Kind of interesting that in the last three days we have had two clients inform us (pretty much how it went, not much room to “discuss”…) as we executed contracts that they are no longer willing to print the artist’s name as part of the copyright notice on their products. Both are doing it to protect their art sources – meaning “we don’t want our competitors raiding our licensed talent”. They are both national leaders in their categories, so yes, we are going along with it. About all I can say is…really? Is designer poaching that big of a problem out there?
We have seen variations of this “protection” previously, occasionally agreements have been executed stating that the artist will not do any work for a direct competitor during the term of a license agreement (sometimes even naming the competitor) but this is new twist. Flag companies and some of the smaller fabric companies have long wanted exclusive artists, and in fact one of the biggest suppliers recently announced they will only work with artists who are exclusive to them from this point forward.
I can’t wrap my head around whether all this is part of something larger that’s brewing, and what that would mean, or just a few loosely connected coincidences. On the retail side it’s no news that design exclusivity is all the rage but I don’t see how that filters backwards…yet.
Any similar experiences out there?