This is a repeat issue for many sellers, including myself. Unfortunately, you will come across buyers who refuse to pay for the rights, no matter how clearly you have stated that they have to do so.
I have a policy of delivering voice-overs even if the buyer refuses to order commercial rights. This has been happening very rarely to me, as I always remind them if needed. I find that delivering the order anyway saves me a lot of trouble with cancellations, but it begs the question: is there a bullet-proof way of ensuring that buyers order the rights (or, at least, a better way)?
Usually, the buyers who refuse to order commercial rights when needed are the 10 dollar orders and not the higher paying projects, so calling your lawyer on a 10 dollar gig is, in my opinion, overkill.
Yet, this has become more frequent, and I’m now beginning to look into other solutions.
Updating my gig description to remind the buyers did not help (because buyers rarely read the description anyway), so I thought a clear reminder in the order requirements form would do the trick.
Reminding the buyer that it is unlawful to use the audio for any business-related use without the correct rights was the last tool I had in my arsenal against these buyers - if you don’t count cancellations (hurting my rating) and bad reviews (hurting my rating).
Nobody wants to get many cancellations or bad reviews, and I appreciate getting paid the right price for my services.
Today I had my first order after including a clear reminder about commercial rights in the order requirements. The buyer’s answer was that they didn’t need the commercial rights because this was going to be used to pitch their business to investors… I mean… Come on… That is, by definition, business-related use!
How do you handle buyers refusing to pay your asking price? As far as I can see, my only option now is to increase my rate to include commercial rights by default. But that would mean upping my gig price, which in turn could lead to fewer orders.
I have used the broadcast and commercial rights to increase my rates instead of raising my gig base price. But at this point, I’m starting to think that’s the only way to get paid what I’m supposed to.
I would love to hear your ideas on the matter!