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Am I helping my client steal?

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AARON Williams
Am I helping my client steal?
on Dec 12, 2008 at 6:40:09 am

I just finished my first (paid) freelance project. Shot, edit, gave them a few DVDs. They already said they were planning on making their own copies from the DVDs. And asked for the DVD and insert art files even before I got the last check.
In my opinion it wasnt' a highly paid job and wasnt' about to give them anything else before I got paid. I DID the last check today, so now I just don't know how to respond to there request for the art (and the type of paper I used) and they're also confused about the format the video on the DVD is in, and is "having some difficulty copying it." They also would like an online version of the video.
I don't want to be a jerk but I don't know if I feel right about giving them all the files and know-how for nothing so they can make all the DVDs they want.
My thoughts are: Charge for the DVD art, (I already gave them the insert due to a typo error) or have myself make some more DVDs for $X apiece, their choice. And then just charge encoding for Flash.
Any business help would be nice. Thank you.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Am I helping my client steal?
on Dec 12, 2008 at 3:29:48 pm

Yes of course you charge for those things- not a lot but enough to let them know it's not free. And you make the call on whether to give them the DVD project files. I typically don't. But then again next time you put all of that in writing.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Am I helping my client steal?
on Dec 12, 2008 at 3:44:30 pm

As an DVD author it is our job to give the client something that can be replicated or duplicated and there needs should be clear from the beginning. (Are you charge on a per disc basis or for a master) I normally would not give project files to a client, but if asked I would decide on a case by case basis, if I want to work with them again, then I would do more to help, then if they are a pain and just trying to get things for free.

At the end of the project if they do start asking for elements or movie files I just charge my normal hourly rate. It takes time to export and gather stuff up. This hourly rate needs to be consistant with your project fees. So if you worked on a DVD for 2 weeks and charge $2K you cannot charge $150/hr to gather files to a data DVD or HD.

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