It’s your right to negotiate YOUR contracts.
When it comes to negotiating licensing contracts, remember, you are in the driver’s seat. Don’t be afraid or intimidated to negotiate….your future depends on it!
Contracts are meant for negotiation. Each party has the right to ask for what they want in a business relationship. What’s the worst thing that can happen? The other party says “no” and you go back to negotiate again. Just because the other party says “no”, doesn’t mean the contract is dead, it just means they don’t agree to those terms. You both must come to terms you can agree on.
Of course, it is your right and theirs to either re-negotiate or walk away. If you are feeling pressured to sign a contract that you aren’t comfortable with, walk away. Whether the contract is between you and a licensing agency or between you and a licensee, there is no reason to ever feel pressured.
There are many “bullet points” to consider when you negotiate a contract, but there is one particular issue I’d like to bring to the surface today.
Let’s say you have been self-representing in the licensing industry for a few years and have a handful of current licensees. You’ve come to a point where you’d like to partner with an art licensing agency so you can focus more on creating art and let the agency take over the marketing, contract negotiations, etc. When negotiating with an art agency, there is no reason you have to hand over your current licensees to them (unless you wish to, of course). You worked hard to get licensing agreements with those licensees and they are YOURS to keep. You should never feel pressured by an agency to hand over your current licensees to them….if they pressure you, walk away.
If you do decide to keep your current licensing agreements separate from the agreements your new agent obtains for you, make sure it is stated clearly in the contract between you and the art agency. It would be very wise to hire an attorney that specializes in the licensing industry to look over your contract before signing. Contracts can be hard to decipher and full of jargon and legalese that can be overlooked or misinterpreted. The money you spend on an attorney will be give you peace of mind and quite possibly be the best money you’ve ever spent.
Here is a link to the best in the business. Tammy and her team work daily with clients large and small to address their copyright, trademark, and licensing needs.