Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pop Quiz, Updated

After reading cartoonist Bryan Lee O'Malley's spirited attack on a publicly available Tokyopop contract last Thursday, I sent a few questions to Tokyopop's press contact. I didn't really expect a reaction, so I wasn't really surprised there hasn't been one. Still, I thought it would be a nice exercise to plough through the thing and try to come up with the questions that maybe should be asked by the comics press.
(1) Can you confirm that the document in question is a document released and approved by Tokyopop Inc.?

If the answer to (1) is "yes":

(2) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. to work with minors (individuals under 18 years)?

(3) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. to withhold the decision whether or not to pay talent until after work requested by Tokyopop Inc. and completed according to mutual agreements between talent and Tokyopop Inc. has been turned in?

(4) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. to reject work requested by Tokyopop Inc. and completed according to mutual agreements between talent and Tokyopop Inc. by default, unless written notice of approval is given by Tokyopop Inc.?

(5) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. not to let talent participate in any income generated by work requested by Tokyopop Inc. and completed according to mutual agreements between talent and Tokyopop Inc.?

(6) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. to ask talent to waive moral rights?

(7) What are Tokyopop Inc.'s objections to moral rights?

(8) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. to ask talent to grant Tokyoppop Inc. the right to match third-party offers for work requested by Tokyopop Inc. and completed according to mutual agreements between talent and Tokyopop Inc. if no agreement is reached by talent and Tokyopop Inc. on future written agreements at a time when those future written agreements are not yet made available to talent?

(9) Is it customary for Tokyopop Inc. to ask talent to grant indefinite worldwide publishing rights for work requested by Tokyopop Inc. and completed according to mutual agreements between talent and Tokyopop Inc. and waive the right to make adaptations of said work if no agreement is reached by talent and Tokyopop Inc. on future written agreements at a time when those future written agreements are not yet made available to talent?
If you want to know more, Heidi MacDonald has a good round-up.

Update: Well, if you've been following the news, you'll have heard by now that Tokyopop probably have bigger fish to fry right now than to answer questions regarding some contract.

Among other things, Heidi MacDonald reports that the company's press contact to whom I mailed the above questions last Thursday is among the employees the publisher parted ways with, with no announcement of a replacement.

1 comment:

Leigh Walton said...

The moral rights clause seems to be a less productive area to attack than some others. It's my understanding that US law doesn't really recognize moral rights in the first place (or possibly that they occupy a legal gray area which TP doesn't want to deal with), so I don't think it's a big deal that they're waived here. Right?