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A Sticky Situation

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Infided_AvidA Sticky Situation
by on Aug 9, 2006 at 12:14:40 am

Hey everyone,

I have a little bit of a dilemma here. When I was young and stupid, I decided to rent out office space with this fledgling editorial studio, and offer my services as their only designer. This was a few years ago. Since we collectivly were just starting out, I decided to let them use some of my work on their showreel in hopes that it would benefit all of us. Well since then, things have gone pretty sour, and I'm getting ready to move on. I plan on asking them to get rid of my work off of their reel, but I'm wondering what happens if they say they will, but I find out a few months down the road that they haven't. Do I have any legal options? They also have hardcopies of my work that they used to edit into their showreel . . . how do I ensure they get rid of all my materials.

I could just be paranoid that the worst is going to happen, but I'm looking for advice! Thanks!

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Rich RubaschRe: A Sticky Situation
by on Aug 9, 2006 at 2:35:00 am

Here's how this game could work to your advantage. You have your reel, they have their's. On your reel you have your stuff, on their reel they have some of your stuff. Now they can say that it is their work, but really you designed/edited it. Meanwhile, out on your own you have higher rates and are starting to gain your reputation as a good player in town and they have no reason to bad mouth you or your work. If they have a client that comes in and you worked on their stuff, they might just call you to bail them out of this job and pay you your higher rate.

When I left the company that I worked at for 3 years, they became my biggest client in the first year...hey, they liked my work and paid my rates. Since then they are still in the top ten clients I have.

So don't get so bent out of shape that stuff is on the reel...just know that it is really your work, be proud of it, and make sure everyone you want to sell to knows that is your work. If you are good at what you do, and you remain an honest, well liked player in your market you will be successful. I would say to them that you encourage them to show their reel to their clients, and then if the client requests a look that you created, they might just call you to design it for them.

Just don't bite off the hand that fed you, give them some slack, play nice, and in the end, if you are good, you will win.

Playing nice for many years,

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media

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Mark SuszkoRe: A Sticky Situation
by on Aug 9, 2006 at 3:11:11 pm

Rich is right. Let it go, it can't do you any real harm and might do you good later. Just take better precautions with protecting your work from here on out.

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Ron LindeboomRe: A Sticky Situation
by on Aug 9, 2006 at 4:11:46 pm

Great advice, Mr. Rubasch. ;o)

When are you joining the Cow Team in the business forum??? (Hint, hint!)


Ron Lindeboom

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Bob ColeRe: A Sticky Situation
by on Aug 9, 2006 at 4:23:11 pm

I agree with the Patch-it-up advice, if that is possible. But it sounds as if there is a rather significant split-up taking place, in which case I can empathize with your desire to claim your own work by putting your own reel together. If you do, you should let your former colleagues know, sit down and make sure that you're not stealing their work either, and tell them that it is in everybody's interest to separate in a clean and classy way (i.e. don't put my stuff on your reel because it will just make both of us look bad).

Weigh against this:

(1) the cost of legal advice, and
(2) a fight is not going to help you get work -- on the contrary, it will turn off potential clients. People will not bother to find out who's right and who's wrong -- their reaction is more likely to be: "Here are these two groups that can't get along -- maybe we should look for someone who doesn't have interpersonal issues."

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Infided_AvidRe: A Sticky Situation
by on Aug 10, 2006 at 4:09:34 am

Thanks guys for the advice . . . I occasionally get a little hot-headed in business decisions like this, and as I always hear, you attract more bees with honey!

Thanks again! I think the amicible way to go is correct!

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