ELECTRONIC RIGHTS USAGE FOR CARTOONS
Electronic cartoon rights for cartoons should be negotiated
If your cartoon is included in a textbook that has a complete print run of 5,000 to 10,000 copies, you know basically how many times your cartoon will be reproduced.
However, if the cartoons or comics of interest are included in a “print enabled” CD ROM, or added to an electronic database, that can be accessed via the internet or education related intranet, the situation will change.
Copyright permission to license cartoons electronically
If users can access the cartoon or cartoons you’re licensing, then they may also be able to print and distribute as many duplicates of your cartoons as they wish. This also includes altering the comic and sending it elsewhere globally.
When a cartoonist considers granting permission to license his or her work in this respect (I’m referring to electronic rights) , it’s extremely important to attempt at quantifying the number of uses as much as you can!
For example, if your cartoons or comic strips are used in a CD-ROM text, inquire as to whether the material will be “print disabled”, meaning the users won’t have the ability to print your artwork.
The science of negotiating electronic rights for comics
If the cartoon in question will be included in an electronic database, will only the publisher maintaining the database have access to the cartoon and make it available upon request or will users and other professionals (instructors, teachers, consultants etc.) be able to access the material directly.
As mentioned, it does get complicated when you have a request for licensing your cartoons if they are to be included in an e-databse. Ask these important questions and keep these caveats in mind when seeking ways in which to reach a reasonable licensing fee for your cartoon(s)! You control your cartoon copyright!
I will outline additional details on how best to professionally enforce your copyrights in order to license you cartoons at reasonable rate. Electronic cartoon rights and the basic knowledge pertaining to it are more essential now to the cartoonist than ever before.