1. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Writing Contract?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by GuardianWynn, Jan 27, 2016.

    I know the forum has stuff on this, but I couldn't find it.

    The basic idea is this. I love the idea of working with someone for a writing project. Most often though, it is usually something that never happens. The other party pulls out. This time. I think I found someone to whom really will follow through. I hate the idea of a contract, as if I don't trust the other party. But for a long collaberation with the goal of eventually publication it sounds very wise to strike up a contract. Not just for me but for them too, so they can have the peace of mind to know I can't double cross. Not that I would, but again. Grown-ups working together is usually based on more than just ones word.

    Here is the thing. I have no idea how that works. Anyone have like a form? Know of the fom? The artist in question is not in the same Country as me. Does that affect it?

    In this case, we are both plan to bring actual writing to the table, but the other party is bringing more a technical side to the work, while I am using a character from a series of mine. So does that affect how the contrast is drawn up? Since obviously I don't want a contrast to take away my rights to the character.

    I feel really bad for having to even ask this stuff. Seriously! I trust the other person! I wouldn't want to work with them if I didn't.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    An agreement is a good idea, and I can give you thoughts on it if you want to use one. The fact that the other party is in a different country could be a problem. You could end up having to go there to enforce it, and also without a review by someone familiar with the laws of that country you won't even know what's enforceable and what isn't.

    Are you in the U.S.? You want to make sure you have a clause giving jurisdiction and venue to the courts in the local area and applying the substantive law of your local area.
     
  3. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am in the US and I believe the other party in this case is in the UK.

    Again I feel bad for even thinking about it. I am highly confident it will never need to be enforced, but I suppose if it isn't enforceable misses the point to having one.

    So, how do agreements like this work? I know nothing.
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You have to decide on the terms you want. These can include things like ownership, responsibility for the work, what happens if one party abandons the work, how disagreements are sorted out (particularly since there are only two of you), how publishing will be handled once the work is complete, how will you decide when the work is complete as opposed to needing more work, who will handle copyright registration and other IP matters (or, if you're going the traditional route, who will deal with agents or editors; whether there will be a single point of contact or not) how money will be accounted for and distributed etc., who will be responsible for any out of pocket expenses or in what manner such expenses will be allocated, etc. You have to talk to the other party and figure out how you want to handle all of those things, and then you can put an agreement together.
     
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  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    No.

    If you both go into this arrangement with only your own ideas of how it's going to work in your respective heads, it's quite likely to be something different for each of you. So talk about what you both expect to put in/take out. That's the basis of any agreement between you. Forget whether or not it's legally enforceable, if you can't come to an agreement about what that legal document should say, it's not going to work anyway.

    Try as hard as you can to make the first thing that you and A.N.Other write be the contract, and only then get the lawyers to translate that into binding.
     
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  6. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you present a contract as clarification of the agreement between you, it stops being about trust. You could even say that it's because you'll never remember what you've both agreed to six months or a year from now... which for most people, is probably true anyway.
     
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  7. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree that contracts aren't just valuable because of their enforceability. Especially in a small-scale creative endeavour, it's pretty unlikely there will ever be enough money involved to make the cost of enforcing a contract practical, so the main point of the contract is clarity and communication.

    Your contract lays out how things are going to work and makes sure you're both in agreement before you put too much work into things. It anticipates future conflicts and resolves them before they arise.

    Contracts are just agreements. It's good to agree to things!
     
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  8. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    Another factor is which you both have to consider is what will be the country of jurisdiction for the contract. You both have to agree that it will either be a binding contract that disputes will be settle in the US or the UK. If you decide to go through the UK, just be aware you will have to get a UK lawyer and you might have to travel to settle any disputes. Same goes for your partner if you chose the US.
     
  9. King Arthur
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    King Arthur Banned

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    Why do you need an artist as you write? Isn't it better after it's written?
     

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