Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Dear Morgan ~ I'm lost in Copyright Legalese!

Morgan Hawke
~ Mad, Bad, and Dangerously in the Know!
----- Original Message -----
"Dear Morgan,
- Could you explain this to me? It was at the bottom of a 'call for submissions' from Xustler Xantasies.

- 'Rights to manuscripts sent to Xustler Xantasies will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and as subject to our edits and editorial comments. No bestiality, rape, incest, male homosexuality, sex with minors, no simultaneous submissions, no excessive wordiness, please!'

- Lost in Copyright Legalese”
Dear Lost,
- Copyright agreements and Contracts are always full of weird words and back to front sentence structure that makes the brain hurt and the eyes cross -- and it's DELIBERATE.

"Why do they make it so complicated to read?"
It's to disguise the fact that they've made the best deal for THEM -- not for you. Legalese is designed specifically, to make reader want to just scribble on the dotted line rather than bothering with trying to plow through it. However, once you sign your name:

What YOU don't see -- They can get away with!

Always remember, when dealing with a contract of any kind:

The more confusing it sounds, the more likely you are about to be SCREWED anally, without the benefit of lube, or even a reach-around.

If you plan to publish your work, you're going to deal with legalese, so brush up on your vocabulary -- and Latin -- you're going to need it. Contracts and Legalese go together like red on ketchup. There's just no getting away from it.

- All Rights to manuscripts sent to Xustler Xantasies will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes...
Translation - You SEND it to us and we OWN it -- FOREVER, whether or not we ever use it is not the point. You gave it to us -- it's OURS.

You can never give it to someone else to publish, you can never put it on your website, you certainly cannot post it to a story group, send it in an email, or show it off in any way, shape, or form, to anyone. You may as well erase it from your computer because it's not yours any more -- it's OURS.

If you are a professional writer, someone we can't screw with without a lawyer breathing down our necks, we'll even admit you sent it, and pay you for it -- about a month after it shows up in the magazine. If you're not a professional writer -- forget it. We never got it. One of our in-house writers simply came up with a story Just Like Yours. What a coincidence huh? Too bad for you.

...and as subject to our edits and editorial comments.
Translation - We can change it ANY WAY WE LIKE and not tell you about it. We don't even have to put your name on it -- because it's not yours anymore.

No bestiality, rape, incest, male homosexuality, sex with minors...
Translation - No sex with animals, no hate-sex, no man on man sex, no kids. We're a men's magazine that specializes in straight male fantasies. Our male readers don't like that stuff.

...no simultaneous submissions...
Translation - If you already sent it to someone else, don't send it to us. We can't keep it if someone else has it.

...no excessive wordiness, please!
Translation - Don't bother with being poetic, or putting in a complicated plot. Hell, don't bother with a plot beyond: "I wanted to get laid -- and I did!" We just want the sex and what a great time the characters had. That's what sells for us.

"Is $100.00 for a 5k* story I can never use again -- worth it?"
(*K=1000 words. A 5k story is about 6 pages, typed single-space, in 12 pt. font.)

For many professional writers, selling a 5k story for $100.00 IS worth it. If you can type fast, it can be very fast money. Most men's magazine will take a submission of three to five stories at a time, and accept them ALL. They are always hungry for well-written sex-positive Erotica.

Just keep in mind, Erotica and Erotic Romance are NOT the same thing! Erotic Romance publishers DO want a highly detailed plot in addition to hot sex, and don't forget the ROMANCE

Morgan Hawke
Smut-Writer - and Damned Proud of it!

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