Riddle Me This

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Johndmcc
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Riddle Me This

Postby Johndmcc » Thu Mar 31, 2016 4:10 am

BAH! I Must Needs Information!

Alright, guys. I'm a newb to the site, but I'm almost caught up on the "DnD" Podcast. I've been searching through the forums and have noticed a lot of people are VERY helpful here.

So, I have a conundrum for you all to rectify if possible? And, here it is:

I wrote a book back in 2008. I made the immense mistake of allowing Publish America publish my book. ( I don't think I need to go into details.) But, when I signed on with them (Contract) I was told that once my book was published by them, and I signed on the dotted line, that they would own the books rights for 7 years.

Well, as you know, I said I wrote it in '08. And, now, it's '16. Well, Publish America has officially changed their name. And, I don't know if that means I officially have the rights back to my book (I.e. I can edit, and ship it to other proper publishers, etc.) or if I have to somehow finagle this new company into giving me the rights back. Or is there some loophole that they get to utilize to keep my book? Mind you, it wasn't a best seller or anything. And, they will not answer my inquiries.

Sorry for the long post...

Your friendly neighborhood,
Johndmcc

Noodz
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Re: Riddle Me This

Postby Noodz » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:57 am

If the contract specifically stipulated 7 years then the rights should be back with you. It would be worth contacting the company to make sure that they're not going to try anything shady.

jokersgrundy
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Re: Riddle Me This

Postby jokersgrundy » Thu Mar 31, 2016 12:45 pm

I agree with Noodz. A company name change should not extend the length of the contract that you signed. You just want to make sure that you know the exact date that starts the clock on the contract. Was it the date that you signed it? Or was it the date that the book was first available for purchase by the public? You may also want to look into whether you retain other rights to the story (like movie rights--I would hope that they informed you if they optioned those out to someone, but this company sounds shady). If you have any confusion about the contract or doubt then you may want to talk to a lawyer specializing in contracts. It would suck to get sued or have a reputable publishing company pass over your book because of this. Good luck to you! I hope it works out!

Voccan
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Re: Riddle Me This

Postby Voccan » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:51 pm

No matter what the name change of the company, the rights definitely all revert back to you, unless:
- you signed a new contract or an addendum
- there were any specific clauses as a part of the contract that extend, renew or roll it under certain conditions.

I would try to get some free legal advice (I don't know what the US version of the Citizens Advice Bureau is..if you are in the US) and get someone to look over the original contract. If that comes up rosy, write them a letter (and keep a record of it) telling them (not asking) that they no longer have any rights of the title or concept.

Ric

Johndmcc
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Re: Riddle Me This

Postby Johndmcc » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:34 pm

Thank you all for the rapid response. To address as many answers as I can remember, replying on my phone.

I have tried contacting the company, a few times, via email to different people, and no one will reply to me.

I'm fairly positive that the contract stated that their owning the rights was from the date of the contract being signed. And regardless, it's been 8 years since the book was available for sale.

I am not sure we have a free to the public legal thing. But, my insurance allows me to get legal advice for free, so I will ask them about it.

Sorry if I missed something! But, I've been wanting to edit this book properly, and get it completely fleshed out and see if I can find a good, reputable company publish it.

So, here's hoping! Cross your eyes, toes, and anything else you can think of! Again, thanks for the timely response!!


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