Filtering by Tag: BUSINESS

Don't Give Away Your Right To Negotiate For Yourself (Updated)

Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find a clause like this in a contract for a freelance article.

(*see below for an update)

Image via Magic:  The Gathering

Image via Magic: The Gathering

  1. Read your contract in full before signing it. Don’t skim-read it on autopilot.

  2. Do not agree to terms like these. You are giving away your right to negotiate.

  3. Explain the clause must be removed from this contract in order for you to sign it.

“10. Film/TV/Audiovisual Works: You hereby grant and assign to [redacted] exclusive decision-making, signing authority, and rights with respect to feature film, motion picture, video game, mobile application, television, episodic programming, and any other audiovisual work based on or derived from the Work.

[Redacted] agrees to make good faith efforts to consult with you before signing any such ancillary rights agreements.

Any monies actually received by [Redacted] upon optioning and/or selling the Work (after deduction of [Redacted]’s actual, out-of-pocket costs and expenses, including, without limitation, agency fees and other fees and expenses related to sale and exploitation thereof) will be distributed as follows:

Fixed Compensation.

i) Option Fees/Purchase Price: 50% to [Redacted], 50% to you 
ii) Royalties and/or Series Sales Bonuses (if any): 50% to [Redacted], 50% to you 
iii) Contributor Writing or Consulting Fee (if any): 100% to you 
iv) Executive Producer, Producer, or Similar Fees for [Redacted] or its employees/contractors (if any): 100% to [Redacted].

Contingent Compensation and box office bonuses (if any): 50% to [Redacted], 50% to You

It’s acknowledged that [Redacted] may have a first look or overall deal with a third party, and any guaranteed fees associated with such an agreement are expressly excluded.

Accounting statements with respect to any ancillary exploitation of rights pursuant to this Section and payments, if any, will be delivered to you within 90 days following receipt by [Redacted] of the actual monies and such statements from third party purchasers or licensees of such rights.

It is agreed and understood that the services you are furnishing under this Agreement are extraordinary, unique, and not replaceable, and that there is no fully adequate remedy at law in the event of your breach of this Agreement, and that in the event of such a breach, [Redacted] shall be entitled to equitable relief by way of injunction or otherwise. You also recognize and confirm that in the event of a breach by [Redacted] of its obligations under this Agreement, the damage, if any, caused to you by [Redacted] is not irreparable or sufficient to entitle you to injunctive or other equitable relief. Consequently, your rights and remedies are limited to the right, if any, to obtain damages at law and you will not have any right in such event to terminate or rescind this Agreement or any of the rights granted by you hereunder or to enjoin or restrain the development, production and exploitation of the rights granted pursuant to this Agreement.”

I requested the clause be removed. The editor declined, describing the contract as “writer-friendly.” I declined to sign.

Buy "The Tumor" — my short story that’s been called "a masterpiece of short fiction."

What She Said

"Maybe it’s just me but doesn’t it seem the entire system for performers in Porn Valley is set for failure? There is no career in porn for 99.45 percent of these girls. The talent agencies are really nothing more than walk in Ready Labor outfits with zero benefits. Get in line…perhaps you’ll work…perchance you won’t. Step out of line and voice your concern, to the back of the line with you. For most performers in Porn Valley that’s the reality. The quick paycheck is the nail in the coffin. Used by the agents and producers alike, it is the best career suicide diversion of all time. The talent base in LA has yet to grasp that and also figure out that everything and anything they shoot or will shoot in LA was or is going to be sold, resold, repackaged, resold again and then promptly shipped to the tube sites where the real damage subsequently begins to their careers. Just about every performer who has more than 15 or 20 scenes in LA is so saturated on the tube sites; she is simply not marketable anymore. Why would she be? She is on every tube site a thousand times over…for the low price of free. That kind of saturation can be insurmountable. She gets a few scenes here and there, and before you know it she is doing the million man double anal cream pie followed by an anal toilet brush reaming for $500. The vast majority of Porn Valley performers are destined for the industry standard of an extremely short career that seems to be so popular among them. The good news is that their retirement package ensures that they will always be able to log on to PornHub and watch their own scenes for free in HD…for eternity…resting comfortably knowing they will never be paid another dime for any of it. Perhaps that is why I really don’t know of any “porn stars” right now…just a bunch of talent passing through Porn Valley and landing permanently on Porn Hub. Maybe these other girls…you know the ones who seem to be doing so well outside of Los Angeles…are on to something. I could be wrong."

[Mike South]

Porn Industry Shutdown

What happens when the porn business shuts down? I found out in my latest post for Forbes: "What Porn Stars Do When the Porn Industry Shuts Down."

"'The moratoriums are always very difficult for a majority of the performers in the adult industry,' says Chanel Preston, a four-year veteran who’s slated to co-host the 2014 AVN Awards — otherwise known as the 'Oscars of porn' — next month in Las Vegas.

For stars with exclusive contracts that guarantee regular paychecks from big production companies, the money is steady. For the rest, not so much.

'Despite the amount of money that performers make, most still live paycheck-to-paycheck, so having your income cut off for a few weeks is a huge damper financially,' Preston says."


How Much I Got Paid: #7

Title: Digital copywriter

Publication: N/A

Date: N/A

Word count: N/A

Payment: $100/hour

Notes: In February of 2011, I was downsized from a full-time job I had as an editor for a popular Time Warner website for women. That day, I wrote a post on my blog titled "Hire Me." Not long after, I heard from a man who worked for a big PR company in New York. He talked to me about doing some social media copywriting. He offered me $100 an hour. I took it. Over the next year and a half, I wrote digital copy for some of the world's biggest brands. My favorite assignment was pretending to be a product that talked to its fans on Facebook. I wrote scripts for commercials, became a celebrity tweet ghostwriter, and billed thousands and thousands of dollars. I was good at it, I liked it, and I could generate the online engagement the billion-dollar companies with which I worked wanted so desperately. I was a kind of Facebook whisperer. As a writer, it was the best-paying job I've ever had. One might suggest that marketing copy is thin and meaningless compared to journalism, but the reality is that every writer is in the entertainment business. The question is: How much do you want to get paid for what you do?

Conclusion: There's no shame in paying the bills.

[How Much I Got Paid]