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Thread: Happy Tails Books

  1. #1
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    slightly off center

    Happy Tails Books

    This "new breed of books and gifts" raises money for needy animals, but contributors to its anthologies seem to give up a lot of rights (or is this standard for anthologies?):
    I, the undersigned ("I" or "Individual"), am giving irrevocable permission to Happy Tails, LLC, its affiliates, licensees, subsidiaries, successors, assigns and agents (collectively, "Happy Tails"), to use, publish, broadcast and publicly display my name, picture and likeness (if applicable), or any material based upon or derived therefrom (“Likeness”), as well as that of my pet animal, anywhere in the world and on the Internet in any manner or media whatsoever for purposes of publishing, distributing, and promoting the Book(s) and any ancillary products or projects related thereto. I hereby grant to Happy Tails an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license anywhere in the world and on the Internet to use, modify, adapt, broadcast, display, transmit, exhibit, project, reproduce, publish, distribute, create derivative works of and to otherwise exploit Contributions that I provide to Happy Tails, in connection with the Book(s) as well as any marketing efforts and ancillary products or projects related thereto.

    I attest that I am 18 years old or older and am the sole owner of all rights, title and interest in my Contributions. I have not assigned, transferred, licensed, pledged or otherwise encumbered the copyright(s) in my Contributions. I understand and agree that I may not be given a chance to inspect or approve the Book(s) or the ancillary products or projects, or the promotional or marketing material, messages and/or content related thereto, which may use my Likeness or Contributions. Nothing contained herein will constitute any obligation on the part of Happy Tails to make any use of the rights granted herein.

    This License and Release shall be binding on my personal representatives, heirs, successors and assigns. I hereby release Happy Tails from, and covenant not to sue Happy Tails for, any claim or cause of action, whether known or unknown, for libel, slander, defamation, invasion of right of privacy, publicity or personality, copyright infringement, or any other claim or cause of action, based upon or relating to the use of my Likeness or Contributions or the exercise of any of the rights referred to herein.
    They also have a self-publishing division.

  2. #2
    Formerly Phantom of Krankor. Torgo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    London, UK
    Yeah, I'm no lawyer but that does seem a bit broad, and I don't really like the way entirely different stuff is mixed into each para.

    The first part of the first paragraph gives them all kinds of very broad rights to use your name and likeness etc for promotional purposes. Our own boilerplate alludes to this kind of stuff but doesn't go on about irrevocable rights to do all kinds of things forever and ever amen. I mean, I don't really see why it needs to be so iron-clad as this.

    The second part of para 1 basically seems to give them super-broad rights to make derivative works etc, publish anything they like any way and anywhere they like, and not compensate you for it. I don't like it at all.

    Para 2 warrants that you own the copyright, but then goes on to say that (a) you won't get approval on anything and (b) they don't seem to have to publish anything. I mean, no.

    Para 3 seems to waive all your rights to sue them. Double no.

    So, hmmm. Any actual real lawyers out there?

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW girlyswot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    IANAL but it sounds to me like what they're offering is a work-for-hire agreement. Only without the payment part.

  4. #4
    Disapproving plot bun disapproves. FluffBunny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Third burrow on your left. Your other left.
    Their website is registered to "Action Advising"/Kyla M. Duffy out of Boulder, CO. A search of the Colorado Secretary of State's website shows that "Action Advertising" was a registered business, but the registration expired in 2008. "Action Advising" was registered to Kyla Duffy.

    A search on "Happy Tails Books", shows that it registered as a business in 2009, registered to Kyla M. Duffy. "Happy Tails Books" is not registered as a charity or a fundraiser with the State of Colorado.

    A search on Ms. Duffy returns her personal page here - It has a "boring details" page that states she started HTB in 2009. A previous charity started by Ms. Duffy, "Up For Pups" is a registered charity, registered by Ms. Duffy. She lists her position with the charity as, "Director" on her webpage and describes it as, "Lead a performing arts company in the development and execution of creative performances that serve the role of humane education." The Colorado SoS charities page states that for fiscal 2012, the charity had $200 total revenue and $938.34 total expenses.

    The HTB website states, "Happy Tails Books donates up to 25% of gross profits back to rescue organizations. Any rescue enrolled in our rescue partner program is eligible for a donation from each sale made through this website." (bolding added) "Up to"? So, theoretically, they could donate 1%? Also reference their "rescue partner program"? (I'd do a strike-through here if I knew how. There are partners listed, it just took a while for the file to load on my computer. My apologies for both being wrong and for having a slow Internet connection. My wrong information has been deleted.)

    ETA: Another link in their page takes you here - On that page, donations to various organizations are listed. That same page also states, "Happy Tails Books donates no less than 25% of net profits back to rescue, animal welfare, and service dog organizations." (bolding added) Front pages says, "up to 25%". Donation page says, "no less than 25%". If I were a cat, I'd haz a confuzed.
    Last edited by FluffBunny; 06-01-2013 at 02:35 AM. Reason: forgot a line
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  5. #5
    Highly Absorbent V Rose Dahrke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Colorado Springs, Colorado
    I could be wrong, but aren't 25% of gross and 25% of net two different numbers, with the former being the larger of the two? So the donations would have to be more than a quarter of net but less than a quarter of gross.

    I'm not saying it's not needlessly complicated, but it's at least mathematically coherent.
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  6. #6
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    slightly off center
    When I expressed my concerns about the contract on Facebook, the publisher replied thus:
    . . . we do not negotiate our contract. if an author has a problem with it, they simply shouldn't submit a story. We've received more than 140 stories for the latest book, so obviously there are plenty of people out there with stories to share who are not concerned with the contract verbiage, and we have NEVER, in more than 1,000 stories, had a dispute with an author about a contract right.
    . . .not concerned with contract verbiage? If I've learned anything on this forum, it's that writers should be concerned with what's in a contract.

  7. #7
    Shakespearean Fool DreamWeaver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    You don't understand. Since they say they're doing this for charity, you're not supposed to ask questions or make conditions. You should just give. </sarcasm>

    A lot of people feel that way, you know. Especially the ones who raise money but haven't gotten around to getting their 501(c)(3) status approved.
    Why doesn't George R. R. Martin use Twitter? He already killed off all 140 characters.


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