Email from Start

One of our writer advocates, who has been active in this issue, received an email message today from Jarred Weisfeld of Start. Here are the highpoints, with our responses in red:

"I have received several emails from people who have all gotten an email from you."
Then they must be on our mailing list. We are advising them not to sign the new contract, until they’ve consulted a lawyer, and we will continue to do so.

“THIS IS NOT TRUE.  WE ARE GETTING ASSIGNMENT LETTERS IF WE DONT GET ONE WITH OUR NEW TERMS WCP HAS THE RIGHT TO ASSIGN THEM AT CURRENT TERMS IF THEY SO CHOOSE." Once they sell the entity that the contract was based upon they have given up all rights to assign any kind of terms. You cannot keep authors who refuse to sign the new contract in limbo for years. In similar takeovers, the authors are given a choice. They either sign a new contract, or have their rights returned to them. That's what should be happening here. The majority of WCP authors want out. No need to take my word on that, just ask them.

"EVERY MAJOR PUBLISHER HAS TERM OF COPYRIGHT. THAT IS WHY OUT OF PRINT CLAUSES EXIST" Copyright that lasts for a lifetime is unheard of in electronic publishing. Ditto for out-of-print clauses, as ebooks are never out of print. But when a lifetime copyright term is in a contract, as it is in yours, then a reversal of rights clause is a must for an author. Your contract does not contain such a clause. I repeat: WCP authors should consult a lawyer before signing this new contract.


Mary Jane said...

(ROFL) Man, they really are getting worried.

Greg Gifford said...

If it wasn't for the instant communication that the Internet offers, the authors might have dutifully signed that awful contract. OMG! Watch that copyright clause being removed to entice them to sign the rest. I'm grabbing the popcorn...this should be fun.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying you think it's fun to watch authors get screwed by a publisher?

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