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NEWS: Tokyopop's Manga Pilot Pact Signs Away Legal Rights


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Tofusensei



Joined: 15 Feb 2008
Posts: 365
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:36 pm Reply with quote
Wow, that sounds terrible.
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minakichan





PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 7:42 pm Reply with quote
Oh Tokyopop.

I'm sure this isn't as bad as it sounds, but that says nothing. It sounds horrible.
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Dargonxtc



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 4463
Location: Nc5xd7+ スターダストの海洋
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:29 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, at the very least, you can call it poor shystering.

There is also a thread in the manga forum.
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Teriyaki Terrier



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 5689
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 8:34 pm Reply with quote
minakichan wrote:
Oh Tokyopop.

I'm sure this isn't as bad as it sounds, but that says nothing. It sounds horrible.


I agree with you, I am sure TokyoPop had a reason to do this. Sometimes change needs to happen to improve conditions or illegal bindings.
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here-and-faraway



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 1518
Location: Sunny California
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:03 pm Reply with quote
I hate to say it, but the publishing world's a tough place. A lot of beginning writers get paid chump change (if that) when their work is printed in literary journals, news papers, etc. Also, most novelists don't make enough to support themselves either. I'm not saying that the world's fair or that Tokyopop isn't trying to swing things to go in their favor, but this doesn't sound that different from what other types of writers have to go through.
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Patachu
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 08 Jul 2004
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Location: San Diego
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:06 pm Reply with quote
Sign with Seven Seas or Yen Press, people.
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Batman3777



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 160
Location: Down the Shore, NJ
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:32 pm Reply with quote
I know I wrote this in the other thread about this subject, but it bare's repeating:

The "pact's" terms are not that bad, it's the immature language that's really causing all of the troubles.

The terms are not perfect, but they are not horrible either... for someone wanting to break into the business, this would not be a bad way to do it... good advice would be to submit something less than your best idea ever. Wink

Take a look at this link for a good, honest breakdown of the terms:

http://www.bradfox.com/blog/2008/05/bryan-lee-omalley-and-case-of-the-tokyopop-pilot-pandemonium/

They could have formed this "pact" using more professional language. That would have helped a great deal. For example a lot of people are confusing "print" related stuff with merchandising (toys, snacks, clothes, etc.), and NO WHERE in the pact do they talk about merchandising.

People need to know, though, that the first publication deal seems to always suck... it's one of life's lessons. I had an english teacher in high school who made only a few bucks on a book deal... a book that did fairly well, well enough to have warranted royalties... if his contract had allowed for them.

That's why I say, submit a good idea, but NOT YOUR BEST idea.
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The Xenos



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 1519
Location: Boston
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:36 pm Reply with quote
A big thank you to ANN for not softballing this story. A number of creators are angry at this deal and I am very glad to hear ANN cover this story properly. I've been disgusted by TokyoPop's business practices before, but this one hits a new low.

Teriyaki Terrier wrote:
minakichan wrote:
Oh Tokyopop.

I'm sure this isn't as bad as it sounds, but that says nothing. It sounds horrible.

I agree with you, I am sure TokyoPop had a reason to do this. Sometimes change needs to happen to improve conditions or illegal bindings.

They do have a reason for this, a quite simple one. They want money and control. If you want control of your own creation and a decent income from it, don't work for TokyoPop.

I know many writers and artists work for chump change. That doesn't make it right. Comic creators in America have been working for years fighting for creator's rights. TokyoPop is still in the Great Depression and the 1930s, where authors got treated like crap. They're giving people the same crap treatment that Bill Finger or Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel got. (If you don't know why they are, well, my point is illustrated.) Holy rotten deal, Batman.

There are plenty of other American comics companies out there. That's what TokyoPop is no matter how Japanese they pretend to be. Young creators would be better off that way. Even, as O'Malley said, photocopying your own comics and selling them at a local store is better for you. It's how generations of independent publishers worked. Don't buy the manga cool aid TokyoPop is selling. You could do better publishing your own comic and keeping your rights.
Patachu wrote:
Sign with Seven Seas or Yen Press, people.

Or Oni or Image or Dark Hose or a number of smaller American comics pubishers. Also, self publishing is a decent field, especially with web comics.
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PonSquared



Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 239
Location: Lost in the Catskills
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 9:53 pm Reply with quote
I have a few words for TP about their RSoM policy...

... all of which will get me banned from this forum. Mad
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Batman3777



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 160
Location: Down the Shore, NJ
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:03 pm Reply with quote
The Xenos wrote:

Young creators would be better off that way. Even, as O'Malley said, photocopying your own comics and selling them at a local store is better for you. It's how generations of independent publishers worked... You could do better publishing your own comic and keeping your rights.



Amen to that! If you have the funding for it, of course.. Start small and work your way up. I know some people who have done that. Their stuff has not gone national yet, but they do have a large local following.

The Xenos wrote:

There are plenty of other American comics companies out there. That's what TokyoPop is no matter how Japanese they pretend to be. Don't buy the manga cool aid TokyoPop is selling.


Well, I would not assume any other company would offer better terms; I am pretty sure they don't, except for some of the smaller ones. And regardless of TPs reputation, a lot of the terms in this particular contract are very much industry-standard, speaking from experience. But getting a list of terms from as many publishers as possible for the sake of comparison is ALWAYS a good idea. Pick who ever looks the best for your needs.

FYI, I don't know how much TP plans on paying, since they didn't bother to publicize a figure... so it might be "chump change," but it might not be. They should say what they are paying.
And "control" over your work is minimal no matter who you work for, unless you are well-established. Sometimes compromise is necessary for future success. TP never says they own everything you ever create, just what you submit, and then only for a year at most, unless they like it and it takes off, at which point the contract is renegociated (sp?).

Or publish and advertise it yourself, and then you don't have to worry about anything except funding. Wink
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hikaru004



Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Posts: 2306
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:41 pm Reply with quote
Batman3777 wrote:

People need to know, though, that the first publication deal seems to always suck... it's one of life's lessons. I had an english teacher in high school who made only a few bucks on a book deal... a book that did fairly well, well enough to have warranted royalties... if his contract had allowed for them.

That's why I say, submit a good idea, but NOT YOUR BEST idea.


Interestingly enough, The Comics Reporter addressed these issues.
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Teriyaki Terrier



Joined: 26 Mar 2008
Posts: 5689
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Patachu wrote:
Sign with Seven Seas or Yen Press, people.


From what I've heard and seen over the years, Viz Media seems to treat the manga artists well. However, I among anyone who doesn't work for Viz Media doesn't know what actually goes on in the back scenes though.

But I am sure Tokyo Pop isn't this bad people, like someone else said in this forum, the writing business isn't an easy job. There are some rights even companies can't take away without the government getting involved, so I doubt this company is as bad as they seem.

Granted I may be bias because of they licensed Love Hina and several other series, but I still don't belive Tokyo Pop is as bad as this message seems.
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4136
Location: Ottawa, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:36 am Reply with quote
I think it's hard to really judge a contract without seeing similar contracts from different companies to see what they offer. Of course, contracts are usually kept very confidential, so it's actually a bit of a shock that TokyoPop makes theirs so available, especially if it is as bad as parts of it make it sound.

I do know that money-wise, all first time contracts are probably going to be really bad. If you make back your advance, that's a pretty good sign.

I can't think of any text-based publishing that would ask for moral rights to be given up, however. Yes, a publishing company can ask for changes to be made, but they should never be able to make changes without the author's permission, EXCEPT when it comes to the cover because that is 100% the company's property (though once an author becomes big they often do ask for cover approval).

Overall, the contract doesn't look good. But unless another company shows what they do, it's hard to tell how out of line with the industry standards it is.
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kokuryu



Joined: 07 Apr 2007
Posts: 915
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:44 am Reply with quote
I will be self-publishing. At least I will retain all my rights then.
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The Xenos



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 1519
Location: Boston
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 1:03 am Reply with quote
Teriyaki Terrier wrote:
From what I've heard and seen over the years, Viz Media seems to treat the manga artists well. However, I among anyone who doesn't work for Viz Media doesn't know what actually goes on in the back scenes though.

You do know that Viz doesn't do any original work, right? They only republish manga from Japan. It's actually owned by Japanese publishers.
Quote:
But I am sure Tokyo Pop isn't this bad people, like someone else said in this forum, the writing business isn't an easy job. There are some rights even companies can't take away without the government getting involved, so I doubt this company is as bad as they seem.

Granted I may be bias because of they licensed Love Hina and several other series, but I still don't belive Tokyo Pop is as bad as this message seems.

Well, BELIVE IT! Sorry, couldn't resist.

TokyoPop has licensed a number of titles I like too. Mind you, those are titles published by a Japanese published and those are just foreign publishing rights. The Japanese publisher's contract with the creator is a whole other issue.

Bryan Lee O'Malley said it well.
Quote:
Just because they publish Beck doesn't mean they're cool.

Then there are a number books I like that TokyoPop publishes from scratch. Note the 'original' part of OEL. I question how some of these work, especially if this horrible sounding piece of crap is their new standard. I've heard some questionable practices before.

I come from the fandom of comic books. I've read comments from people like Will Eisner, Neil Adams, Scott McCloud, Frank Miller, and others. You know, crazy people. They have been pushing for this notion about creator's rights in the industry for decades. Now here's TokyoPop with this backwards contract that reads like it's from the 1930s comics industry. To me, it's a giant step backwards. It's Bill Finger and Batman all over again.

TokyoPop is pretty much hiring people for what could amount to being ghost writers and artists. We've all seen TokyoPop selling their manga without even giving proper credit to the authors. I find it telling that their main page for this Manga Pilots scam doesn't list the names of the creators involved.

kokuryu wrote:
I will be self-publishing. At least I will retain all my rights then.

Damn. We have a smart one here. Quick signal the Independent Thought Alarm.


Last edited by The Xenos on Thu May 29, 2008 1:54 am; edited 2 times in total
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