I have an agent who uploads photographs that I have taken onto ISP forums. Some of these images are nudes. I have some that were taken 18 years ago at a workshop, where the workshop organizers claimed to supply models who had signed photo releases. I personally do not possess these releases. There were over 100 students shooting these models. Can I use them without liability?
In a contract for the production or sale of your artwork, you can do one of two things: license your artwork or assign your work. An assignment is like selling your home -- you usually give up all ownership rights to your art. A license is akin to renting your home -- you temporarily transfer your rights but you retain ownership of the art.
Consignment sales come with plenty of risks. Consider the artists left holding the bag when a Minneapolis gallery filed for bankruptcy owing artists $97,000. Said one artist at the time, "We're the canaries down the coal mine. When the gas comes we're the first to die." So what's an artist to do? There
For an artist who successfully licenses her artwork, royalty payments provide welcome additional income. But in order to maximize profits, an artist should take the time to negotiate a good royalty deal. Before signing on the dotted line, learn the ins and outs of royalty payments and figure out what works for you.
Foreign licensing of your artwork can be lucrative but it can also be a minefield. If the licensee is a cheat or scoundrel, you could end up wasting time and money suing the licensee in a foreign court and trying to collect a judgment overseas. To protect yourself, research the reliability of the company, get up to speed on trade terminology, and draft a solid license agreement.