Beyond "more copyright": how do we improve artists' lives and livelihoods through policy?

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Shouldn’t it be as easy as writers, when signing contracts with publishers, simply writing in a clause that gives them 50% of the gross up to $1M and 75% beyond that?

Yes, because corporations don’t have literally 100 lawyers to look out for that.

Just because someone writes for a living doesn’t mean they write legalize.

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I didn’t intend for you to think I was suggesting authors try to hide this addendum. so I don’t know why would it matter how many lawyers the corporation has? If they won’t sign your amended contract, find another publisher, one who will.

You don’t think publishers don’t collude on how contracts look? There is a such thing as industry standards you know. Unless you are already famous and well know, with a great deal of cultural capital to play with, then you have far less leverage than the publisher starting out. Once you’ve established yourself, you can then renegotiate to more favorable terms. This is true across creative fields. New comers have less power in negotiating their contracts. And even with authors with long careers, not all of them are super star writers, but really just making a living at their chose profession, and publishers STILL have more leverage, even if less than over a newer writer.

It really isn’t an even playing field between corporations and people, where we have equal amounts of power to decide what’s in a contract. The billion dollar corporation with a team of lawyers on hand does have the advantage.

[ETA] Also, not all writing is the same, as I noted above. Contract law is pretty specific and complicated, and a sci-fi writer might not have expertise in that field. Hell, even other kinds of lawyers might not know the ins and outs of writing contracts for corporations that work in the creative fields.


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