waiting down the line...? I mean...it's comics. Ideas get recycled and bitten off of all the time...

Well, not just comics, but movies, TV, video games, etc. ALL these mediums recycle and copy all the time. Yet, everyone has contracts and an understanding of who gets what ahead of time, generally speaking. This is the way a business is supposed to function.

"As to the millions waiting down the line", I don't think that's the issue, or even the expectation. Even if it's just a few hundred bucks, there should be an explicit understanding of who owns what and what one is entitled to.

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 03:02 PM
At the risk of being an ass, I have to ask: How groundbreakingly original is this idea? I mean, to you, of course it seems original. But I'm talking more in the grand scheme of things. Is it a costumed hero who has four claws rather than three? Or is it something truly original in terms of technigue or devices (a la the first person in Blair Witch Project or panel usage in the Watchmen). Please don't take this the wrong way because I lump all of us in this boat: At this level, the basic level of concept and visualization, isn't it a little premature to be thinking of these millions of dollars waiting down the line...? I mean...it's comics. Ideas get recycled and bitten off of all the time...
It doesn't matter how original it is.

It's something two people developed, it belongs to them, and it doesn't matter if it is just some crappy old comic like all the other crappy old comics.

Or like all the other crappy old books, plays, poems, songs, movies, TV shows, video games, paintings, drawings, or anything else that happens to be crappy.

The premise that "ideas get recycled" doesn't diminish creators' rights, unless of course they pulled a James Cameron and take something from Harlan Ellison for their Terminator script...in which case, Ellison's rights weren't diminished either.

BTW, I DO value new interpretations of old themes, and I believe in the quality of execution to differentiate them from other similar works, even if you don't appear to...but this is a completely different subject.

--Lee

MattWaterman
10-23-2009, 03:14 PM
UGH.

My point is, at this stage of the process creatively as well as dimensionly (crappy old comic vs. multi-million budget), it's all sky level anyway. The impression I'm getting from madelf is that he saw a sketch of a friend's, it got his ideas going and they bandied about it a little, and the subject died. That happens all the time in the creative process! It happens on a routine subway ride, joking about the advertisements. So yeah, if madelf went and used the exact character in the sketch, that might be an issue. But if he comes up with a different hero (assuming it is a hero work) and just applies the storyline he came up with for the first, there's nothing wrong with that. Additionally, I have to reiterate the sky level-ness here because his ideas are bound to change a number of times in the act of actually creating the work. It's part of the whole process---rarely does someone go from inception to completion of a work with the same exact vision they had in the beginning. And that makes the whole subject mute anyway.

My perfectly honest opinion? Just get writing madelf. You can never go wrong there. Worrying about potential legalities or moral hazards several steps down the line is putting the horse before the wagon.

NaveenM
10-23-2009, 03:15 PM
BTW, I DO value new interpretations of old themes, and I believe in the quality of execution to differentiate them from other similar works, even if you don't appear to...but this is a completely different subject.

Yes, let's not get too far off topic, but I just had to throw in a second on that.

madelf
10-23-2009, 03:38 PM
If the artist completed the work that helped sell the book, he/she earned 25%. If, for whatever reason, the artist doesn't actually draw the book, if that DOESN'T ruin the deal, the artist has still earned 25%...because the next artist will be building on what was established and sold, and the next artist is getting page rate PLUS a percentage of the Creator's share.

If the artist not continuing ruins the deal, and we have to get it set up again with a new artist's work, then the first artist gets less, depending on how much the new artist has to build on the first artist's work.

At least that's the way we've rationalized it.

--Lee
All good. If he blows the deal by backing out after the project is accepted, he gets less than 25%. Makes perfect sense. Now... what happens if he doesn't hold up his end of the deal and complete the work that helps sell the book in the first place? How much less does he get then?

That's the situation with the case we're discussing here, because, in this case, the artist never completed anything that helped sell the book. He didn't drop out after the book was accepted by a publisher and ruin the deal - he didn't complete anything that would have gotten the book ready to pitch in the first place.

We've got someone with a contract (I'm sure there wasn't one written, but for the sake of the debate, lets' assume a contract of some sort) to co-create a book. For his side of the partnership, he is to provide the art and some feedback on the story. In exchange, he gets 50% of the rights in the project. But all he actually provided was the pre-existing sketch which inspired the project and some suggested changes to an outline (which was written by someone else). And then he flaked.

Does this artist, in all fairness, really deserve anything more than his sketch back and the specific tweaks he suggested removed from the outline?

madelf
10-23-2009, 03:57 PM
You can try, but I can promise you'll be taking something built on something the other guy came up with, and that's why I say that creative propriety CANNOT BE SEPARATED IN THIS INSTANCE.

Cannot.I'll allow that may be the case. And, in that case, using the stuff that CANNOT ;) be separated would, indeed, be the work of a weasel.

But I don't think you and I can decide whether that's really the situation here. Martin can probably figure out whether it can seperated or not, but we can't.

Martin mentioned "previous concepts". If he has some way of verifing what those previous concepts were, prior to the other guy's input, then I'd say they're fair game, at least. Of course Martin may not have a copy of every version of everything he's even written (like some of us might :whistlin: ).

Honestly, intellectual deconstruction aside...
If this were a friend of mine, I'd just talk it over with him and see what we could work out. If the guy really is a friend, it shouldn't be that hard. And if he's not... at least I'd know to scrap everything that was tainted by the slightest proximity to that "partnership" (including the supposed friend) and avoid getting sued.

madelf
10-23-2009, 04:04 PM
The impression I'm getting from madelf is that he saw a sketch of a friend's,Wasn't me, it was Martin.

I'm just in here because I like a good debate. And Lee stakes himself a solid position, which makes it even more fun. :)

I think he's winning though. :cry:

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 04:43 PM
I'll allow that may be the case. And, in that case, using the stuff that CANNOT ;) be separated would, indeed, be the work of a weasel.

But I don't think you and I can decide whether that's really the situation here. Martin can probably figure out whether it can seperated or not, but we can't.

Martin mentioned "previous concepts". If he has some way of verifing what those previous concepts were, prior to the other guy's input, then I'd say they're fair game, at least. Of course Martin may not have a copy of every version of everything he's even written (like some of us might :whistlin: ).

Honestly, intellectual deconstruction aside...
If this were a friend of mine, I'd just talk it over with him and see what we could work out. If the guy really is a friend, it shouldn't be that hard. And if he's not... at least I'd know to scrap everything that was tainted by the slightest proximity to that "partnership" (including the supposed friend) and avoid getting sued.
Sure, simple discussion often cuts through this.

But since this was a situation where we were asked to comment on the specifics, that's what I dealt with, based on my experiences.

Nothing's ever black and white or the same from example to example.

But ideology is fun to discuss and prod, just to see what comes up.

Fun chat.

--Lee

Lee Nordling
10-23-2009, 04:45 PM
Wasn't me, it was Martin.

I'm just in here because I like a good debate. And Lee stakes himself a solid position, which makes it even more fun. :)

I think he's winning though. :cry:
Naw, we all win.

Good debates with both sides presenting credible points of view allows each of to consider the situation.

And I LIKE having had my ideas questioned, because if I can't explain them, then perhaps I need to reexamine them.

--Lee

madelf
10-23-2009, 04:51 PM
But ideology is fun to discuss and prod, just to see what comes up.

Good debates with both sides presenting credible points of view allows each of to consider the situation.

And I LIKE having had my ideas questioned, because if I can't explain them, then perhaps I need to reexamine them.
It's always good to have people around who feel that way. And, yes, it has been a fun chat. :thumbs:

MartinBrandt
10-23-2009, 07:26 PM
We are all winning in this debate/discussion.

A lot of good information and thought has been shared.

To update some details from the debate. My previous concepts were integrated into the time line of the over all story and world. His concept drawing that started it all was a simple character sketch.

Is it original? In some ways yes, in other ways we are all retelling the same stories over and over for as long as people have told stories. We just add complexity and twists.

It is worth any debate, intellectual property is important to a creative person. These are your children in the visual/literal world.


I talked to the artist again. He is willing to let me continue without him this time. He wants to be credited with some type of original concept credit and 5%.

I have to say, that isn't a bad deal at all.

HouseStark
10-23-2009, 08:25 PM
Get it in writing.

ponyrl
10-23-2009, 08:57 PM
That's you starting with something that the artist interprets, not like the situation described, where the piece was written based on a piece of art (admittedly and in writing here on the site), and also where the artist contributed to the brainstorming.

You can go back to your starting place (concept/script/descriptions), and he can't, because the artist contributed substantially to the core concept.

That's apples and pineapples.

--Lee

PS. Copyrighted, not copywritten...different on so many levels.
Ah.

thanks for clarifying. :)

MartinBrandt
10-23-2009, 10:10 PM
Get it in writing.

I have it in email currently. I will be putting together something more formal.