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grumpywriter
06-10-2012, 03:16 PM
5% of net proceeds? Would that be considered normal? This is for the independent producer who wants to option my script...

Levenger
06-10-2012, 03:32 PM
Sure, $0 sounds about right.

ATB
06-10-2012, 03:38 PM
Search the forums for "net points."

Net is literally nothing.

grumpywriter
06-10-2012, 09:53 PM
Understood. So should I ask for something else or just accept it?

Also -- the language "work for hire" is used in one section called "Additional Writing Services" where he defines the work/rewrites I would do on the script while it is under option -- and before it's purchased -- as "work for hire" -- which doesn't seem to make sense and appears to contradict the entire agreement because "work for hire" is defined by U.S. copyright law as something done for someone who already own the piece of of work outright. I'm going over all of this with my lawyer and an experienced producer, but still, I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this language used in one of their option contracts.

thanks

SoCalScribe
06-11-2012, 10:35 AM
Understood. So should I ask for something else or just accept it?

Also -- the language "work for hire" is used in one section called "Additional Writing Services" where he defines the work/rewrites I would do on the script while it is under option -- and before it's purchased -- as "work for hire" -- which doesn't seem to make sense and appears to contradict the entire agreement because "work for hire" is defined by U.S. copyright law as something done for someone who already own the piece of of work outright. I'm going over all of this with my lawyer and an experienced producer, but still, I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this language used in one of their option contracts.

thanks

5% of net is standard for non A-list writers. Most feature writers' contracts give 5% of net proceeds for sole credit and 2.5% for shared... but yeah, any way you slice it, it's probably still going to amount to zero, unfortunately. Unless you have a really great backend definition of net. Without having a precedent to receive more, you can ask, but chances are you're not going to get a whole lot more out of the participations than that.

Work for hire language is standard. Remember that while the script is under option, they own the rights to the script (albeit for a limited amount of time). If they ask you to do work during that time, for all intents and purposes, the entity that owns the material (them) is asking you (who does not currently own the material) to do work on it. Making it a work for hire is standard because they want to own the results and proceeds of the work they're asking you to do. They're not going to ask you to do work and then let you own it so they have to buy that from you separately from the deal they just made for the rights to the script. :)

grumpywriter
06-11-2012, 10:38 AM
5% of net is standard for non A-list writers. Most feature writers' contracts give 5% of net proceeds for sole credit and 2.5% for shared... but yeah, any way you slice it, it's probably still going to amount to zero, unfortunately. Unless you have a really great backend definition of net. Without having a precedent to receive more, you can ask, but chances are you're not going to get a whole lot more out of the participations than that.

Work for hire language is standard. Remember that while the script is under option, they own the rights to the script (albeit for a limited amount of time). If they ask you to do work during that time, for all intents and purposes, the entity that owns the material (them) is asking you (who does not currently own the material) to do work on it. Making it a work for hire is standard because they want to own the results and proceeds of the work they're asking you to do. They're not going to ask you to do work and then let you own it so they have to buy that from you separately from the deal they just made for the rights to the script. :)

Thanks, SoCal, for putting that into much clearer language than my lawyer did. :) Alright, I might actually sign this thing.

harbak
06-11-2012, 11:55 AM
Is this from one of the scripts I sent out for you?

grumpywriter
06-11-2012, 12:31 PM
Is this from one of the scripts I sent out for you?

It's actually the result of a query I sent myself earlier this year, but yes -- the script is one of the two you've been sending out. Since nothing's been signed yet I figured there's no harm in continuing to market it.

The Road Warrior
06-11-2012, 12:40 PM
5% of net is standard for non A-list writers. Most feature writers' contracts give 5% of net proceeds for sole credit and 2.5% for shared... but yeah, any way you slice it, it's probably still going to amount to zero, unfortunately. Unless you have a really great backend definition of net. Without having a precedent to receive more, you can ask, but chances are you're not going to get a whole lot more out of the participations than that.

Work for hire language is standard. Remember that while the script is under option, they own the rights to the script (albeit for a limited amount of time). If they ask you to do work during that time, for all intents and purposes, the entity that owns the material (them) is asking you (who does not currently own the material) to do work on it. Making it a work for hire is standard because they want to own the results and proceeds of the work they're asking you to do. They're not going to ask you to do work and then let you own it so they have to buy that from you separately from the deal they just made for the rights to the script. :)

Socalscribe, just an aside: what happens to the option agreement once the writer comes onboard. Is it it replaced by a new agreement setting out the new terms, rewrites, etc ...

SoCalScribe
06-11-2012, 12:54 PM
Socalscribe, just an aside: what happens to the option agreement once the writer comes onboard. Is it it replaced by a new agreement setting out the new terms, rewrites, etc ...

The option/purchase agreement itself should outline any writing services that are going to be performed during the option period (and/or after the purchase). Everything you're going to do in connection with that property - which you are selling to someone else - should be outlined in that same agreement, or as an amendment to that agreement in the event that you mutually agree upon something (like additional writing steps) after the contract has been signed. There will occasionally be a separate writer agreement, but for the sake of simplicity it's easier (and more common) to see writing steps as part of the option/purchase agreement, especially in the case of a WGA project where the writer is guaranteed a rewrite if they do additional work on the script.

The Road Warrior
06-11-2012, 01:04 PM
The option/purchase agreement itself should outline any writing services that are going to be performed during the option period (and/or after the purchase). Everything you're going to do in connection with that property - which you are selling to someone else - should be outlined in that same agreement, or as an amendment to that agreement in the event that you mutually agree upon something (like additional writing steps) after the contract has been signed. There will occasionally be a separate writer agreement, but for the sake of simplicity it's easier (and more common) to see writing steps as part of the option/purchase agreement, especially in the case of a WGA project where the writer is guaranteed a rewrite if they do additional work on the script.

Understood. Thanks a lot for taking the time to set that out Socal. :)