Repro/Sticker: Custom Sticker ETHICS

Discussion in 'Radicons Customs' started by Delta Star, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. Delta Star

    Delta Star <b>Reprolabels.com</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    Okay, so I figure we need a new thread for this, as the topic changed quite drastically.

    I want to try to summarize the concerns here, and I'm asking fellow Radicons to help me come up with a new policy for custom stickers.

    The main problem is what to do with sticker designs that are created and submitted by the customer. Should the customer be expected to pay for the service? Shouldn't they GET paid instead? Should others get to order the same stickers even though they didn't design them? How is that fair? Should Reprolabels protect others' artwork by not even offering them to other customers? If so, what if Reprolabels was already planning to make that design prior to the customer's submission?

    Excellent points made so far:

    Boggs6ft7:
    My problem isn't so much with the intellectual property or even being compensated. It would be having to pay more for a sticker set that I design than others that come after me that buy the same design.

    frenzy_rumble:
    just a suggestion, but if the set is worthy of continued sales, repro compensates that artist with a free set of that sticker.

    Ramrider:
    Heh. It basically means that if you wait for someone else to design it, you can get it cheaper...
     

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  2. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    How about this?

    Instead of compensation, have a point system set up for when someone introduces a new set. If X amount of sticker sets are sold, then the person that designed that set gets a discount when they introduce a new set or just points to use on anything else that you offer.

    You would have final say of course, especially if if was something you already had in the works. Just say, thanks but no thanks it is already in the works. I don't think anyone is going to question your integrity.

    I think everyone would come out on top in this case. We the designers will be more motivated to make something everyone would want (helping out the community), in return we can get a discount of future stuff, you get to sell popular sticker sets. This would be in the most ideal situation, I know it would not work for all cases.

    This may be a logistical nightmare, but its just a suggestion.

    EDIT: I just read Erech's response, pretty similar to mine. I didn't want him to think I was stealing his thunder.
     
  3. ErechOveraker

    ErechOveraker I'm with Plowking.

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    The only really fair way to do what it sounds like you're leaning towards, would be to make reprolabels a co-op of sorts. People buy in and own a part of the whole shebang, pay being anything from sellable designs to just cash.

    Maybe have a proving ground for designs before accepting them for public consumption, vs just the private custom orders you never allow anyone but the customer to see, a la Threadless and the like?


    Interested to see what others say.
     
  4. big hank

    big hank Resident Slacker-Basher

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    Ahhhh.........It seems the custom sticker business is sticky business indeed!!

    I would say on custom sets Reprolabels designs for/with the customer, I feel Reprolabels has the right to claim all future profits. With that said, when a customer supplies the design in the appropriate format, Reprolabels is merely serving as a printing service (sorry for the terminology, not trying to simplify your work, just simplifying the idea here). In this case, I feel intellectual rights go to the customer, and profits from future sales (to customers OTHER than the creator) should at the very least be split with the creator. Reprolabels certainly should be allowed to earn a profit from the sale as well, in my opinion. Fair pay for fair work and all.

    It seems like it would require much more attentiveness and integrity on Reprolabels part, as he could easily sell a set of someone's design to another and not report it. However, it is the duty of the intellectual property owner to audit Reprolabels periodically to ensure he is getting due compensation. I have dealt with this on some level in my music career. If you leave Cds with a record store, it is your responibility to make syre you are getting your portion of the profits when the disc sells.

    I have not dealt with Reprolabels other than an occasional inquiry about a set of existing labels. I personally think if you can create the appropriate program for a custom set of labels, you can probably find the means to get them reproduced on your own.

    There is my :2c: 
     
  5. SCPrime

    SCPrime Well-Known Member

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    I also believe that if Reprolabels is going to offer a customers custom design for profit, then said customer should be compensated. I think a free sticker sheet should be the very least compensation. Or a refund of the set up fee. I don't think any more should be offered beyond the set up fee though. I also think the customer should have the option of NOT allowing the set to be resold. Likewise, Reprolabels has the option to NOT want to resale the custom design if Reprolabels feel it won't sell. So, basically, if both parties agree to have reprolabels sell the custom design then the artist should be compensated but nothing beyond the set up fee. Because if it's beyond the set up fee then might as well just hire that guy/gal onboard as an inhouse/contracted designer and pay him/her as such. If the amount of compensation cannot be agreed upon by customer and Reprolabels then just do it as a one off set for the customer and don't resell the design.

    Edit: I forgot to add, in the case where a custom design is similiar to something that Reprolabels has already designed (but not yet publicly offered), then I guess Reprolabels win because it would suck for Reprolabels if alot of people submit custom designs which may limit what Reprolabels can design (especially common, popular ideas). This requires trust from Reprolabels to not claim anything and everything as "we already have that designed"
     
  6. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Delta, I have to be honest, but this is the very reason I've refrained from having my labels printed through reprolabels. I'm not the wealthiest person to begin with, and with having my work (i.e., time and effort) given to have another compensated for is just something I can't afford too often. I'd love to be able to afford reprolabels made of every label set I've made, but I can't afford to relinquish the rights to my creations either.

    That being said, I'd personally love to have the resources (printing and papers) that reprolabels has. I think your own resources should be something that is of cost to everyone. The cost for inks and papers is a cost to an artist regardless if they relinquish their rights on their creations or not.
     
  7. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    I know there will be random sticker sets created by radicons which will have zero market. These aren't the issue.

    However there are and will be sets I've created where other radicons, and TF fans in general might jump all over (Like my Cobracon or Shattered Glass sets) I think in these cases, Repro can look at the market and desire for these sets and consider the time invested by the artist and compensate through a "free set" of that design.

    I'm sure most will agree, designing these properly (another key factor) will save reprolabels time and money and also build their supply all at the same time. Paying/compensating with stickers as currency....keeps everyone happy.

    Another point - is making sure the files are 100% perfect. If Delta's designers need to go in and separate cut lines from print lines, change dimensions, or fix colors, or ANY adjustments, then Delta's invested time on that set, which offsets everything...

    *Perhaps a STRICT guideline to what would qualify as the standard(s) needed is necessary. No gray area.
     
  8. FrankyWest

    FrankyWest As far as it goes

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    Frenzy I agree with what you said,I just don't agree with the part where you say
    However there are and will be sets I've created where other radicons, and TF fans in general might jump all over

    you're not alone on this one. You talk like you are the only one who knows how to work corectly.

    Maybe I'm easily pissed off. I just don't like when someone takes credit for things that have been done before, and will be done again
     
  9. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    Maybe I should have put it in more simpler terms so it wasn't misunderstood.

    Over the edge example of something that yields a market:
    If I created a Universe Classic Cyclonus (which is due out soon) Sticker set....

    Over the edge example of a set which would be specific and yield zero market:
    Donald Duck & Starscream Crossover Transformer

    I'm not asking for credit for something that's been done before, where are you getting this from? I'm pointing out how it is not too tough to define which sticker would be "of value" to reprolabels over which ones would not.
     
  10. FrankyWest

    FrankyWest As far as it goes

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    I Also want to apologize if i sounded rude FrenzyRumble.
     
  11. FrankyWest

    FrankyWest As far as it goes

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    Lol love the methapore
     
  12. SCPrime

    SCPrime Well-Known Member

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    Something I like to add also, is that if an artist feels like he/she made something that he/she feels is going to sell well, then why not just cut a deal with Reprolabels. This would be different than going to Reprolabels with a design that you want stickered for yourself. If you really feel your set is great and want to retain some sort of property to it then negotitiate a deal. If no deal can be agreed upon, then either print the set yourself if you want one or find another sticker printer company. But if you really want Reprolabels to do the set for you and don’t really mind if reprolabels resell the design to others then submit the design as a custom job. I think you should still some sort of compensation if reprolabels wants to resell but the bottom line is negotiate a deal if you really want to protect your property and want to be well compensated for it. One the one hand you are submitting the design as a contract designer or submitting the job as a custom job. I understand there is a gray area between the 2 but for the most part I think a case by case discussion/negotiation between designer and Reprolabels would clear away most cases.

    It just seems to me like some of you already have sticker sets made but are able to print the sets yourself so don't feel the need to give Reprolabels the designs (even though the quality from Reprolabels may be better) unless you are well compensated. If that's the case, negotiate a deal.
     
  13. FrankyWest

    FrankyWest As far as it goes

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    I agree with you all the way, I really think this would be the best compromise for everyone. Althought Reprolabels themselves might not enjoy it so much.
     
  14. Delta Star

    Delta Star <b>Reprolabels.com</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    Okay - I've taken all this in.

    Here's an area I'm still having a hard time with:

    Let's say Customer A submits a design for, I dunno... "Zombie Hound". It's a sticker set that turns hound into a bloody, living dead robo-zombie. All fine. Now let's assume I want to protect this customer's rights. Now Customer B comes along with a set for "Cyborg Hound", and it looks, to me, a bit similar to "Zombie Hound". What should I do? And how would I prepare for this situation as I'm wording my policies?
     
  15. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think something like that is at your discretion.

    The only way you are going to truly protect someone is to never produce another sticker set after theirs has been made. If someone else comes along with a set that is similar and wants to make it public, then go ahead. It would be the other person's loss if you were going to work out a deal to continue using their set.

    I can see some things coming up that might be a simlar idea, but I doubt you would get two sticker sets that are exactly the same. Given the nature of the product, I would assume it would be easy to see if someone blatantly used the same files. People come up with similar ideas on here all the time.

    In the end, people will just have to rely on your honesty. As my father always said, "No one takes away your good name, you give it away"
     
  16. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Thanks for keeping this thread cool, guys.

    SCPrime, you're right on this, at least for me. I design my own label sheets and print them on my printer. I've never really had much of a problem with printing quality, but I've still yet to find papers I'm totally satisfied with. reprolabels, on the other hand, really has no issues in this department.

    There have been label sets that I've worked as long (if not longer) than some of my customs. I may want some labels that are more durable, but I don't want to not only give up my work, but also foot an extra bill for them.
     
  17. Sculpt-bot

    Sculpt-bot So waddya want, a medal?

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    Ebay:
    Delta: I feel for you man, but I think it is really cool that you are even discussing this with us. It does show your integrity as a businessman.
    I had to work out a similar thing with some of the headsculpts that I do. If someone asks me to sculpt a head for them that I don't have in my inventory already, they are given a choice. I can sculpt, mold and cast a head for them that will be the only reproduction made of that design. They pay a little more for it, but they have a one of a kind noggin that is their's and their's alone. If they agree to allow me to reproduce it, and I think it is something that would sell, they get a reduced rate, because my time and resources are now split on numerous transactions, and I can afford to drop the price.
    I think you have to deal with it on a case by case basis. As F_R said, YOU have to choose those ideas that you think will sell. I have had folks give me sketches of a fan made character, and, while very cool, they would probably not be of interest to any other folks because of the very specific nature of them. In these cases I charge the increased rate, because it is a single piece that is not going to be remade. It is a decision that I make however.
    I don't have a higher-end operation like you do, but I think as long as you are relatively consistent and straight forward with the folks you are dealing with, they should understand where you are coming from. You offer a great service to us, and ultimately it is your business. I just think it is nice to give folks options, that way they can choose the path that they deem worth theor time and money.
    Thanks again!
     
  18. SCPrime

    SCPrime Well-Known Member

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    Like boggs said, the discretion is up to you. If customer A wants you to protect his/her rights by NOT reproducing the set and customer B comes along with a similiar set and DOES agree to have it reproduced (with some sort of compensation) then it is Reprolabels right to go ahead and accept customer B's agreement. Yes, customer A will probably complain and accuse customer B or Reprolabels of copying his/her work (tweeking it a little to make it look different) but that's life. The public trusts that Reprolabels won't do that. If Reprolabel does, and it happens often enough the public will find out and it'll be bad pub for Reprolabels. If alot of people start complaining how stuff that they submit to Reprolabels get reproduced without their permission or Reprolabels produced stuff very similiar to their previously submitted stuff (and sells without permission) then it'll be bad business for Reprolabels.

    Or if customer A submits a design and DOES agree to sell (with some compensation) and then customer B comes along with a smiliar design. Then you can tell customer B that you can produce the set for said customer (at the set up fee cost) but you won't be reselling (thus not compensate customer A) the set because Reprolabels already has a similiar set (from customer A) that is selling. Again, Reprolabels can elect to make a set for a customer (given the appropriate set up fee) but retains the right NOT to resell the set if Reprolabel feels the set won't sell or it looks too similiar to an existing set. Customer B pays for the one off set (or more if they pay for more) and the design is given back and customber B goes off his merry way and reprolabels never sells the set. If customer B agrees to have reprolabels sell the similiar set but WITHOUT compensation because customer B doesn't care about compensation then ok.
     
  19. Delta Star

    Delta Star <b>Reprolabels.com</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've been reading and re-reading and contemplating this for days.

    Here's what I'm leaning towards, but I'm kind of wishful about getting a Radicons consensus on this. I'd love for it to be unanimous.

    So here goes: There are five options for custom stickers. Here is what they are, and my *proposed* policy, pending some kind of approval from
    Radicons members. I stand ready to change the wording depending on what people think.

    1) Re-printing archived sets. Upon further consideration, we need a $2 surcharge for these. They are not stock items, so they have to be made on demand, and we can't print multiples because we aren't sure they'll sell. Also, this $2 can be passed on to the original customer who commissioned/created it (read other sections). This would be for (A) stickers we discontinued, (B) stickers we recolored or tweaked for someone
    else or (C) Other people's designs when the designer WANTS us to sell them to other people.

    2) Simple recolors. No graphics changes except for color. A $10 set-up fee is applied. Credit is given to the customer for the idea, but Reprolabels retains all rights and customer is not compensated for the idea. I mean, really... it's just a color swap, right?

    3) Minor graphics changes. This is something like a faction symbol swap, or added text, or maybe a racing number is changed. Cut lines are not modified for this option. A $20 surcharge is applied. Customer is credited. Reprolabels retains all rights to the set, BUT every time it sells to someone else, the $2 surcharge for printing archived sets is put into a credit which the original customer can apply to future orders. No cash value. Reprolabels.com reserves the right to deny certain projects, if the project is not feasible or if Reprolabels already had plans to make a similar set. Customers who submit ideas do so with utmost good faith that Reprolabels is honest about the reason for any denials. Nothing is owed for denied projects and customer is not credited.

    4) Commissioned sets. Completely new designs, usually involving the shipment and return shipment of a toy for sizing purposes (at customer's expense). Surcharge to be negotiated before hand. Reprolabels retains all rights to the set, BUT Customer is credited and $3 goes into an account every time someone else buys a set. In this case, the account HAS cash value - does not only apply to "store credit". Reprolabels.com reserves the right to deny certain projects, if the project is not feasible or if Reprolabels already had plans to make a similar set. Customers who submit ideas do so with utmost good faith that Reprolabels is honest about the reason for any denials. Nothing is owed for denied projects and customer is not credited.

    5) Customer supplied designs. $15 set-up charge. Graphics must be supplied by a graphic designer. Reprolabels DOES NOT own rights to the set. If customer WISHES, design can be sold to other customers, in which case, ($3 + 25 percent of print cost) goes into an account every time someone else buys a set. In this case, the account has cash value - does not only apply to "store credit". Customer must discuss project with Reprolabels.com
    BEFORE submitting graphics, because Reprolabels.com reserves the right to deny certain projects, if the project is not feasible or if Reprolabels already
    had plans to make a similar set. Customers who discuss ideas with Reprolabels.com do so with utmost good faith that Reprolabels is honest about the reason for any denials, and that Reprolabels.com would never steal anyone's ideas. Nothing is owed for denied projects and customer is not credited.

    EDIT: Changed commission amounts. Did some math, and they weren't high enough.
     
  20. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    Delta, I'd say that all sounds good and that you've also covered your bases well. :thumb 
     

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