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MokoBunny
07-07-2015, 10:51 PM
An entertainment company contacted me about reading my script and sent me a standard release form to sign. I've been through this procedure before and wasn't really expecting anything different. However after reading over the release form I found basic grammar mistakes on 3 of the 4 pages of the form. Now these were small mistakes like saying, "Writer acknowledge that blah blah blah" instead of, "Writer acknowledges that blah blah blah" and maybe like an extra word in a sentence that didn't belong. I could've just ignored it, signed the form and sent it, but something about just didn't sit well with me. So I emailed them to let them know that there were mistakes in their release form. I tried not to be rude and didn't demand they make changes and send it back to me. I just said I wanted to let them know that before I sign I was concerned about the grammar mistakes.

On reflection though, I feel like I might've blown it with this company. Maybe I should've just quietly signed it and sent it back to them. But the thing is, even though this was a basic agreement, a release form is still a legal contract to protect both parties. I would expect a legal document to be free of basic grammar mistakes. I still haven't heard back from them and doubt I will.

I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience or advice on what they would've done instead.

Jamesaritchie
07-08-2015, 08:48 PM
I think every writer who has sold anything, or who has had to sign release forms, receives things with grammar mistakes. My approach is to check whether the meaning of a sentence is changed by the mistake. If it isn't, I let it go. If it is, I make sure it gets corrected. A legal document means what it says, not what it's supposed to say.

But if it's a harmless grammar goof that makes no difference, why worry about it?

If you can't resist, have an agent or an IP attorney make sure the changes get made. This way, you don't get blamed.

blacbird
07-09-2015, 12:18 AM
But lest ye think these thins matter not, see this thread in the Grammar/Syntax forum:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?308499-When-the-comma-becomes-important

caw

Jamesaritchie
07-09-2015, 01:52 AM
But lest ye think these thins matter not, see this thread in the Grammar/Syntax forum:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?308499-When-the-comma-becomes-important

caw

It certainly can matter, which is why I read contracts and release forms carefully. Being the suspicious type, I wonder if some "mistakes" aren't intentional, and done for the benefit of whoever writes the contract. But most are just mistakes, and don't change the meaning, so I let them go.

Kevin Nelson
07-09-2015, 09:19 AM
I've encountered several grammatical mistakes in release forms. (I vaguely recall that one of the mistakes did make a substantive difference--which was in my favor.) The moral I draw is that even the company didn't bother to read the release carefully, so they're certainly not expecting you to do so. I read them carefully anyway. If the grammatical mistake is harmless, then I'll go ahead and sign without making an issue about it.