There has been a bit of a brouhaha bubbling on Linked In over a posting by a UK-based wanna-be licensee. Seems he claimed to have a hot new product, POD (print on demand) decorated audio speakers, and that they were a featured product at the last Pulse products show. Apparently no one can verify that. He claims to have an exclusive license for the product for the UK and Europe (like to see that…) but when you look at the website it appears they import little speakers, like dozens of others do, and it has every indication of being a start-up operation. Of course there are hundreds of these already available on Zazzle.
So why do we care? There are over 140 responses to this fishing expedition and it’s still growing, however some of them are starting to smell a rat and have begun to question the legitimacy of the request. Unfortunately this is another example of one of the downsides of our technological revolution – that anybody can jump into art licensing, qualified or not – but remember it is now true on EITHER side of the fence. We are approached all the time at the shows and off the web by people with great plans who are interested in licensing some art, even if they don’t quite know what that means yet. Of course ya never know, so we will always talk to them, gather some information and then do the research, but 9 times out of 10 that’s where it ends. We have a long standing rule at our company – we don’t work with start ups. No website, no history – sorry, no contract. It may sound a bit arbitrary but the fact remains that with start up companies you rarely get paid.
Yes, everybody has to start somewhere, and yes, every rule is made to be broken, but consider my advice before jumping in and you will save yourself a lot of grief:
No history, no website, no product yet – no thanks.