Upload & Sell: On
Ask them to go ahead and send the license request that they mention so you can review it with your legal representative (be that yourself or an attorney).
Kinda hard to give a specific (legal) answer to an unspecified (legal) question. If they "balk" at your efforts to move toward legal/professional, with some song & dance ... that could be a red flag. If they respond with confident, certainly we'll divulge the legal details of what we want ... that could be a good sign. Either way, it can be a start to help "flush them out" a bit as to their reputability.
Get the details so that you understand what it is you are agreeing to ... THEN, negotiate. I suspect that the "educational" project is their code word for associating to cheap/free under a loose guise of "education".
They talk about a program and project ... yet want 20 year licensing with essentially unlimited rights for usage. That kinda goes against the concept of a program/project which is typically better defined timeline than 20 years @ all languages, etc.
Also, while they have pointed out in this communication that it would be "in context" with the program ... what does the official license request (that you would likely sign) say. I smell a "rat" that would take the pics for cheap/free under the guise of education program ... then the program amazingly fails ... yet they now have unlimited usage rights (oops they conveniently had language in the "official license request" allowing for that) for any and all purposes.
I would hope that this is not the case ... but, until you review the official / legal language involved ... you really don't know what you're agreeing to, despite what they sent you originally. I would also ask them for a prospectus / scope / overview of the project ... with some degree of detail.
I got burned by an educational program for about $10K many years ago ... part of a $300K scam that managed to fool a broadcast company as well ... FBI involvement, etc. They even had gone to the effort of fraudulently getting Hillary Clinton endorsement on their "educational project".
My point ... is that "educational" projects can be emotionally charged to have people let their guard down from a business/legal perspective. If it sounds fishy ... it just might be. Proceed with caution.
I'm guessing they are simply trying to build a "stock agency" from freely given pics and unlimited rights .. using the "educational" slant as a ruse that will somehow include reference to "fair use" when the request for $$$ comes into the picture and that they can't afford to pay anything, but won't be "collecting" anything either ... since it is for "education" ... but knowing they have language that allows it for anything. Don't be surprised if you see your pic on a calendar someday.
Edited on Sep 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM · View previous versions