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Re: [Yuricon] Re: Manga Creators Beware!

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  • Chalcahuite
    ... Honestly, I think you all are assigning a sense of deviousness to Tokyopop that frankly isn t there. Firstly, if they wanted to take advantage of young,
    Message 1 of 11 , May 30, 2008
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      On May 30, 2008, at 10:15 PM, Firia L wrote:

      > I've often wished that one didn't need a lawyer to read leagle
      > documents, but I will admit; the dude speak is going a bit to far.
      > I know a few people that have entered Tokyopop contests to get
      > "Comicbook experiance," and something like this is essentually
      > something they'd normally want to snatch up only because it's an
      > easy in to the industry. The delivery, however, leaves me wondering
      > just how low a person is willing to go to get IN.
      > I've spread the artical to the people that I think would get some
      > use out of it. Mostly those that have entered contests for
      > experiance. I don't want to see anyone taken advantage of.
      > - Lyta
      Honestly, I think you all are assigning a sense of deviousness to
      Tokyopop that frankly isn't there. Firstly, if they wanted to take
      advantage of young, naive artists, publishing their "draconian"
      contracts in conversational English is probably not the way to go
      about it. Secondly, if you're that attached to your story or
      characters, then it'd be foolhardy to use them in such a situation,
      especially when they say clearly, that they won't belong to you
      anymore after you sign the contract. From what I understand, most
      starting publishing contracts are built the same way, and if there was
      something inherently inequitable about these types of contracts, I'm
      sure someone would have litigated long before now. (And who knows,
      they might have.)
      It's not about screwing the artist out of their property, even though
      the language may seem that way, it's about recouping their investment.
      The majority of the people that sign these contracts to are not going
      to be the second coming of J.K. Rowling or Fred Gallagher. Not knowing
      figures, I'll guess that most of them don't even get a following or
      modest sales, so the contract is essentially a way for the company to
      make back the money they invested in the artist if nobody ends up
      buying that artist's work, or buying enough to warrant publishing
      anything more.
      Really, you would think that after hearing all the horror stories of
      artists getting trapped into contracts that they didn't understand or
      never read, because they trusted the company to take care of them,
      blah, blah, blah, that people would get a clue when it comes to
      contracts. Don't sign anything you don't understand, and find yourself
      a lawyer who can help you understand the contract language and what it
      means. If you don't like the terms of the contract after
      understanding what it all means, then don't sign the contract, or have
      your lawyer negotiate better terms -- though, as an unknown,
      unpublished artist, this tactic doesn't work too often as you can
      imagine. No leverage.
      Still the point is that you need to educate yourself about how your
      industry works and what is in the standard contracts, you don't have
      to study contract law, but learn enough to protect yourself and your
      IP, and always, at least, consult a lawyer, otherwise you have no one
      to blame but yourself for being taken advantage of.

      "Visually Impressive!" -- Precocious Curmudgeon
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