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Does the contract allow for extension of the contract term after expiry and if so, what do the provisions say?showme:
The original EP contract was for a period of two years, beginning from the time of publication. It expired a few days ago on April 30.
If she's claiming you signed an amendment agreement, you're certain that you never signed one and she's seeking to rely on it, then she has to produce it if she wants to be able to enforce it.showme:
Since then she has claimed she has another contract that I signed, agreeing to $150.00 in termination fees, which does not expire until next year. In one message she claimed to "have it in her hand." But, although I've been asking her to send it to me for four months now, she has not done so.
Personally, if I was absolutely sure I had never signed anything (and it sounds to me like you've got communications to her saying you're not going to sign it), then I would point out to her that any signed agreement she claims to have is potentially a forgery, that I would be willing to swear an affidavit to that effect and that I would further be willing to refer any attempt by her to rely on it to local law enforcement.
Might be worth checking if you've got a legal aid/citizen's advice bureau near you (don't know if they have one where you live - alternative is local university law department, which might offer free legal services as provided by students) and see about getting a C&D letter prepared that you can send to her, telling that given your contract term has expired, any attempt by her to sell or continue to publish your work will be a breach of your copyright.showme:
I filed a complaint with the BBB and the Attorney General's Office. In Kim's response to the BBB, she claimed to be sending them a copy of this contract by regular mail. They told me they'd scan it in and email it to me if it does arrive…
Meanwhile, I've contacted Fictionwise and every online outlet where my title is on sale, informing them that copyright reverted back to me on April 30.
No worries - happy to be able to give some pointers that might be useful/worth exploring further.showme:
Thanks for all your help MM, it's much appreciated. :-)
If the publisher has just splashed out for artwork and edits when the author suddenly wants to jump ship, I can see the justice in kill fees. But only for a maximum of six months after the title is released. Anything longer than that is an abuse of the author's rights. And of course, the author has to have signed a contract with the exact amount of the kill fee clearly stated, along with its intended duration. To try and wring a kill fee from an author whose title was released years ago, should be illegal. It's shoddy and shabby behaviour, which is destined (and very rightly so) to backfire on the disreputable publisher who's engaging in it. Just look what's happening right here. Good on you, Alex. Bravo! Let's hope it will encourage other abused Damnation/Eternal authors to do likewise. You're not alone, guys. Fight back!
Last edited by brainstorm77; 05-05-2010 at 01:10 PM.
Re contracts: Unless they are signed in a lawyer's office, and properly witnessed, they'd never stand up in court.
Why do you insist on spouting off about legal enforceability when you plainly know nothing about what you're talking about? Do you honestly think that you're helping people? Because if so, then I'm sorry to tell you that you're actually putting people at risk if they try to rely on the crap that you insist on spewing.
Witness attestation may assist in determining whether a document has been properly signed. Some countries (and I believe some US states) require that particular signed documents be notarised. I can tell you however that I have seen plenty of US contracts in my time that have not been notarised but which are nonetheless deemed to be legally binding.
Contract law (as anyone who has ever set foot in a law lecture will tell you) is more than signatures on a contract. A contract can exist if you can prove an offer, an acceptance, adequate consideration, intention to create legal relations and certainty of terms. That's why people can sometimes find themselves bound by oral contracts.
I disagree. If you're a small company, trying to run on a commercial basis and in good faith, then if you've spent a lot of time and money trying to produce a professional product (including starting pre-word publicity, marketing, getting the distribution in place etc), then you should be entitled to charge a kill fee for that if the author decides to up and walk at the last minute.M.R.J. Le Blanc:
If the working relationship sours, or if the publisher isn't living up to what they agreed, a kill fee isn't justified IMO.
It should be set out in the contract though so that the author knows that and it shouldn't be open to abuse. But I don't have an ethical problem with it.
Last edited by Momento Mori; 05-05-2010 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Adding a point
Not too sure about contracts. I know when we bought our houses the signing was always done in a lawyer's office. The legality of the contracts issued by a lot of those epublishers pretending to be real publishers is dubious. Everything has to be absolutely correct in a legal document. Even the misspelling of a name can render it null and void.
By the sound of Damnation, they are operating with contracts issued by an Australian publisher or a Canadian one. This should never have happened. A legitimate publisher would have cancelled all the contracts, immediately, and reissued their own. But then Damnation would never do that. The last thing they want is to give their authors an out. But what they're stuck with sound like worthless pieces of paper such as amendments to contracts that don't exist. They got so sharp in their greed for kill fees that they jolly well cut themselves. Good. Hope it hurts like hell.
Last edited by pagerette; 05-05-2010 at 08:25 PM.
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II 2016: 2017:
I have a question here for Momento. When a publishing company is sold across international boundaries, and it includes the contracts, are addendums necessary? It seems that when Eternal Press, originally in Australia, was sold to someone in Canada, the authors were given nothing to sign. Therefore, the laws of Australia still applied. Can a business be run in one country, while governed by the laws of another?
And if you are an attorney, you're violating your ethics clause by not declaring yourself and making attributive denial.
The idea of a lawyer's office conferring sanctity to a contract is ludicrous in the extreme.
By the way, are people totally missing the BIG RED MESSAGE in Medievalist's post? I AM a lawyer and I wouldn't even begin to speculate on the legal ramifications of the contracts and the transaction without seeing ALL of the documents first.
Usual disclaimers (this is not meant to be legal advice or establish an attorney/client relationship, blah blah blah) apply.
Last edited by Bubastes; 05-05-2010 at 09:37 PM.
By the sound of Damnation, they are operating with contracts issued by an Australian publisher or a Canadian one. This should never have happened. A legitimate publisher would have cancelled all the contracts, immediately, and reissued their own.
Why would anyone "cancel" a contract if you've got an assignment clause?
The fact that two companies are in different countries does not mean that the underlying contract needs to be invalidated.
In general yes.luvreading:
When a publishing company is sold across international boundaries, and it includes the contracts, are addendums necessary? It seems that when Eternal Press, originally in Australia, was sold to someone in Canada, the authors were given nothing to sign. Therefore, the laws of Australia still applied. Can a business be run in one country, while governed by the laws of another?
Most companies wouldn't want to be in that position because it effects the tax treatment so they'd transfer to a subsidiary company set up in that relevant jurisdiction.
The other problem with having a contract with someone under a jurisdiction where you're not based is that if you end up in dispute, you have to conduct it in that other country and if you win, seek to enforce it. It takes time and costs money.
Wrong. See my answer above.J.Henry:
Of course not. What would happen in the case of a dispute? It would have to be heard (in the case of Dalmation) in the courts of Australia or Canada.
Do you know that for a fact? Have you seen winding up papers for the original business? Do you have a legal opinion from a qualified attorney stating that the contracts were not validly assigned or transferred?J.Henry:
the contract which originated in those countries is no longer valid because the business which issued them is no more.
Because I'm suspecting that the answer to all three questions is "no", so again - stop commenting on legal matters when you know bog all about it.
I've been practicing English law for almost 10 years so while I can make educated comments, anyone with a contract with Damnation still needs to get appropriate legal advice from an attorney qualified in the relevant jurisdictions and not rely on the (frankly) half-witted crap being posted by some people here.
Since this is the same publisher as the Eternal Press thread, could both threads be amalgamated into one?
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