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The Publishing Contract 205 Laws vary significantly from sovereignty to sovereignty. California's refusal to honor most non-com- pete clauses in employment agreements and France's granting of droit moral or "moral rights" in intellectual property are two examples. California and New York law are best for entertainment and intellectual property contracts because both have an established body of law, thereby removing much uncertainty as to how a court will interpret certain situations. Expect the governing law to be that of the publisher. Arbitration is like a mini-trial before a qualified arbitrator (often an ex-judge or attorney), usually a member of one of the major arbitration associations. Many prefer it over litigation for dispute reso- lution because it can be drastically less expensive and leaves less room for the deep-pocketed party to intimidate with the specter of excessive attorney's fees. However, there may be no appeal from an arbitration and no rules of evidence protecting you. The arbitrator should be neutral and a mem- ber of the American Arbitration Association or another reputable association. The arbitration clause usually states where the arbitration will occur. In case the parties are far-flung, insert a clause stating that parties and witnesses may appear electronically, whether by telephone or video conference. The findings of the arbitrator must be final and binding, and the judgment may be entered in any court having proper jurisdiction. Assignment Assignment is the ability to transfer the contract and your obligations to another party. For instance, if your company got bought in the middle of development, you would "assign" the contract to the purchaser in the sale. Understandably, a publisher will be leery of your assigning the rights to a third party, though it will usually consent if it is simply a matter of being purchased. Since most publishers have no problem allowing a developer to assign its rights to receive royalty streams, this can be a solution if your publisher does not want to allow any kind of obligation assignment.