More Tokyopop Contract Discussion
Good comment on the Manga Pilots Tokyopop contract uproar:
Brad Fox compares the Tokyopop and Zuda contracts (with a cute graphic of the two logos). He concludes that the Tokyopop one is preferable because it allows you to walk away with your rights if you want to after the contract is over. By his reading, Zuda, on the other hand, takes “*all* adaptation rights … Print. Merch. Movies. Television. Spin-offs. The whole ball of yarn.” Brad also thought the Manga Pilot contract was pretty good, especially for a creator using it to break in and then walk away.
Lori Henderson considers the contract another way Tokyopop is bad for teens. She focuses on how their website allows kids to view adult material easily, with pornographic material appearing on the front page. Now, porn is often in the eye of the beholder, so without images, it’s hard to judge what she’s reporting, but this would definitely be a concern for most parents, if they were aware of how the site works.
Rikki Simons, one of the creators of ShutterBox, has a long, thoughtful post about how he balances being published by Tokyopop with being disgusted by some of their choices.
I thought of e-mailing Stu Levy about it — to explain to him that this is not a contract I’d ever sign for any future series. But nothing ever changes when you take that approach, in fact, if anything Tokyopop’s contracts only get worse, even after they are scolded for the last one. …
The fact that they have become the number one publisher for bringing in new blood is a positive side effect of a very cynical reality. In fact, if you ask them, they will tell you they are not a publisher.
He emphasizes how they’re interested in licensing, and that’s why they need to own the properties. Like many older Tpop creators, he says he’s got a better contract than the ones they offer now. Tokyopop seems to have tightened up over the years.
Update: Lea Hernandez compares the Manga Pilots contract to the earlier Rising Stars of Manga one:
What makes the Pilot contract better (in the way that smashing your finger with a hammer is better than having it slammed in a trunk) is than TP’s Pilot contract says clearly that you waive moral rights, whereas the RSOM one doesn’t.