Tricky questions about charging for creative coding work

Hello All

I have a tricky question about charging for creative coding work for artist. I have an opportunity to work with some other artist friends of mine who are in need of software I can provide. I would be able to do it extending the capabilities of a program I have already previously written. I would like credit for my part in the work because I would receive good exposure, which could hopefully open up future opportunities. I also don’t want to work for free. Also the question of ownership of the code. I want to be able to protect the earlier work i had done on the software. Right now I don’t believe they are receiving any payment themselves for the work, but I have seen them be able to turn such exhibitions into something profitable by showing the same piece for museums and sponsored events . I want to be fair, these are friends of mine after all, but i don’t want to feel like I screwed my self later on too. Any advice on how to approach all these questions, or any one dealt with a similar situaton? how did you deal with it?

very generally speaking:

  • credits: your work MUST be credited; make a written agreement where you specify how this will happen (your name in the software, your face in the promoting media, … ).

  • code ownership: normally if the clients wants the ownership of the code (i.e: he gets the source code and/or you’re not allowed to reuse your code), he’ll have to pay a good amount for it; consider also the possibility to use an open-source license: it’s good for your karma, for the community and it will credit and protect you. once again: make a written agreement.

  • money: the general rule is that you work for free only for your mom. you may want to make generative visuals for your indie band: that’s your hobby, so it’s ok not to charge them. or you may want to play a part in very very cool project that will give you lot of visibility: that’s an investment, and it’s ok too. but if your client is making money with your work, then they will have to pay a fair amount for your time and skills

finally, as I already stressed, the first, most important 2 in your freelancing adventure are “written” and “agreement” :wink:

This might answer some of your questions on the subject:
http://www.shouldiworkforfree.com/