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Ely
Ely, Lawyer
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 102192
Experience:  Counselor at Law. Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Intellectual property law and publishing contract specialist

Customer Question

Intellectual property law and publishing contract specialist needed to answer a question. I am in the middle of having a contract drawn up between myself and a publisher, I need some help on understanding/interpreting some of the clauses and possible pitfalls for future rights to my own copyrights etc. I have an outline which is being used to draft the initial contract. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms. What specific verbiage are you asking about? This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ely, thanks for your info request - sorry I am not familiar with the term verbiage? But, to put things into context, it is a publishing contract that is being drafted for an illustration book. I have a clause which wil be drafted into the contract which reads: Here is the clause:"If the Work is no longer available in a hardback, paperback or electronic
book edition issued or authorised by the Publisher the Illustrator may
give 6 (six) months’ notice in writing to the Publisher to make the Work
available. In the event of the Publisher’s failure to make the Work
available in a hardback, paperback or electronic book edition all the
Publisher’s rights in the Work (but not those deriving from any option on
future work as agreed in the Publication Specification) shall upon
expiration of the said notice determine without prejudice to all rights of
the Publisher and any third party in respect of any agreement properly
entered into by the Publisher hereunder with any such party for which the
Publisher shall still be entitled to receive their share of the income."
Can anyone summarize this for me to understand and is there any situation where this might be un-favourable to me? Thanks, Chris.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
No worries. What I am going to do is to provide the above in simple English, i.e. non-legalese. If/once the book is no longer available in print or electronic form by the Publisher, the Illustrator, can give 6 months notice to the Publisher asking to make the book available in print or electronic form. If so, and if the Publisher fails to publish the book in the form requested in 6 months from the request, then the Publisher’s rights in the book shall expire (i.e. be voided). There are some exceptions and nuance that have not been included in the summary, however. Whether or not this is unfavorable to you or not, I cannot say, since I do not know the situation, I am afraid. I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Aaron, I could understand the first part, but it's the nuances you described which I am trying to get to grips with. Could you summarize the nuances in the same way If possible please? Thanks again.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
I can try but the problem is that the nuances are in legalese, and that is pretty much the best way to summarize it. If/once the book is no longer available in print or electronic form by the Publisher, the Illustrator, can give 6 months notice to the Publisher asking to make the book available in print or electronic form. If so, and if the Publisher fails to publish the book in the form requested in 6 months from the request, then the Publisher’s rights in the book shall expire (i.e. be voided). However, the Publisher's interest is voided only as far as the Publication Specification specifies. So he may have some interest left. Also any party that may have a claim in interest as well related to the Publisher does not have their interest extinguished by the Publisher's right being extinguished.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Okay thanks Ely, that makes a bit more sense to me now. I have a memo - which outlines the different territories and percentages - as I am negotiating a geared royalty contract. But I am interested in the merchandising of my images as the publisher is primarily a book publisher and would have little or no interest in say producing a calendar or stationery for example. Would somebody be able to look at this memo and give it a once over? Thanks.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome. I am afraid that this may require another thread as this is much beyond the scope of the original question.

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