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Chapter 6. The Publishing Contract > Introduction - Pg. 174

The Publishing Contract 174 a deal for Publisher A. If Publisher A has a choice betweenputting marketing dollars behind a prop- erty it owns versus a property it doesn't own, it is likelyto give short shrift to a property owned by someone else. Therefore, it is very important tonegotiate a deal where Publisher A has functional ownership of the property as long as it isusing it. Double D decides to have Lucy call Publisher A and discuss the possibility of a longterm license. Lucy has a good reputation with Publisher A, which helps the discussion go smoothly. PublisherA agrees that, as long as it keeps exclusive rights for the duration of its use of the property, along- term license with reversions will be acceptable. Double D is double-delighted, and has Lucynego- tiate a license. See end of chapter. Introduction A publishing contract is an agreement between a publisher and a developer that spells out the terms of the working relationship. What work will you perform? What will be paid and how? When will it be paid? Who owns your work? What happens if something goes wrong? Because these contracts are complex and there are many eventualities that must be accounted for, negotiating and drafting the full agreement can take months. To avoid such a long delay in produc- tion, the publisher and developer may sign a short form agreement (sometimes referred to as a letter of intent, memo of understanding, deal memo). This short (two to seven pages), legally binding contract sets out the core terms of the contract and is then used as the basis for a long form agreement, which will include all of the details. This chapter will familiarize you with the following: · · · · Terms and concepts found in AAA publishing agreements, whether for original or licensed IP Deal terms that are most favorable to the publisher and those that favor you Negotiation techniques in situations of minimal leverage Hidden pitfalls and common errors The publishing contract will be analyzed in three parts: · Terms of a straight work-for-hire agreement (where developer owns neither the content nor the engine) · A publishing contract/license for developer-owned intellectual property (content and/or technol- ogy) · Clauses added into the long forms of most contracts The author would like to thank Kirk Owen of Octagon Entertainment ( for his help inpreparing this chapter.