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What is the difference between the two?
The reason I am asking is because, I have
a company that has offered to illustrate a
couple of characters for my series,
but want artistic copyrights, while
I have full copyrights.

What does this mean exactly?

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I'm thinking that they want to draw your characters then use them to promote themselves. Like let's say I do a drawing of Spiderman, and while Stan Lee is his creator I would need to get permission to use my drawing of Spiderman to promote my artwork/company, or to sell it without having to pay the creator all of the amount I made. I'm not sure completely though so I hope some guys who've worked for the big companies will chime in.
Beloved in Grace,
I was researching rights myself and what they meant for me and my own business and for the businesses or clients that want my work, here is the list and definition of those, your questions may have some answers by reading the list, maybe the artistic rights and full rights will be better explained.

First Rights: the buyer purchases the rights to use the work for the first time in any medium. All other rights remain with the creator and First Serial rights are normally purchased (IE: soon-to-be in newspaper or article)

One-Time Rights: The buyer has no guarantee that they are the first to use the piece. One-Time permission to run written work, illustrations or photos is acquired, then the rights revert back to the creator.

First North American Serial Rights: Similar to first rights, except that companies who distribute in both the US and Canada will stipulate these rights to ensure that another US company doesn't come out with the same simultaneous usage of the same work.

Second Serial (Reprint) Rights: Newspapers and magazines are granted the right to reproduce a work that has already appeared in another publication. These rights are also purchased by a newspaper or mag. editor who wants to publish part of a book.

Simultaneous Rights: More than one publication buys one-time rights to the same work at the same time. Use of such rights occurs among magazines with circulation that doesn't overlap, such as many religious publications.

All Rights: Writer, Creator, Illustrator relinquishes ALL rights to the piece-no longer has any rights to use it. Used by publishers who pay PREMIUM USAGE FEES have an exclusive format or have other work or magazine interest from which a personal work can generate more mileage.
NOTE: if a company insists on acquiring all rights, negotiate for rights to revert back to you for a reasonable amount of time, if agreed, get it in WRITING. Warning!!: Writers, Illustrators and photographers should be wary for "work-for-hire" you will not own the copyright of the completed work, but the company will.

Foreign Serial Rights: Be sure before selling to foreign that you've sold North American- not worldwide- serial rights to previous markets. If so, you are free to market to publications that may be interested in N.A based material (periodical)

Syndication Rights: division of Serial Rights. For Example: If a syndicate prints portions of a book in installments in it's newspapers, it would be syndicating second serial rights. The Syndicate would receive a commission and from the remainder to be split between the author and publisher.

Subsidiary rights: Serial dramatic and book club or translation rights. The contract should specify what percent of profits from sales of these rights go to the author and publisher.

Dramatic, Television and Motion Picture Rights: During a specific time the interested party tries to sell a story to a producer or director. Many times options are renewed because the selling process can be lengthy.

Display or Electronic publishing rights: Data, storage and retrieval; usually listed under Subsidiary rights, the marketing of electronic rights in this era of rapidly expanding capabilities and markets for elec. material can be tricky. Display rights can cover text or images to be used in a CD-Rom or online or many cover use of material in formats not even fully developed yet. If display rights clause is listed in your contract to to NEGOTIATE IT'S ELIMINATION otherwise, be sure to pin down which electric rights ARE being purchased. Demand the clause be restricted to things designed to be READ ONLY by doing this you maintain YOUR rights to use your work for things such as games and interactive software.

Links of interest:

Hope this helps, artistic rights should be that you retain All Rights and/ or First Rights. Hope that this was some help, I got this from a resource book at my local Library that listed about rights for Illustrators, Writers and Photographers ergo, artists. period. :D


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