Friday, November 1, 2013

Contracts and "Work for Hire"

I mentioned Contracts in a few entries, but I think it's time to talk about them a little more and the concept of "Work for Hire"

Contracts are a vital part of being a freelance writer. CGL's contracts are three pages, of which the last one is just when you sign. It details what the freelancer will do, what the company will do, the price the freelancer will be paid, and who has what rights. The contract is basically the same one, with details like what the contract is for, how much the writer will be paid for, and the due date for the payment.

The process goes like this: Once a story is accepted, I get a contracted Emailed to me. I read it over, print it out, sign it and either email or fax the contract back to CGL, who then signs it and emails me the complete copy for my records. Once the product has been published, I send CGL an invoice for the published work and I get a check for the work. The entire process can take months, so don't expect the check if you need the money for something.

There is something I must stress; All the work I do for CGL is "Work for Hire." It means that in return for being paid, I give up all rights to the work. Any stories, TRO entries, or sourcebook work I do for CGL becomes CGL's property. I get the credit as the writer, but I have no other rights over the story.

 What does that mean? It means that everything in the story -- all characters, units, and situations are CGL's property. They are no longer mine. If someone in CGL wants to use them, they can (hopefully, with the original author's input, if he or she are still around) Unlike my own original universe writing, I can't publish any Battlecorps story I written. CGL can, and has done so with the Onslaught anthology I wrote for. If you get a CGL contract for something you did, read it over so you know what is expected from you as a freelancer. Then deliver it.