Time to tackle the design usage problem

Jan Hildebrand’s letter on design usage (DW 27 March) struck a chord in this consultancy. We too are increasingly asked to supply original creative material on disk, often for unspecified reasons.

Fees for original work are frequently agreed on the basis of the anticipated work. When the usage is widened, perhaps due to the success of the work, a new fee structure is required.

Should the original consultancy be retained to carry out the extended work then usage fees will possibly be absorbed into the overall fees for the project.

However, if a third party is to be given the contract to extend the use of the original design concept, the originators have the right to charge for usage and also to refuse to let their work be altered if they feel this will affect their reputation. This we point out to the clients, and the majority have no problem with it.

The basic concept of copyright is accepted in every other creative industry, so isn’t it time the design industry stood up for its rights? How about setting up a working party, say under the Design Business Association banner, to advise on solutions before this becomes an intractable problem?

Leslie Millard

Managing director

The Design Distillery

London WC2

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