Calling All My Creatives – Put Your Best Foot Forward In Contract Negotiations!

Written by Shamina Knights | July 22, 2022

IP Contracts

We’ve seen it happen much too frequently. Photographers, filmmakers, musicians, designers, and social content creators see the fees for their work listed in the contracts they sign, but they disregard the terms. You’ve probably heard it all before, “So excited to get started, but first, we need your signature right here…” or, “Oh, don’t worry about that clause, it won’t come to that as we’ve got your best interests in mind”. In some cases, it might even be that there’s not a contract to sign.

Don’t fall for it!

There are several reasons why you need a contract in place. Let’s look at three of the most important:

  1. Your creativity is your business. Showing you’re serious about your contract shows you’re serious about your craft!
  2. A contract doesn’t need to be scary and intimidating. It’s simply a written document summarising what’s already been agreed.
  3. There will be no confusion about what is expected of you (or the client) and so no surprises when it comes to providing the deliverables and receiving payment.

We get it. Contracts are boring. And you just want to start working with your favourite brand, but please, just please… don’t get swindled in the process. It’s so important to have your best foot forward when it comes to things like:

  • Your obligations: What’s expected of you during the collaboration?
  • Their obligations: This usually gets missed out, but I’m sure you have ideas on how they should behave as a business and how to treat you.
  • Payment: How and when will you be paid? What is payment contingent on? Do they have a right to reduce how much they pay you based on the deliverables you provide?
  • Termination: How can you get out? How can they get out? Can you get out?!
  • Intellectual property: Last but never least, who owns the beautiful content you create? Where is it being used? Is use limited to a specific project, or have they got access to it forever? Can they sell your content to a third party?

At Briffa, we have several commercial contract lawyers who can provide reliable, affordable, and business-focused support when drafting or reviewing contracts. We aim to make sure that your contracts work in your interests by saving you time and money. We’ll be right there with you, whether you need help drafting a watertight contract or you need someone to negotiate more favourable terms on your behalf.

If you work in a creative industry (or any industry where contracts are involved), and you have questions on how best to protect your interests, please do not hesitate to contact us via phone, email or by submitting a contact form.

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