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How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts - Ebook


Product Description

FOR ARTISTS:  How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts, written by Tara Reed and Maria Brophy.  An E-Book.

This 173 page E-Book book was written to help the artist understand art licensing contracts and to determine if a deal you've been offered is good for you and your career.  It's written in an easy to understand manner and includes real life stories from artists and tidbits of information from attorneys.  It is the essential guidebook to art licensing contracts!

Do art licensing contracts fill you with fear and dread?

Do you worry that you won’t get a good licensing deal because you don’t understand licensing contracts?

Are you looking for a resource to turn to again and again to help you understand and become a confident contract negotiator?

“How To Understand Art Licensing Contracts” has been designed to give the reader an in-depth understanding of contracts, as well as become a resource you can turn to over time as contract questions arise.  With 173 well organized pages of valuable information, this eBook will help increase your knowledge and build your confidence when it comes to art licensing contracts.

From the authors – artist Tara Reed and agent/brand manager Maria Brophy:

“After doing a few calls together, we began talking about all the questions, concerns and fears artists have about contracts.  Contracts are an aspect of art licensing that makes artists nervous and lack confidence.  We decided to team up to write this eBook.  Our goal is to give you a thorough introduction to art licensing contracts – not just the nuts and bolts of them, but also the reasons behind them.  We want you to understand how your goals as an artist might affect the kind of contract you accept or decline, and help you see the contract from both sides – yours and the manufacturer.  When you are done reading, we hope you breathe a sigh of relief!  We want you to feel confident discussing the basics of a contract with a manufacturer.  We want you to know when you should enlist the help of an attorney.  Throughout the book you will see informational boxes from artists who have had experience in licensing.

We believe the combination of all of these perspectives will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to understand and negotiate art licensing contracts.  Learn from our mistakes and the advice of others in the industry.  Don’t be afraid of legal language any longer because you too can learn to read contracts like a pro.”

This eBook is for . . . Artists, Illustrators and Photographers who. . .

  • Want to understand the contracts that are at the heart of any licensing business.  Without a grasp of the salient deal points, you could substantially decrease the potential value of your art.
  • Want to make money in art licensing by licensing the same art to multiple manufacturers.  How your contracts are done affects your potential royalty income.
  • Already license their art but want a new perspective, new insights and deeper understanding of art licensing contracts.

What will this book do for you . . .

  • Create a positive mindset, define your goals and overcome your fears – you will think through who you are as an artist and what you want your art licensing deals to look like.  Learn to represent yourself with confidence and understand how to negotiate a win-win contract
  • Learn the sections of an art licensing contract and what they mean to you – more than 30 contract terms are defined in detail, explaining why they might be in a contract and the implications to both parties.  Included is actual “contract language” and what it means to you in “everyday language.” You will learn to dissect legalese and know how each word might affect your deal.
  • Learn how and when to start using your own standard contract in your business – making the shift to your own form where you manage your relationships.


Tara and Maria’s eBook, “How To Understand Art Licensing Contracts,” is a must read for any artist in art licensing, whether they are just beginning or have been in the game for awhile. Written from the point of view of two seasoned art licensing veterans who learned the ropes by doing the work themselves.  Its clear concise style, incredible organization and well thought-out format make it impossible not to find needed factual information.  If you’re working with art licensing contracts, and don’t have this on your desktop, you’re making things harder for yourself than they need to be.  Marty Qatani

I’ve signed hundreds of licensing agreements over the last 10 years and was astonished at some very important clauses that aren’t included in my contract or didn’t take notice of in theirs that were covered in “How To Understand Art Licensing Contracts.  Barb Tourtillotte

This is exactly what I was looking for!  I now consider “How To Understand Art Licensing Contracts” my “go-to” resource book for any and all art licensing information.  I highly recommend it to anyone needing advice in this complex and often confusing subject.  All aspects of licensing are thoroughly covered and explained in easy-to-understand layman’s terms.  This is a must read for any artist thinking about delving into the world of licensing contracts.  Thanks for putting this book together and for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with others!  Kudos to you both on a job well done!  Sherri Conley, Fine Art Photographer, http://sherriconley.com

Artist, Designer, Licensor, Barb Tourtillotte Illustration


Part 1.  There are Two Sides to Every Contract

  • The Licensor’s Perspective
  • The Licensee’s Perspective
  • Art Licensing is a relationship business governed by contracts
  • The Worst Contract Maria Has Ever Seen
  • The First – and Worst – Contract Tara Ever Signed

Part 2.  How Your Goals for Art Licensing Affect Your Contracts

Part 3.  Ten Common Contract Fears (and How To Overcome Them)

Part 4.  Anatomy of an Art Licensing Contract

  • What makes a contract good or bad?
  • When to walk away from a contract
  • Terminology
  • Checklist of Must-Haves
  • Three steps to negotiating contracts

Part 5.  Contract Sections and Samples

  • Defined terms
  • Opening language
  • Licensed images
  • Products
  • Entire Agreement
  • Licensed image and product exhibits

Part 6.  Contract Considerations

  • Contract length – the pros and cons of short vs. long
  • Red flags to watch for in a contract
  • What’s in a name?  The Artist’s signature
  • The case against auto-renewal language
  • When to hire an attorney
  • How to choose an attorney and how much it might cost
  • Should you release hi-res images before signing the contract?
  • Money matters
  • Copyrights: To file of not to file

Part 7.  Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat

  • Deal memos
  • When it’s time to have your own standard contract

Part 8.  Attorney Insights

  • Best practices for the Art Licensor
  • The five biggest mistakes in an art licensing contract
  • Trademarks and licensing programs
  • Contractual traps for the unwary
  • When a good contract goes bad

Part 9.  Where To Get Help with Your Specific Contract Questions

Part 10. Glossary

Appendix: New Contract Review Worksheet


**PLEASE NOTE:  There are a few links in the ebook to web pages which were changed.  The links will lead you to the correct site but you will get a "404" error.  This is the challenge with having outside links in an e-book, and in hindsight, I would have left them out of the book all together.  Please forgive the few links that aren't working.  It doesn't take away from the massive amount of valuable information in the book.  


Legal Disclaimer:  Neither Tara Reed nor Maria Brophy are licensed to practice law.  This book was written from their own personal experiences with licensing art.  For legal advice, please contact an art licensing attorney in your state or province.

Product Reviews

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  1. Excellent information!

    Posted by Tina Wells on 19th Feb 2019

    This e-book "How to Understand Art Licensing Contracts" is packed with valuable information. I'm just getting started in art licensing and the loads of information in this book helped me get clarity about what makes a good licensing agreement (and better yet, a bad one!). I feel so much more confident now. I would highly recommend this book!!! Thank you Maria and Tara! Great information.

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