Client asks for files

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Old 10 October 2012   #1
Client asks for files

Client has just (out of the blue) asked for all C4D files. ie 2 Projects from a couple of years ago. I know they have C4D, but not the capability to make best use of it. That said - they would then have the 'finished articles'. Wasn't part of the initial discussion or agreement.....

....Your thoughts appreciated...
 
Old 10 October 2012   #2
You´re on the right way, if your past job agreement/contract based on pictures as end-product.

If a client want to have then all models/scenes (and it wasn´t part of the contract) , than the price must be different or a complete new one/job.

If they want to make your job in-house (to save money), you can teach them for money or sell your model for a new price.
After give your complete work away - maybe the client don´t need you anymore for those kind of (same) jobs - so the price "must" another.

Also, you selling the rights of your own models. (It´s different, if you use your own models more than one time , or the client do this (then).
If you have used downloaded models ( form net) , this right must be checked also!

Many, many different situations. All based on contracts :-)
 
Old 10 October 2012   #3
Originally Posted by deepshade: Client has just (out of the blue) asked for all C4D files. ie 2 Projects from a couple of years ago. I know they have C4D, but not the capability to make best use of it. That said - they would then have the 'finished articles'. Wasn't part of the initial discussion or agreement...


I know it's 20/20 hindsight and all that, but this is why it's so important to have a clear agreement on 'deliverables'.

Based on what you've written, the answer would be: 'No.'

You can bet your bottom dollar that they won't be asking for your files, then returning to ask you to do more work for them; so even if they bid you goodbye - you won't have lost anything.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #4
Originally Posted by Mike Abbott: I know it's 20/20 hindsight and all that, but this is why it's so important to have a clear agreement on 'deliverables'.

Based on what you've written, the answer would be: 'No.'

You can bet your bottom dollar that they won't be asking for your files, then returning to ask you to do more work for them; so even if they bid you goodbye - you won't have lost anything.


Umm, my thoughts to. But further work on the horizon makes life rather complicated. My big issue with this is, they would have never produced the renderings we have done, in house. It takes a long time to understand how to get certain 'looks' and I really don't want to be giving that away.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #5
I would handle that, based how you judge your relationship with them.

Do you want to keep that relationsship sound and/ or you expect further work from them, either
ask them for a reasonable fee, that you think they can afford or else give it away for free, but make it clear, that this is a big exceptional favor from you especially for them.

If you dont really care for them any longer, simply say no, if they don't pay a really good price for it.
They haven't bought that "root" data yet, if it's not in your contract.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #6
Then give them the data without these certain rendersettings
To make sure they can't do it themselves.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #7
that how i do...delete rendersettings and all material channels except diffuse
 
Old 10 October 2012   #8
Had a client do this to me a few days ago, too.

By keeping the source files you become a valuable and needed person. If you rid yourself of those source files you become a fart in the wind.

I actually fired a client because they didn't do what they agreed to do, time after time. Because I had the source files for the project, the studio was forced to work with me again months later when their client was in need. Since I knew that particular studio was in money trouble, I was in a position to demand 100% up front and no contracts. They accepted because they had to. Now I really don't like to do business like that, but I had to. I knew there would be collections problems so I had to take action to protect myself, uncomfortable as it may have been. The ONLY reason I was in that position was because I had those source files.

Some people are wonderful and fair to work with, and some will f%#k you like a corkscrew screws cork. My father used to be a bank executive and he told me about a man he used to work with. My father said this man actually told him to his face one day: he said, "John, we can go out for lunch and drinks after work, but I will screw you out of something if you let me." At least he was integrous enough to let him know. I also worked for a studio all of you have heard of in our little C4D world and got screwed by them. They hid behind a little clause in the contract that stated they didn't have to pay me unless they got paid. That's the first thing I look for in a contract now.

Moral: protect yourself.

If you do end up turning over the files, I would bake out what I could and cover my techniques where necessary.
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Old 10 October 2012   #9
Thanks all - much appreciated
 
Old 10 October 2012   #10
They accepted final deliveries and given final payment ( years ago) the obligations on both sides are closed, unless the contract status otherwise (warranty clause, etc). As a valuable client who you wish to stay on good terms with, you can explain what they bought under that contract and offer to renegotiate terms if they need more. I would ask them to explain their needs, so you can agree up front with painful clarity about what they would be getting for this additional compensation ( just models, full re-render capability, resale rights, textures, scripts, plug ins, etc). Maybe after exploring their needs, you can offer alternatives that work better for both of you. In some situations, like textures or stock models, parts might not even be yours to resell. With any contract, the more you can clarify up front, the less there is to argue about later. And you are in a situation of a new contract here, since the old one is closed out.

IANAL and all that.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #11
Also consider if they aren't willing to stick with the contracts, be fair to you or cannot afford to pay you properly in this case, do you really care about keeping them as a client for the future?
 
Old 10 October 2012   #12
My big issue with this is, they would have never produced the renderings we have done, in house. It takes a long time to understand how to get certain 'looks' and I really don't want to be giving that away.


As others have said, your relationship with the client in question is the primary factor.

However, one thing to keep in mind: Your development of specific looks and techniques is part of your intellectual property for your business - something you certainly wouldn't want to be giving away. Unless the source files were specified as part of the project deliverables, this is a very reasonable and clear ground for gently turning down their request for source files. Or negotiating a fair price that represents the value of your IP.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #13
Thanks for your thoughts selmo.
 
Old 10 October 2012   #14
if you don't intend to do business with them again and also unless you told them otherwise, I would say your computer crashed and you don't have the files.

but the best is as another said, just give them the model(s); no materials, textures, render settings, time lines etc. I would make it a minimal as possible.
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Old 10 October 2012   #15
Originally Posted by deepshade: Client has just (out of the blue) asked for all C4D files. ie 2 Projects from a couple of years ago. I know they have C4D, but not the capability to make best use of it. That said - they would then have the 'finished articles'. Wasn't part of the initial discussion or agreement.....

....Your thoughts appreciated...


We never provide our 3D files unless agreed on on the front end. We've stuck by that policy when clients ask for them.

The reasoning being we've spent many hours perfecting our metal and organic materials. Some materials have gone through several evolutions and have special tricks and treatments to them to get the final outcome. We use these materials across multiple clients. In our opinion, those are proprietary techniques that we've developed that they are not paying for. We've won large projects simply because they liked our metals or our organic materials over other vendors or what they could produce. That's an entirely different animal than providing images and animations and a completely different price. A VERY expensive one.
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Last edited by Troyan : 10 October 2012 at 02:53 AM.
 
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