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Re: Fwd: copyright conversations

> (i spend about 10 minutes with all clients pointing out there are 2
>chairs across from me, one with a sign "practicality" and the other
>"principle.  they cost far differently.  i ask which one the client wishes
>to sit in, with the warning that it's going to be very difficult to shift
>to the other once the room begins to move).<

One of the best summations of lawyering (and a few other professions too)
I've ever read. In fact, the entire posting is very interesting, and clear.
The critical argument though is from the unquoted, but nevertheless
included part of the e-mail:

>a couple of observations.  i'll try to be gentle, but from a
>strictly-lawyer's point of view it rankles to be told of the inadequacies of
>the law when the problem is a "verbal" ... agreement.

Later he says:

>i think you or anybody else should collect for any project you are
>commissioned to do ...

Where verbal agreements sometimes break down is right here. You must be
clear that you are in fact being commissioned to produce something, as
opposed to being asked to produce something "on spec". Unless you are the
rankest beginner you should refuse speculative work. Usually the client has
no intention of paying anyone else to do the work: s/he probably just wants
to see a visual/physical representation of something as confirmation,
inspiration, or solution. In other words, once she sees how you do it, it
will be easier for her to do it.

Some lawyers say: a verbal agreement is not worth the paper it's written on.

You should be paid for your time, if not creativity, regardless of whether
the project goes ahead (for you) or not. If necessary, you can offer to
deduct the initial consulting/prototyping fee from the final invoice as an
advance. Make sure the client understands this (and agrees) before you
accept your next "commission".


PS to Paula: Thanks for including all of your friend Bob's letter. I think
I'd like him.

>... but it seldom gets explained that the typical morass is
>not simply the product of the big oppressing the little and the greedy lawyer
>plundering the righteous.

Richard Miller <rmiller@peterboro.net>

I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy
than be a success at something I hate. (George Burns)

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