That’s a Good One!

October 21st, 2013 | Posted in General

I got this email from someone this morning:

Hi there Tom

My name is name withheld and I am an internet marketer. I have recently created a training program for people who aspire to make money online, named ‘title withheld‘. As you can tell by the name, the branding and name is inspired by James Bond, as will be my new sales page (comic strip style).

My question is, would you consider giving me permission to use some of your “James Bond” images for my sales page? If you would be so gracious as to grant me permission then of course I would place an ‘art acknowledgement’ link at the bottom of the sales page giving you credit and also linking back to your url.

The only possible change I would want to make, would be to remove the background and only use the actual figures. If this is something you would consider then kindly get back to me.

Your art work would really make my sales page something special.

Many thanks for your time Tom

I eagerly look forward to your reply

I got a real laugh out of this. It’s more than a little ironic, don’t you think, that someone professing to know enough about how to make money online to teach others how to do it would ask an illustrator for the use of their online artwork for free in order to sell a training program on how to make money online? I mean, if your business is making money online don’t you think you’d be sensitive to the fact that things online have value and ought to cost something to use? The really funny part is he’s actually asking me to remove the backgrounds for him, so not only to give him free use of existing work, but to spend my time altering the work to better suit his need… all for a link. Then again, maybe his business plan is all about getting stuff for nothing to use to sell other stuff for something. Brilliant.

I’m not sure I’d be too interested in this James Bond themed training program. I have a feeling it promise Sean Connery but give you George Lazenby.


  1. Danny Zemp says:

    Whaaaat? You get paid!
    What am I doing wrong?
    Just kidding. It’s like asking a doctor or surgeon to do their work for exposure. I’d like to see how my plumber, electrician or mechanic would react to such proposal!

  2. Mark Simon says:

    Not only that, he doesn’t have the rights to use ‘James Bond’, but probably will try anyway.

    • Tom says:

      I also explained to him that the work he is referring to is from MAD, and I don’t own the copyrights to that anyway.

  3. He was probably hoping you’d not only give your work away for free, with alterations of course, but also buy his product so you too could be an internet marketer!

  4. Jon Herman says:

    You should send him a link to that Youtube video featuring Harlan Ellison’s Pay the Writer video, waxing poetic and profane about being asked to give away his creative work.

  5. N Gomes says:

    In fact this post also leads to something with which you can help.
    Since your blog’s been a great source of info for many aspiring illustrators it would really help if you could share a sample of a work agreement about the clauses included, the language, the proforma, and whether you employ only a digital agreement or a written one. And is it digitally signed. Plus advance payments, percentage in advance payment. Reusable rights. Can one write it by oneself or is their a strict legal proforma etc. You can remove the Figures and names in your sample, and the details you aren’t comfortable in sharing. This would be specially important in case of determining the extent and duration of use/reuse/re-production/royalty -from work. As most beginner freelancer artist just work out of trust, over a phone conversation and don’t know how to form a sort of watertight agreement, the language formation etc and aren’t aware about the legalities/rights/ and copyrights… your agreement could give them a blueprint of sorts, they could add or take out things from your sample once they know how to go about it, bringing more professionalism to their work.Would it be possible for you to share that? Plus if you could include a Bill/invoice sample, in case it’s customized by you!
    Really appreciate everything you shrared till now!

    • Tom says:

      There are resources for that, ones that I use myself. “The Legal Guide for the Visual Artist” by Tad Crawford has several generic contracts in it, and the “Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines” has the very contracts I use. Since I did not author them, it would be wrong to post them here. Google these publications and pick them up for the information you are looking for.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

Workshops Ad

Dracula ad

Doctor Who Ad

Superman Ad

%d bloggers like this: