A friend of mine shared this news story out of Los Angeles today. When I saw the headline and preview, I had to do a double take to make sure it wasn’t The Onion. I cant’ really fathom who thought this was a good idea to try and fit into an employment contract, even as a negotiation start point. It’ll be interesting to see if A. this is in the final offer and B. just how quickly it takes for it to result in litigation. Indeed, part of me wonders if this is a law firm trying to make future work for itself.
Let this be a lesson to would be writers: Always read your employment contract’s portion on intellectual property. If you have questions, get a lawyer involved. A prospective employer can and likely will try to put anything in a contract, to include attempting to claim rights which they would seemingly have no right to. While this story is in the news, I have a fellow author who had a would be employer try to slip similarly punitive language into his “signing on” contract. When he (rightfully) called the employer on it, they immediately provided him with a different set of signing papers with the offending language removed / revised. Needless to say, this immediately colored his view of the folks who wanted to hire him.
As always, keep your head on a swivel.