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  1. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    Copyright protection

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by HorusEye, Sep 17, 2009.

    Hello,

    I found this Submissions Agreement on Dark Horse publishing's website.
    It's one you would have to sign and include along with your submission to the editors (so the text is referring to them as "you").

    I was kinda "Eh..." when I read it. They're basically asking you for a Carte Blanche in regard to your copyrights, so that any direct or indirect derivation from your idea and storyline is free game to them. I think that's kinda worrying when the same publisher has an internal production line...

    My question is, is this normal practice?
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    It seems fairly standard...all #2 is saying is "just because you're reading it, doesn't mean you agree that it is original" and #4 just says "if you agree that the material is original, we'll make a contract regarding its publication, but if its not original, you, as owners of the offended-against material can do what you want with it without my permission". So, if your graphic novel idea is just a copy of The Long Halloween or something, thy can do whatever they want with it because they already own that IP and you are just copying it.
     
  3. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    This context specifically, I read as:

    "If you claim you have already come up with a similar idea/concept/design/work-in-entirety yourselves, then there's nothing I can do about it."

    which, in a cynical mind, could translate to:

    "Go ahead and steal it all."

    ;)
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i don't see #4 as boilerplate for ms submissions, though a few comics publishers seem to use variations of it... check out other contracts and if still in doubt, consult a literary attorney before signing...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Incidentally, the subject line is misleading. The topic is about a publishing contract, and has no bearing on copyright other than the publisher insisting that you are the legal copyright holder for the piece.
     
  6. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I thought it was relevant to copyright, because as I read the agreement you pretty much surrender your intellectual property.

    Not that they can just pick it up and print it, but rather decide to include its contents into their own.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You don't surrender copyright by any contract, including this one. Thay cannot, for instance, grant usage rights to a third party, or republish as part of an anthology without executing a new contract.
     

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