Saturday, February 12, 2011

Pricing & Ethical Guidelines


So...I instantly went to the section that covered copyright, because I've always been curious about it. I think that as students we should be more exposed to the rules surrounding it. We need to practice "save copyright" :) anyways...I thought it was interesting when I read the section on orphan works, which are "copyrighted works whose owners are difficult or even impossible to locate". If you wanted to use the works and you can't contact the owner with the terms of copyright are you just s.o.l.? The book defined the issue as being highly complex, and the U.S Copyright office has stated that each case for needed use of orphaned works should be dealt with on a case by case basis. There are so many possibilities of where the copyright owner could be. They could be deceased, or the rights could be belong to a business that doesn't exist anymore making it nearly impossible to contact the actual owner. The U.S. Copyright office also stated that the "orphaned works" are in danger of being lost forever, so in making them public they eliminate this possibility.

I then started glancing over the Work-for-hire section (pg.32) It was an interesting, because it talked about who actually owns the rights to the artwork or design. Is it the freelance artist, or the company who hired that individual. The book states that it is the business that hired the freelancer, which I find to be a little weird. Can copyright ownership be shared 50/50 so that the freelance artist can be informed on the use of their work just as equally?

Now...lets talk logo mills. I hate them, and this book talks about them (pg.63). The book quotes " ...[ logo mills ] are online operations that hire 'designers' at ridiculously low rates to pump out off the shelf logos that are marketed to consumers at cut rate prices...." (63) I have seen some of these "mills" on-line where a client can send an email for a request for logo, get one in an hour, and then pay that company. It definitely gives designers a bad rap, and it becomes harder for clients to appreciate high quality design. Why would they pay $500 for a logo when they can pay $100 on-line and have it in an hour.

As I was stumbling through all of the crazy complicated issues within this book I found another interesting paragraph on Health Issues of all things. I started to think well we sit all day, so what is bad about that? Well...apparently a lot of things. "There is a high risk of becoming seriously injured from working on computers for extended periods of time." (73). The book stated that a fifteen minute break for each two hours of work is ideal, which is recommended by the Communications Workers of America. They also talked about the strain a computer screen has on the eyes, and that by taking a break we are doing our eyes a huge favor. It is good to get up and go look out a window to focus on something else.

This book is an incredible resource, and seems very much like the practical bible for graphic designers.

1 comment:

less than three/the sofaqueen said...

Hi Andrea!
I am also a graphic designer and I stumbled upon your blog and found this post to sound very familiar. I went to the Art Institute of Houston and we actually had one course on Business Law (I think that's what it was called) where we talked about some copyright issues, but we also had an assembly where they called every major in one at a time (maybe just students in their last or next-to-last semester? I don't remember)and sidcussed the copyright laws that directly affected students in each major. I'm not sure about the question of work done as a freelancer. I've done a few things freelance and when I was asked by one lady for the original piece with layers so she could have it in case she needed to make changes, I refused and informed her that the only person making changes to my work needed to be ME. I'm not sure if that was the correct thing to do, but it felt wrong to just give away the whole thing when she had only paid, I felt, for the finished piece. A sort of "sum of the parts" thing, I suppose. I"ve been out of the gracphics world for a few years, though, but it is my true love and I miss it. so I'm curious to know what it's like out there these days! :O) Best of luck to you!