Today I’ve just been tidying up my template collaboration agreement to send over to someone, and though others might find it useful, so today will be a document post.
This is for cases where work is not being commissioned – rather I’m developing a creator-owned project with a colleague. Even when working with friends, it’s a) just good practice to always have an agreement, and b) discussing it makes sure you’re both on the same page about what the project is, what you’ll be doing with it, and various ‘what-if’s, right off the bat.
Disclaimer: As always, this is based purely on personal experiences and approaches, and should not be considered as business advice, legal or otherwise. Any use you make of posts on this blog are entirely at your own risk.
My document pasted in after the cut. Please feel free to add anything that’s missing in the comments, so we can all pool our resources!
Agreement for Creative Collaboration
The following asserts the intention of
herein referred to as Writer.
herein referred to as Artist,
to work together on the project detailed herein, as collaborators and co-owners of any resultant intellectual property.
Section 1: Project Summary
Project title: ________________________________
Resulting product: __________________________________(herein referred to as the Work)
Timeline: ____________________________________________; both parties recognise that the lack of upfront payment involved in the collaboration may mean that schedules need to be adjusted during production, and agree to make reasonable allowances for this.
Section 2: Ownership
- The Work created as a result of this agreement shall be co-owned, with the copyright held jointly in the names of both the Writer and Artist.
- Credits in the Work shall read: “Story by Writer; Art by Artist”, unless specified otherwise in advance by both parties
- All original artwork created by Artist for the Work (whether sketches or final work), and the proceeds from the sale of such original art, shall remain the sole property of Artist. All scripts created by Writer for the Work, and the proceeds from the sale of such scripts, shall remain the sole property of Writer.
Section 3: Usage
- Artist and Writer agree that the work will be (use/plans– online availability, printing, etc)
2. Any other future use of the work, and the terms thereof, will require the agreement of both parties to go ahead.
3. Both Author and Artist retain right to display the work in their portfolios, both physical and online, and other websites, provided this is for display and/or promotion only, and not for profit; additionally, both will wait until publication/release, or 6 months after completion of the Work, whichever occurs first, before displaying any full and complete pages. The full work will not be publicly displayed by either while it is available for purchase in commercial form, unless agreed by both parties and any involved third party, such as a publisher.
4. Artist retains the right to sell artwork created for the project in the form of originals, sketches or prints, directly or via third parties, with all profits of these sales remaining with the artist. Other merchandise, however, will be subject to the same terms as the work as a whole, requiring the agreement of the Writer and the sharing of profits.
Section 4: Profits
The term Profits herein refers to any profit made from the Work, including but not limited to self-publishing sales, advances and royalties from publishers, profits from any other merchandise created using the Work, or profits from the disposition of any subsidiary rights.
- Writer and Artist agree that all profits from any use of the work will be divided between the artist
- Self-publishing exception: If one party is handling production and/or sales of any products (as agreed by other party), both parties may wish to agree to a different arrangement relating to that specific instance, due to upfront costs or the limited profits of small print runs. This must be agreed by both parties at the time.
- Any payments owed to the Artist by the Writer, or to the Writer by the Artist, will be payable 6-monthly, in June and December, via the payment method of their deciding. Both agree to keep clear records of all sales and profits, which the other party may view by request at any time.
4. As in Section 3.4, the sale by the Artist of original artowrk, sketches, or prints featuring images created for the Work are an exception to profit sharing, and all profits for these items may remain with the artist.
Section 5: Cessation of involvement by one of the parties
(depending on the project and the time investment, a clause here may be sensible to revert ownership to the other party so that their time is not wasted and they can still do something with it)
Section 6: Derivative Works
- If either party wishes to create further works using the original concept and characters of the Work, and the other party does not, then the written permission of the other party, as co-owner of the copyright, is required.
- If one party does not wish to be involved, and the proposed new work does not undermine the original work, the party that does not wish to be involved will not unreasonably withhold the required permission.
3. The new work must include the credit “Based on Work, created by Writer and Artist”, or similar.
4. Profits (as defined in Section 4) from the publication of such derivative works shall be divided as follows: Parties creating new work: 90%, divided as agreed by themselves; Other uninvolved copyright-holder: 10%
Section 7: Future
- If either party dies, the surviving party will have the sole right to negotiate and contract for publication and for the disposition of any of the subsidiary rights of the Work, and generally to act as if he/she were the sole author, subject only to the following conditions:
a) the name of the deceased party shall always appear on the Work and on any derivative works as co- creator.
b) the surviving party shall cause the deceased party’s share of the profits, as determined pursuant to Section 4 above, to be paid to his/her estate.
c) the surviving party shall furnish the estate true copies of all contracts made by the surviving party pertaining to the Work and any derivative works.
d) If all reasonable and multiple attemps made by the surviving party to contact the deceased party’s estate are unsuccessful, and this can be proved, then full ownership shall revert to the surviving party after one year of attempted contact.
Acceptance of Agreement
This agreement shall continue in perpetuity. This agreement shall inure to the benefit of, and shall be binding upon, the heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns of the parties. This agreement shall be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the United Kingdom.
Both parties agree to update the other on any changes to their contact information, and to make every reasonable effort to find and contact the other in any future circumstances pertaining to the Work and this agreement.
All of the above specifications and conditions are accepted by both parties. Artist is authorised to execute the project as outlined in this agreement, and payment will be made as described above.
Right, hope that’s useful to someone out there! As with all the templates I use for my own work, it’s a constant work in progress, so if you’ve anything to add, please do feel free to comment!