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I have mentioned my grandnephew Tristen before. He has overcome a lot in his 18 years. He was misdiagnosed for years before they realized he had Asperger's. He has blossomed in the last four years and is a special part of my life. He is a wonderfully caring and loving young man. He calls and stops by to make sure that Reid and I are okay. He helped me lift a heavy hide-a-bed sofa to put risers under it to make it easier for Reid to get up and down. Right now he wants to help an artist friend. I have put the information he gave me below the orange cheeto. Please see if you can give advise or steer him to someone who can advise.

Artist is in a contract for the last two years. Only signed for the publication of a comic. Other works clause present, meant to be for the production of merchandise. Used to keep him obligated for the production of materials unrelated to his comic, the reason for the publication contract in the first place. Last two years he's been all but forced to work on projects at much less than minimum wage. About 200 a month max. (I think less.) Right now, he just wants his ip back. Looking for a lawyer knowledgeable in California contract law, as he's obligated to work on projects he doesn't want to do.
It's led to massive issues with depression and carpal tunnel.
Currently lives in Texas, has NDA compliant contract available for review.
Contract written under California law (not a right to work state)
That should cover it.

Originally posted to michelewln on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:45 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks, Retail and Workplace Pragmatists - Members and Editors, Subversive Agitation Team Action Network, Protest Music, Street Prophets , Team DFH, and DKOMA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Sat May 17, 2014 at 06:45:59 AM PDT

  •  Not a lawyer, but almost any contract can be (8+ / 0-)

    broken or nullified.  Some of our best and brightest here should be able to help out.  A face-to-face with an attorney is best because there will be questions that require detailed answers.  Best of luck to him, as no one should be held captive in poverty.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat May 17, 2014 at 07:07:59 AM PDT

  •  He wants his IP back? As in Intellectual Prop.? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BvueDem, rebel ga, JamieG from Md

    It's not clear to me from the text exactly what is going on here.  He was hired to do a comic, but is now doing other non-related things?  

    The first thing a freelance magazine writer learns is that a lot of publishers will try to get you to sign a "work for hire" contract.  IN a work for hire contract, your employer, not the artist, owns the work and all rights to it.  Many a magazine writer has been screwed over after they pour their hearts and souls into a piece, it gets published, then other media outlets want to run it or it gets turned into a movie.  In those cases, the publisher gets the royalties, not the writer.  

    So, the first question is: was this a work made for hire contract?  If so, the person may not get his work back.  May not. It depends.  US Copyright law defines works made for hire under some pretty restrictive categories.

    Under Copyright Act (15 U.S.C. § 101) a work made for hire is, “a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, as a translation, as a supplementary work, as a compilation, as an instructional text, as a test, as answer material for a test, or as an atlas.”
    So if those works can be argued to be part of a larger compilation, he may not be entitled to retain claim to them.  

    That is the sticky area here.  

    But there is one other area that caught my attention.  He's looking for a California lawyer?  Does that mean the contract is enforceable in California courts?  

    If so, there may be another out.  You see, California has a lot of artists who work on contract basis and on a "works for hire" system, thanks to the movie and television industries.  Because of that, they have some additional protections for these workers that don't exist in other states.  

    One of them is that if a California company is hiring people on a "works for contract" basis, that person is technically considered an employee, even though they are a contractor.  That means the employer must provide everything to them that they'd be responsible to provide any other full time hired employee under the law, including workers comp and unemployment.  

    I don't know if minimum wage is also a part of this "statutory employee" thing or not, cause I'm not a lawyer in California.  A lawyer who is used to these types of contracts in California would be able to say more.

    If I were the person in question, I'd look for a lawyer in CA who can answer that.  It may be that the employee has broken the law if they did not pay UI and worker's comp for this employee.  Minimum wage laws MIGHT also apply.  


  •  Rec'd, Tipped And (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Re-Published to: Shamrock American Kossacks, Retail and Workplace Pragmatists - Members and Editors, Subversive Agitation Team Action Network, Protest Music, Street Prophets , Team DFH, and DKOMA.

    So more people will see this and hopefully someone can help this young man.

    Contact the California Bar Association. For reasonably priced lawyers.

    Californa Lawyer Referral Service

    Brought To You By That Crazed Sociologist/Media Fanatic rebel ga Be The Change You Want To See In The World! Gandhi

    by rebel ga on Sat May 17, 2014 at 10:47:08 AM PDT

  •  You might want to change your title to be (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MRA NY, michelewln, Dirtandiron

    more specific.

    Right now, this looks like a community fundraising diary when you're looking for suggestions and information.

    Be clear about what you're looking for -- we have good legal minds in this community, as well as artists who know a lot about the industry.

    Make it clear that you're looking for information. You may get very useful responses that way.  Not everyone opens every diary.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Sat May 17, 2014 at 11:59:26 AM PDT

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