The October issue of the Creative Business newsletter has a valuable two-page white paper titled “How To Answer: I’d Like The Computer Files”, which discusses the legal and business issues involved when a client requests a copy of the original files used to build a recent project.

This increasingly common client request can pose a dilemma for many creative studios. Should you give them up? Do you have to? How do you respond to your client’s request?

The Creative Business article discusses several possible ways to respond. Download it free, until November 1, at:

Creative Business September/October Issue

One pragmatic step Creative Business suggests is adding a statement to every proposal or estimate that preventively addresses this issue:

“This proposal is for the purchase of one creative approach (concept) to be selected by (client) and executed by (creative firm). All other ideas, concepts, or designs described or exhibited remain the property of (creative firm). All materials used in the execution of this project—including artwork and computer-generated instructions and formats—remain the property of (creative firm).”

This won’t prevent clients from asking for the original electronic artwork, but it does provide some basis for how the conversation progresses.

Source: This tip comes from the October 2006 issue of Design Tools Monthly, a newsletter for Macintosh-based graphic designers that summarizes tips and news from a wide number of magazines and websites. Creativetechs clients with a Priority Support Relationship can download a PDF of the latest issue of Design Tools Monthly from our Members Only website.