9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2009 5:19 AM by Jacob Bugge

    Saving files so others can't edit them

    JimTP6

      Hi, I've created a lot of .ai files and InDesign layouts incorporating them for a client who now wants to give the rest of the project to an intern to complete.

       

      The problem is that my initial quote and contract was based on the understanding that I'd be continuing with the project for another year. The 40 or so designs will be the template for the rest - meaning that by handing it over now I've earned little considering the time I've put in over the past 6 months.

       

      The client wants all of the Indesign files and links, and my contract for this first part stipulated that I'd provide these. But I'd prefer to give them printable but not editable image files. Is this possible without rasterizing them all?

        • 1. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          SamjoTP,

           

          I presume the understanding was implied rather than stated in the contract.

           

          I believe rasterizing is not a viable option, but you may go some of the way by certain means such as outlining type, expanding appearance, flattening transparency, outlining strokes, and in case of clipping masks using the destructive deed to change the underlying artwork; you may also save the AI files as PDF without preserving editing capabilities, or print to PDF, or even use EPS.

           

          But I tend to agree with James, whichever the circumstances. Sometimes things are unfair, and the hard lesson may be all that is rightfully gained from the experience.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
            JETalmage Level 6
            The client wants all of the Indesign files and links, and my contract for this first part stipulated that I'd provide these.

            Sounds to me like you obligated yourself to provide the files, and it woiuld be unethical for you to cripple them.

             

            JET

            • 3. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
              [scott] Level 6

              Not only unethical, but a flat-out breech of the contract.

               

              Is there a stipulation in the contract that you would be completing the rest of the pieces?

              • 4. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
                Aarmed Level 1

                I know that I've received PDF's that were password protected when I tried to open them in any editing software.

                 

                I'd imagine that you'd need the full professional version of Acrobat to do that.

                 


                You can still view the files, and a rip will still rip and scale it, but I wasn't able to figure out how to do anything else with it other than that, without the password.

                • 5. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                  Not only unethical, but a flat-out breech of the contract.

                   

                  Not really. I doubt the contract lays out the clear technical facts. "editable" can mean anything and as long as we are talking about the mere design aspects, it's more than valid to bake page elements to such a form that they cannot be structurally edited, but retain their appearance. That does not prevent anybody from changing the text on top of those elements or re-using those elements, but without being able to fully edit the elements themselves. That aside, I'm reasonable sure even American legislation knows a "good faith" regulation and the monetary loss when giving the work away vs. any additional revenue by working on the files for longer could be objectively gauged. So talking this over with the client might bring a solution that satisfies both sides.

                   

                  Mylenium

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
                    Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    Mylenium wrote:


                    ... That aside, I'm reasonable sure even American legislation knows a "good faith" regulation and the monetary loss when giving the work away vs. any additional revenue by working on the files for longer could be objectively gauged. So talking this over with the client might bring a solution that satisfies both sides.

                     

                    Now that is what I call good advice: even if no nice solution is found, it has been tried, instead of one or bort parties having a silent grudge, that may explode later. Whatever happens, there is always a future, including a reputation, to meet.

                    • 7. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
                      JimTP6 Level 1

                      Thanks Jacob,

                       

                      I think I'll outline everything, strokes and text, and leave it at that. I don't want to totally cripple the files, although I'm tempted, but I do want to allow them to use what I've completed and make changes or corrections to the text in the charts etc, without being able to entirely use them as templates. I just don't want to make it too easy for the next guy.

                       

                      A couple of people here have asked about the terms of the contract. I'm obliged to provide all links - nothing about editable in it. As for the understanding that I'd be completing the entire project, there is nothing about it in the contract, but it was always part of the agreement and was discussed at length in numerous meetings.

                       

                      I have emails etc to back me up, but I'm not interested in pursuing the client here because I came to her via a recommendation from another, more important client.

                      • 8. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
                        JimTP6 Level 1

                        Thanks too, Mylenium, it's good advice.

                         

                        The client is happy with the quality of the work and I'd rather leave it on a relatively good note. I'd also like them to recognize the value of experience and expertise and for this reason don't want it to be smooth sailing without me. So I'll go with "editable but not readily" and leave it at that.

                        • 9. Re: Saving files so others can't edit them
                          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          For my part you are welcome, Jim.