Arts Contracts and Language

So I’ve been seeing some talk lately about Simon and his contracts, particularly the part where the people signing can’t speak about him negatively “In perpetuity and throughout the universe.”

I debated whether it was worth pointing out or not, because I’m always game for rolling my eyes at anyone extremely egotistical, but unfortunately, that’s not the case in this situation.  That language is extremely common.  In fact, I occasionally work as a film producer and all of my contracts use that exact same language no matter how low budget the project may be.  

It’s also very common for those contracts to also state that the producer (or I would assume label in this case) reserves the right to use photographic images or video footage however the producer (or label) sees fit, again “in perpetuity and throughout the universe.”  Every time I look at my contracts, it makes me think that someday I’ll end up promoting a film I worked on in Mars.  Maybe the boys will be there too!  Obviously keeping their mouths shut about Simon.  

So while there may or may not be many reasons to dislike the way Simon has handled things, unfortunately this is not one of them.  

ryanlrussell asked:

How do you have the rights for your own books? Did you do the original contracts with the publisher so that you retained the rights or they reverted? Or did you do a distribution-only deal? Or maybe buy them back after a certain amount of time? All the books I've done for one publisher were traditional publisher-owned and royalties.

Mmm, let’s take this one bit at a time.

Assuming you’re talking about an original work by you, in your own universe, and not something licensed: 

You own the copyright. In such circumstances, your book is not “publisher-owned.” They have purchased (or let’s say “leased”) the rights from you to publish the book, in various forms, until the terms of the contract run out. The only exception to this rule is when you don’t own the copyright – when you’re doing something in someone else’s universe. (See “Work for hire” below.)

Now when you own the copyright in a work, you set up with the publisher, at the contract stage, exactly what rights you’re going to allow them to have. (Or else you later mutually emend an existing contract to take into account new ways to handle new situations, such as ebooks.)

The contract lays out what specific rights of publication the publisher is paying you your advance for – what regions and what forms of publication – and it’s assumed that those rights are theirs until the contract terminates, usually with the book going out of print and/or reverting. (It all depends on the contract. Also, different publishers and different regions revert in different ways. In the US reversion normally has to be specifically requested, and normally you can’t do this while the book is in print. In the UK it operates a little differently: reversion is assumed to have happened a while after a book falls out of print. Not sure of the timing… it’s been a while since this last happened to me.)

The contract negotiations are therefore a bit of a see-saw game, with each side trying to get or keep as much power over rights as it can, while still keeping the other side interested in participating. This is where having a good agent pays off, because there are endless rookie mistakes that an overeager self-negotiating writer can easily make that can be really bad for them down the road. The agent will say to the publisher things like, “You can have North American and UK print rights (or UK and Australia/New Zealand, or fill in the blank…) but we keep everything else.” Then that leaves you (or your agent’s foreign rights department) free to do your own deals elsewhere. (Rule 1: Never sell world rights to anything. Never, never, never, NEVER. This is what got under my skin about that Amtrak thing last year.) Or the agent can say to the publisher: “You can have audio rights but we’re keeping rights to film and graphic representations.” …Or one of a thousand other tweaks to whatever template contract you’ve been offered. (Rule 2: Never accept a template contract without having it looked over by a professional. These days in particular, first-time-out contracts are much more grabby in terms of rights than they used to be in the ancient day when I first broke into print and dinosaurs walked the Earth.)

At the end of the day, though, what rights you manage to keep in your contract will be a function of how much the publisher wants you and how much you want them. There is endless room for give and take in all kinds of areas, and no two contracts will be exactly alike – or should be – any more than any two writers are exactly alike. Some have more pull, some have less; some publishers are willing to give up more to get a given writer than they will give up for another one. Such is life.

…Now. If you are doing licensed work in someone else’s universe, then the situation is rather different. They own the copyright, not you, and so in all the most important ways they will be calling the shots. The only way you get to work in such a universe is by signing a contract that commits you to “work for hire” in one mode or another: you essentially become an employee working in someone’s (virtual) office, and you no more acquire ownership by doing that work than you acquire ownership in their office building. Normally your agent will attempt to compensate for you doing work in which you don’t have copyright by getting you the biggest advance possible, and (ideally) by getting you some royalties… something increasingly rare these days in work-for-hire land. But be qute clear: there is no shame in doing work for hire, any more than there is in writing for TV (and the two are very alike in many ways). If you want to do it, you find out how to get the most out of the situation, and then you go for it. Because in this business, if you don’t go where your heart takes you, you won’t go anywhere much. In my opinion.

…Anyone interested in this general topic in terms of how it can/will affect their own work will need to do a ton of research, as the field is in constant flux around us: but I strongly recommend going over to Kristine Katherine Rusch’s website and reading everything on it about contracts. Kris may not be a lawyer, but her experience on this subject as it affects writers in the here and now, especially independents, is damn nigh encyclopedic. 

Hope this helps.

anonymous asked:

Isn't it illegal so force someone to hide their sexuality?

As bad as it sounds, people like me and the law firms we collaborate with are here for a reason. The things you can work around, the clauses you can put in contracts, you have no idea how far it goes when you have a resolute part and a very naive counterpart. Sexuality is only one aspect among dozens.

It seems to me that this fandom (a part of it, at least) is very uninformed and face stuff too lightly when it comes to things like these. To be a young and unexperienced artist is very very dangerous. Please, be extremely careful when you pick the people you get to work with, sign up with, if you’re not given any choice make sure you secure yourself with an external hand, a different advice. Read every single line you’re given to sign, don’t trust anyone you meet for the first time. That can literally change your life. You can sadly see how it goes. Things are adjusting a little on that part lately, at least here in Europe.

anonymous asked:

i feel a little bad that u believe in larry tbh... it's illegal for a managing company (like modest) to make a client of theirs do something based on their orientation, such as having a "beard". Also, if you love one direction so much, why can't you trust them when they say they are in a happy relationship? : /

Dear anon,

may I please introduce myself. I am Kat, I have a background in law and public policy, I do research and advocacy, and I started a blog (or two, three) a few years ago because I am also passionate about social justice. Since then I have been arguing that bisexuals are real (yes, having a male partner and a kid doesn’t make you straight), and so is Larry (yes, Louis and Harry are engaged to be married and have been forcefully closeted by their management company). I am in a generous mood today so I will summarize my arguments and help you find the most important stuff in the posts that I did tag. I apologize for having been messy with them

1. It SHOULD be illegal for a managing company to make a client of theirs do something based on their orientation and as a human rights lawyer, I have made the argument plenty of times (eg here) that the boys may have a case against Modest, BUT, it probably IS in their contracts anyway because, you know, contract law and the entertainment business aren’t very fair and the most powerful player will always abuse their power, so all they could do was go through lengthy procedures which would have killed their career OR sit out the ride with as little cooperation as possible. And the latter is what they did. They got the support of a more powerful player than Modest (Irving Azoff) and fought the battle indoors. Smart move. All of that in my (very incomplete) contracts tag

2. On the reasons we “cannot trust” @Louis_Tomlinson when he says he is in a happy relationship with Eleanor, I am sure that argument has been made much better by others than it has been by me. But in essence 1. Celebrities do not control their own twitter, their PR does because a lot of people’s wages and revenue depend on their public image 2. The entertainment industry, and people in it, will lie to you, they are not your friend, they are selling you a product and they will tell you whatever is needed to sell that product to you 3. I do not necessarily believe that Louis and Harry are the kind of entertainers who would do anything to sell their product to me and lying about their sexuality is - in my opinion - not something they like doing for it. I think they would much prefer not to. And this is exactly why I love them: because they have done strictly what they ahd to by contract, but did not cave to the pressure to conform. I find that inspiring as an LGBTQ person. 4. And when you are actively being closeted by your management company, you will be required to lie or misrepresent the truth. The fact that Louis is lying to me when he represents Eleanor as his girlfriend in interviews does not mean that Louis is not trustworthy as a person, or that he is not worthy of my love. Citing from this post here : “People’s motivations depend on the context. We see a guy who is confident and comfortable and trying to be truthful in most contexts and that knowledge makes it difficult to imagine that he would be uncomfortable/deliberately lying in another context. I don’t think that’s so farfetched though.” The simple motivation to Louis’ lying being: he is contractually obliged to do so. And one more thing about the closet, because it is important to me, a lot of people like to blame the person in the closet for lying, but you have to remember no one goes to hide in a closet because they are lying cowards. No one. Everyone who breaks out of it though is a fucking amazingly brave person. Please remember that in the months to come.

It has been a pleasure, anon, I hope you read all the links and visit again.

Yours sincerely


PS = note to self - I think it’s time I updated my blog with decent tags and a tags page if someone is still trying to convince me with these arguments.

allesisterleuchtet replied to your post: anonymous asked:I still dont unde…

fyi Azoff MSG is all in one so yes, also label. And I agree - manufactured via XFactor/SiCo may be a factor for many to separate them from ‘real’ bands, ‘real’ music - it’s not the pop genre per se. Going to be very difficult though.

I have a few questions then. Please bear with me.

I’m going to refer to this post, and in particular to the last comment written by lourryetc, which I found very helpful, because I understand nothing about business. (So, thank you.)

“It is in Sony’s best interest to make that selling price - those future cash flows - as small as virtually possible. If they state that 1D will continue into the future, they have to include those cash flows into their analysis and that would increase their selling price by two or three times. It’s in their best interest to tell Syco that they expect 1D to fade away. That does not mean that is theiractual business plan […] and thus they don’t have to pay as much, and they get 1D at a much lower price.”

[…] “Now, once they have 1D under their control, which this proposal states happened on APRIL 1ST, it is in Sony’s best interest to get in 1D’s graces. They want this band to continue. I can’t think of a single reason why any record label would want to let them go. If the OT4 is inclined to quit, it is in Sony’s best interest to convince them otherwise. ”

My questions, as someone who knows NOTHING about business and music industry, are:

  • Since Azoff has both a management and a label, would 1D sign with him for both things?
  • Or did Sony manage to convince 1D to sign with them?
  • So would Azoff take over as their manager only?
  • Would sign with a record label and a management separately be safer?
  • Azoff, thanks to the connection to Billboard and People, seem to be invested in the band. In which role, at least right now?
  • The changes we’ve seen, are they a result of Sony and Azoff working together?  (It makes sense, if we take into consideration that all the interviews in which Harry went rogue were part of the promo of Four).
  • Does this mean that we’re watching a double transition period — on one hand, from Syco to Sony, and on the other hand, from Modest Management to Azoff?
  • Would Azoff be invested in the band, supposing that he is, unless he knew for sure it’s going to pay off in the end?

I’m going to add — I do think they’re trying to rebrand. I think they’re trying to build up Louis, Liam, and Niall’s names, to make them known to an older demographics, while letting Harry stay off the spotlight for a while. There are changes. Some things, now, MAKE SENSE. Finally. I think we needs to sit back and observe what’s going to happen now.

As soon as the news of Zayn’s leave was out, i started this hyphotesis post because i needed to understand what the hell had happened with Zayn’s label contract (everyone was sure Zayn’s leave was a confirm Modest contract has ended, but i didn’t understand why nobody was wondering about Syco’s contract) In the meantime we got the news of Zayn’s going solo and those articles in the Sun, so i think we have more hints to what likely happened. I apologize if there are other news i’m no aware of, that exclude some hypotheses, but i have still to check my dash of the last three days. In any case, that’s it

1) He left

   a) He already knew from some time

- He waited for Modest Contract to be over but had to pay to be out from the label contract

- He waited for Modest Contract to be over and he was out from the label contract on the condition he signed a different contract (edit: for a solo career)

    b) He already knew from a long time

- He waited for Modest Contract to be over and on September 2013 he signed a different label contract extension from the other boys, shorter than theirs.

- He waited for Modest Contract to be over and on November 2013 he signed a different label contract extension from the other boys, for a solo career under their label

    c) It was a last minute decision

- Coincidentally Modest’s contract was over and he had to pay to be out from the label contract

- Concidentally Modest’s contract was over and he was out from the label contract on the condition he signed a different contract (edit: for a solo career)

- He had to pay to be out from both contract

- He was out from both contracts on the consition he signed a different contract (edit: for a solo career)

2) He was fired

In any case, as usual, most shady boy band ever.


When Emily Brunner and Caitlin Turowski were hired by Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, prominent among their many employee orientation forms were noncompete agreements (NCAs) that they were required to sign. According to court documents, these agreements outlined when, where, how, and by extension, if they could work for “competing food establishments” — a category that, according to the NCA, included any “food service venue that derives 10 percent or more of its revenue from sandwiches, submarines or wraps.” If the competitor was within 3 square miles of any Jimmy John’s, Caitlin and Emily could not work there for a period of two years following their departure from the fast-food chain.

Companies like Jimmy John’s are forcing even low-level employees into outrageous contractual agreements

lapelosa said:

I think some of the gaps between intense periods have been very blatant, like Aug to Nov, and then in Feb it started up again. But it’s been more about continuous subtle working on people, with intense periods interspersed, and then cooling down again to keep people from getting too worked up too soon. I think of it like moving a glacier, constant incremental movements with occasional avalanches. And yes since Nov/Dec 2013.

(About this)

Yeah i agree. At the time i didn’t realize it might be a three months cycles, but the changes have always been there to me (me, Kat, Ed and Ceren had so many convos about this) and when i  read your three months cycles theory, and i saw May/August/November/February  i realized those months seemed recurrent, because i had started the little changes tag after November 2013 (as also Kat noticed in that post)  and the headlines masterpost on February 2014.

So, a three months cycles plan, starting November/December 2013 (when they likely signed the extension with Modest) , using subliminal persuasion, like Jess suggested.

Looking forward to see what will happen in May (if it was a one and a half years plan) and in November (if it was a two years plan). And “surprise”, also the speculation about the timing of the extension seems coming full circle.

Anyway, i love your analogy. Every time the movements are bigger and more powerful. Also like throwing a stone into the water, every time further, hence making more concentric circles. 

anonymous asked:

Hi, I have a really serious question about commissions? I've been approached by a small time business owner about creating a cartoon for the face of their business. I'm not really comfortable selling the rights to my artwork or having anyone profit from it, (im underage and cant legally create a contract) but I realize that this is a really good business opportunity for getting my artwork out their and known! What are some things I should do before diving into this project with the other person?

Hi there! Congratulations on being approached by a small business owner! I’m glad you’re being smart about this. I went to a panel about contracts / legal rights for artists and they talked a lot about being able to think critically and recognize when your dream opportunity is not nearly as shiny as you think it is. It’s amazing to be approached but I’m super glad you’re thinking ahead. 

Here are some steps you can take courtesy of Mememod, who knows a lot more about law than I do: 

  1. Talk to your parents / legal guardian and see if they have any legal know how. Even though you can’t sign the contract, they can. 
  2. It would also be smart to consult a lawyer if you can afford one. If you can’t afford one you can try the following sites: /r/LegalAdvice || Avvo || CAlawyersforthearts (This was specifically mentioned in the panel I went to, however I’m sure you can find one for your state if youre in the US) || 
  3. Make sure you’re getting paid up front. Make sure you know where your work is going to. Are they printing it on T-shirts? Make sure you’re getting a cut of that profit.
  4. Make sure the business draws up a contract even though you can’t actually sign it. Your parents / Legal guardian can sign it, and you’ll also be able to see in writing what the business wants from you as an artist and what they plan to do with your art. 
  5. Make sure you retain the right of reverter, which means if you change your mind you can return the money to the business but get the right to your work back.  

What I can provide is this, a typed up synopsis of the notes I took during the Special Edition NYC Panel: Lets Talk About Checks, hosted by Ulises Farinas, Vera Greentea, Joseph Illidge, Fernando Ruiz, Chris Sotomayor and Alex De Campi. :) I hope this helps you out! Let me know if you have any more questions.

Eggy mod & Meme mod <3

anonymous asked:

Ok, but what I don't understand is why harry harry harry and louis is still so closeted? Why couldn't they lessen both their closets at the same time?


Two facts I’m mostly certain of, basing on what I could observe about the way Modest!/Syco handled stunts and moderated the boys’ relations with the external world:

- The clauses in their contracts are generally not as locked as one may believe;

- Louis’ terms are indeed firmer than Harry’s and the other boys’.

What their management was aware of when they signed them: two of the boys were sexually/romantically involved; at least two of them were not straight; one of them pretty glaringly. What their management wasn’t aware of when they signed them: the potential of said involvement; the worldwide success the band was about to achieve.

They definitely had all the boys signing away their personal images (current and background story, physical appearance, online persona, public presence…) as it is normal. There are literally two lines that include EVERYTHING and that keep you from managing yourself freely as long as you are legally bound.

Now, a company such as Modest!, such as mine, works FOR their clients’ well being. I’m quite sure they saw no real threat when they firstly signed them. Besides Louis’ flamboyancy, which I believe was immediately underlined and taken care of, both contractually and later personally. When it became manifest that the boys were going to get on and turn really profitable and that Louis and Harry were very easily growing more attached, they started to have concerns about it. While I don’t find it likely that they somehow tried to directly intervene or promote a break up (because that could potentially smash their new, promising toy at that point), they definitely never encouraged it, especially when they chose Harry as their prominent face. They had them doing whatever they told them to because “they were acting in their best interest”. I think the crucial moment was Haylor and the realization that what the boys wanted was in total contrast with what their management insisted for. At some point even Simon’s words were not convincing anymore and we have Harry meeting and starting to very publicly rely on the Azoffs. After Irving Azoff first showed up, things started to change. For Harry. He had sold his own person and had to fulfill the duties imposed, but what he got now was an external, professional, legal, strong advice. He could fulfill them without doing all the crap he had been asked to. Hence Kendall, Cara, Nadine, random girl for a stroll (the most perfect examples of someone who does something they have to do without putting the minimal effort) . Hence him not being able to express himself freely, but finding the holes to finally get out and undermine his own awfully constructed image (twitter). Hence him going as far as to give statements about his ambiguous sexuality, express support for same sex causes (in so many different ways) and stand out as a gender norm rules breaker while just throwing that all there, not practically acting on anything, never giving effective material to get a scandal and break a contract. Azoff’s presence allowed him to find the alternative, to find room in their not so strict terms (because they didn’t initially have to!) and fight against his management’s interest. None of this was possible with Louis. He had signed different clauses that’s for sure. Supplementary. Louis, his stance, his relationship with Harry was definitely what worried them the most. So they tried to soften his ways, pushed him aside, made him the less relevant possible, only used him for heavily stunted appearances with his appealing, very formal girlfriend. As to say, if it was Harry’s mum to get married, in the new position he gained with Azoff backing him, he wouldn’t ever had to make his fake girlfriend the maid of honor. The difference is pretty evident in what Azoff’s support could do for Harry and what couldn’t do for Louis. While in 2012 they did bring Louis to “deny” Larry rumors live, they couldn’t force him anymore in November 2014 (because he knew then what he could refuse), but still had the power to spread disgusting, homophobic tweets from his account. Harry is voluntarily staying away from his twitter most of the time and let them tweet for him, but they would never dare something that’d go in contrast with his wishes nowadays. I haven’t looked into the other boys patterns yet, but I don’t doubt someone with more experience and knowledge could find slight changes regarding them, too. This of course stands only if we consider the contract One Direction signed with Modest! is a 5 year-long one. If they (for some reason?) had to sign again in 2013, they’d at the very least have had the chance to modify Louis’s terms and we wouldn’t have witnessed most of the worst things happened later. I haven’t personally ever had a 3 years Modest! contract in front of me, but that’s just a short professional experience.  

Now that it is almost over, such a big change is going to take place. I almost picture them coming back from the hiatus and being barely recognizable for their most distracted fans and general public. In the most positive way ever.

anonymous asked:

About Harry and Louis buying their way out - They're rich but they're not THAT rich. In case people haven't noticed, part of the shitty abusive deal they're under now is the abysmal cut of the profits that they're getting. Even with writing credits on 4/5 albums, Their net valuations as individuals are only in the tens of millions. It would bankrupt them to buy their way out of a Sony contract. I was shocked it didn't bankrupt Zayn until ulterior motives car to light.

Thank you, anon. Yes, this is the deal.