Re: [Yuricon] Re: Manga Creators Beware!
- On May 30, 2008, at 10:15 PM, Firia L wrote:
> I've often wished that one didn't need a lawyer to read leagleHonestly, I think you all are assigning a sense of deviousness to
> 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
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
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