I was working with a client to design a business card. She was trying to get me to use an image she did not have the rights to and was declining any stock images I suggested. We had already gone back and forth about the copyright issue a few times before it came to a head.
Client: What about the one I sent?
Me: Is that your photo? If not do you have the rights to it? Or written consent from the original photographer to use it? I won’t violate copyright laws. That’s why I pointed you towards a library of stock images – using the photo you sent me as is would be illegal.
Client: I’m familiar with the law. I was a graphic designer for 7 years.
Me: Okay great so you have the rights to that photo then?
Me: Okay then which stock photo would you like me to use?
Client: I don’t like any of them. I want the image I sent you.
Me: It’s against the law to use another artist's work without their permission – I will not do that. Had the photo been taken by you then we are well within our rights to use it. I am not comfortable breaking the law, I apologize.
Client: Yeah yeah, I get it. I know copyright laws! I’m an artist and have worked in graphic design for years so you don’t have to tell me what’s legal or not.
If I don’t have to tell you, then why are you insisting on breaking the law? At this point, I was certain I did not want to work with this client.
Me: I regret to inform you I will no longer be taking this job, thanks for considering me and have a nice day!
Client: LOL! I never even hired you I don’t know what your problem is but all of your messages have either been super offensive, bossy and now with this sarcastic undertone. I did nothing to you and you shouldn’t treat potential clients like that. I worked designing labels and advertising for over 100 products for multiple million dollar companies so I understood the law. You just don’t talk to people like they are idiots when you want business. I never asked you to break the law and if you actually worked with me instead of being arrogant and pretentious you might have landed my business which I intended on paying a generous $350, not the $50 you were asking for. I had already reached out to the owner of the photo. I never asked you to use it without consent and you basically attacked me. My personal recommendation is to lose the know-it-all attitude because in that career working with your client is number one.
I’m still trying to get this straight – the client was accusing ME of being rude despite withholding information and not answering my questions – and they expected me to believe they would have paid 7x what I’d asked? Not buying it.