Someone wants to buy the copyright of my painting

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Someone wants to buy the copyright of my painting

Hi, I’m an artist. Someone wants to buy one of my painting as their business
logo. I want to ask how this normally works? How much should I charge? And
if they want to use this image on other products, like bags, I’d like to get cuts.

Thank you.

Asked on September 3, 2017 under Business Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It works very simply: you and they enter into a written agreement in which you transfer or sell the rights to your work for an agreed-upon price. The agreement can be short--it can fit on one page easily.
As to how much to charge: we can't advise you, because that is an artistic and business question based on very specific facts: i.e. how much do the rights to work like this, by an artist of your relative fame or reknown, go for? If you have friends or colleagues who have sold their art similarly, try asking them. That said, as a rule of thumb, if you are happy with the money, that's really all that matters. 
You can put other rights or requirements into  the contract and probably should. For example:
1) Do they have to include your signature or otherwise credit you?
2) Can you still use the painting as part of your marketing or artistic portfolio?
3) Are there any uses you are so morally opposed to that you don't want them using the art in connection with?
4) If you don't want them reselling the right to someone else, instead of selling them the right outright (since a sold right can be resold), the agreement can state you are giving them a perpetual (i.e. forever) non-transferrable (no resale, etc.) license to use the art.


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