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View Full Version : Great Article on The Interminable Agency Clause



rsullivan9597
04-30-2011, 04:21 PM
Ran across this yesterday, and found it great reading (and timely, as it was a late minute addition to a contract not for an agent, but for the deal the agent was closing.

A must read so you don't get yourself in a contractual bind.

Here's the link (http://www.sfwa.org/2011/04/the-interminable-agency-clause/).

Jamesaritchie
04-30-2011, 09:24 PM
Yes, agents can sneak that clause in on unwary writers, and it's a bad, bad, bad thing.

jacket
04-30-2011, 09:59 PM
What about the following wording:

If the relationship ends, the Agency will continue to administer and be entitled to receive and retain any and all commissions on any contracts, licenses or agreements negotiated or resulting from contacts initiated by the Agency during the term of this Agreement for as long as such contracts, licenses or agreements remain in force, as well as on all subsequent renewals and modifications of such contracts, licenses or agreements. The Agency shall remain the Agent-of-Record and continue to sell and be entitled to receive and retain any and all commissions on the sale, license or other disposition at any time of any ancillary, subsidiary, or derivative rights which are the subject of this agreement, said commissions being hereby assigned and transferred as an agency “coupled with an interest, “ as that term is used at law to mean that the Agency’s rights to continue to receive such sums may not be revoked by the Author without the written consent of the Agency.

kangolNcurlz
04-30-2011, 10:30 PM
(and timely, as it was a late minute addition to a contract not for an agent, but for the deal the agent was closing.

Wow. That would really concern me. I'm happy for you that you caught it in time.

It's talked about a bit in this thread.

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=208419

Jamesaritchie
05-02-2011, 03:22 AM
What about the following wording:

If the relationship ends, the Agency will continue to administer and be entitled to receive and retain any and all commissions on any contracts, licenses or agreements negotiated or resulting from contacts initiated by the Agency during the term of this Agreement for as long as such contracts, licenses or agreements remain in force, as well as on all subsequent renewals and modifications of such contracts, licenses or agreements. The Agency shall remain the Agent-of-Record and continue to sell and be entitled to receive and retain any and all commissions on the sale, license or other disposition at any time of any ancillary, subsidiary, or derivative rights which are the subject of this agreement, said commissions being hereby assigned and transferred as an agency “coupled with an interest, “ as that term is used at law to mean that the Agency’s rights to continue to receive such sums may not be revoked by the Author without the written consent of the Agency.



That's a bit more normal, but contains entirely too much legal jargon. If you find such a clause in a contract, always make them spell it out in simple English, and get it in writing. Otherwise, be darned sure to have an attorney translate it for you. Have an attorney translate any clause you don't fully understand.

But this is another reason I've reached the point where I prefer a literary attorney over an agent. The literary attorney gets a one time fee upfront for services rendered, and that's it.

Tromboli
05-03-2011, 07:34 PM
Thanks a lot for posting this!

I think this is a little sad to be honest. I feel like an agent is supposed to be the one the author can trust. They are on their side, protecting them from the sneaky publishers (during the contract negotiations, obviously they do a lot more than just that). When an agent sneakily adds in a clause that is clearly not a widely excepted industry standard, I feel like they are now the one I would have to look out for. I think I might lean towards not going with that particular agent if they refused to remove it because of this. I want someone I feel I could trust.

But yeah, that article was very helpful! (though hopefully I will never need it )