I am in no danger of having my intellectual property [IP] diddled away by some corporation waving a contract, but Kristine Kathryn Rusch* is, and her latest post was scary to say the least. Here’s a short quote:
‘Those companies can all acquire IP from stupid writers for less than $10,000 per property forever. Just say the word “movie” or “TV” and most stupid writers give away their IP for free, in the hopes of having a movie or TV show made from their property. The property they no longer own, by the way.’
But the most terrifying part was this:
‘It doesn’t matter if your copyright is registered, the expert said. They’ll register anyway, even before they’ve started production on anything. The strategy is to create confusion over who owns the copyright, and it’ll take litigation to straighten that confusion out.‘
The bold emphasis is mine but the meaning is clear – one small Indie hasn’t a hope of fighting a company with millions of dollars in its war chest. Can you afford to take a production company to court to get your intellectual property back?
“Oh but if I’m being paid for it then it doesn’t matter.”
Yeah, that’s the big ‘if’, but sadly those contracts make sure you get little if anything in return.
I really, truly, strongly suggest you read the Rusch article, just in case….
I’ll confess, part of my outrage stems from the fact that I have day dreams too. I would love to see the Innerscape story turned into a movie or a big, beautiful game. I understand the desperation to have that kind of validation, because I share it. If someone came knocking, waving a contract in my face, I know I’d have stars in my eyes and the k-ching of cash registers in my ears too. But after this warning, I hope I remember that the one thing worse than never finding fame and fortune is being cheated out of it…by a corporate with lots of money and no scruples.
Seriously, if you’re an Indie author, please read the Rusch article.
*Kristine Kathryn Rusch is a Hugo award winning writer with her own wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristine_Kathryn_Rusch