“This agreement—I kid you not—gave the producer all rights in that particular story for $1. In perpetuity and in the entire universe. The worst contract I had ever seen.”
“Agency agreements have become as draconian as publishing contracts—maybe even more so. Because one agency agreement I saw stated that the agency could negotiate for the writer, that the writer could not reasonably refuse the terms negotiated, nor could the writer easily terminate the agreement. Worse, that agreement, in a very sneaky manner, gave the agent the power of attorney over any contract negotiated for that writer.”
“Because everyone wants a piece of the content provider without paying the provider a dime—or, at least, not paying the provider more than a single dollar.”
“One other thing: In the past three weeks, I have gotten—unbidden—two contract addendums from two of my publishers. Both of these addendums wanted to change the e-publishing rights clauses in my contract. Both of these addendums were awful for me as a writer. One even gave the publisher the right to condense, change, alter, or add to my existing work. I refused to sign both. I later talked to several of my friends who had gotten similar addendums. My friends’ advocates, to a person, had recommended taking the deal.”
Dave Wolverton (good writer) added in the comments, “I recently read a contract for an author that gave the publisher all rights, for eternity, with no guarantee of publication, with no advance whatsoever. The contract, which I thought of as perhaps the most evil I’ve ever seen, came from a religious publisher.”
In case you’re wondering, apparently hiring an intellectual property lawyer (IP) can sometimes be helpful these days, and they’re a lot cheaper. Laura Resnick comments about that in the same comment box.
There are many, many helpful comments. These days, even if you’re not a writer, you may be some kind of content provider who needs to pay attention to this stuff.