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Royalty fees


#1

Hello everybody,

a few of my jewelry pieces have been published in different
magazines recently, one of these is a bracelet that is made of a
chain pattern that I came up with, so it is very special and not one
of those you can find in any book or so. Now I got this following
email:

… I would like to get your permission to teach this
bracelet in this area. I would also like to sell the ones I
make. I am willing to pay you a royalty fee for each class I
teach and each bracelet I sell. If you could, Please let me
know what you think would be a fair price…

What should I do? Does anybody have an idea?

Thank you in advance,
Edith

Edith Schneider Jewelry
P.O.Box 52001
Palo Alto, CA 94303
@Edith_Schneider
www.edithschneider.com


#2
a few of my jewelry pieces have been published in different
magazines recently, one of these is a bracelet that is made of a
chain pattern that I came up with, so it is very special and not
one of those you can find in any book or so. 

My first thought was…"Oh hell no! Let the dogs out…call the
lawyers…OH…same thing…!!! Then, after reflecting a bit,
I became more circumspect…(who me??) Truthfully, she could have
easily made your bracelet and taught the technique without your
knowledge…uh…in fact she has at least made it. But she has also
fessed up and now wishes to strike a legit business deal. Something
done in licensing every day…and…she is willing to pay you
for teaching what you consider to be your technique. (Sorry…not
sure if it is actually an original technique or application without
seeing it. Which one is it on your web site?). Hopefully you have
some kind of proof that this is either an original technique, or
have had it published or trademarked prior to anyone else

That said, I suppose, you might figure out a fair but not outrageous
price and let it go. I realize it is a tough choice, but since she
has brought it to you in this way, you must either work out a deal,
or pursue a legal avenue as a simple, “I don’t thhiiiink soooo…” is
not going to cut it, because you now have direct knowledge of it and
she does have the potential to go ahead without paying you.

Unless you have solid documented proof that it is your technique
alone, you can whistle dixie and she can teach whatever she darn
well pleases without paying you a cent. It is a dilemma I am happy
not to have for a change. You can cut your losses and deal, or you
can fight. Doesn’t appear to be a middle ground here. Only you know
the answer to this one.

Best luck and good wishes,

Lisa, (Weird ACC show in San Francisco. DId OK overall, but sold
virtually all of the joke rings I made for my kids friends…Gigantic
CZ’S set in silver…They look like clown rings. I ended up charging
$150 a pop just because I was annoyed at the thought that they were
my best sellers…aaargh. Plus…a very nice exhibitor’s dingbat
assistant came to my booth and insisted I was having my work made
overseas as it was impossible to make all of it myself…Remind me
why I went to San Francisco???) Topanga, CA USA


#3

Lisa I think you’re absolutely correct. You really can’t copyright
much in terms of technique since everything has been done before at
some point, somewhere. If you stumbled on a method to make a great
bracelet you can document it, and copyright that, but the chances of
getting a copyright on the braclett’s style is low actually, you can
probably get a copyright but successfuly imposing it would be the
hard part. This happens in cut stones alot. Someone will come up
with a cut and they think they can copyright it and be the only one
to sell the style but it’s bull*hit they can’t. They can copyright
their documentation but there is no way to prove that it’s never
been done or put in public domain. One good example of that is those
’Spirit Sun’ cuts (or Spirit Soul whatever they are called)… I can
cut those all day, they are simple and basic and nothing 'special’
so they can copyright that name, but not the stone or cut.

Craig
www.creativecutgems.com


#4

Edith:

I am very glad to hear that your work is appreciated in this manner.
You should be delighted.

A great royalty would be a significant percentage of the actual
selling price which the user obtains for the finished work.

A more realistic fee would be a small percentage. Such a royalty
might not only be welcomed, you may actually collect it voluntarily.

For classes, you might consider accepting an acknowledgement by the
teacher confirming your right to the design coupled with notice to
the students that they may have the right to produce and sell their
copies of the design based on the same small royalty you are
requiring of the teacher.

Komowkwa


#5

Royalty fees

Lisa, I am not a lawyer-fighting person at all, so there is no
interest in that direction. And to answer a few of your concernes:
yes, I have the copyright on this pattern and it is not in any book
out there. Of course any good chain maker can buy one of my necklaces
or bracelets and copy it. And I do sell those in my wholesale
collection. I know that once you are out there with your work, it
might get copied by somebody.

My question was not how to fight, my question was how to handle this
in a fair way, so that I still have the copyright on it and maybe get
a royalty fee which was a very nice offer from this person. I don’t
want to get rich, but a little extra treat her and there sounds nice.

Edith
Edith Schneider Jewelry
P.O.Box 52001
Palo Alto, CA 94303
www.edithschneider.com


#6

Take the royalty and run.

  1. When she teaches it; see if she fill inspire her students if they
    do the same - to also pay royalty. Give those who pay such the right
    to advertise or otherwise display a “by license from the creator -
    Edith Schneider”. Use that to advertise you and maybe your websight.
    ( Put the name of licensed artists on a list on your site)

If you want to get real “businessy” about it - insist on a little
inspection, quality control to insure your design is well represented
in the market. You might depending upon the time involved and the
market, parlay it into a nice little side line.

  1. Decide among - flat fee; a % of the gross; and a smaller % of the
    net. Make the percentages reasonable and easy to collect. Flat is
    easiest for the class sitution. Percentage for the rest - gross is
    easier than net ( accounting tricks are harder) but to make it work
    requires a relativly small percentage.

You might see if Daniel ?, the market oriented pricing guy who some
times posts on Orchid, has any guidelines. If, not I would suggest
you keep them somewhat low ( between 1 and 5% depending on expected
price and cogs issues, to keep it in line with the A&S type expense
the royalty fee represents.)

  1. Decide on timing of payment - quartelry is nice and convenient.
    Decide on means of payment. What is easiest and what makes sense in
    light of the amount expected.

1319 W. Alabama
Houston, Texas 77006


#7
My question was not how to fight, my question was how to handle
this in a fair way, so that I still have the copyright on it and
maybe get a royalty fee which was a very nice offer from this
person. I don't want to get rich, but a little extra treat her and
there sounds nice. 

Well…unfortunately, I do have some experience in copywriting work.
I obtained a copywrite on my first “big” ring in 1992. It was in the
shape of a crown, and it was very distinctive. There was nothing
like it when I made it in 1992. I originally built my business on it,
and it was veeery successful. It was published nationally, and
voila…I had imitators. Some pretty big names too. I found that all
they had to do was to alter the ring 20%. That included a different
weight, or texture, or color. In the process, I also found that that
its just about impossible to fight much less win. I haven’t sought a
copywrite on anything since, (…oh…but I just did recently obtain
a trademark on my name). I would say 1-5% royalty per bracelet if you
can indeed get it. Fair, but not excessive. They can build the extra
money into the price.

cheers,

Lisa, (Still eating dungeness crab brought from northern
California…yummy!) Topanga, CA USA