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Old August 3 2012, 04:24 PM   #6
Daddy Todd
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Re: "The Newspaper Strips Vol. 1" hardcover book (oct.2012)

Fer wrote: View Post
Peter David once commented that he doesn't get paid for trade paperback collections of his comic book work on Incredible Hulk.
I think what you really mean is "he doesn't get paid AGAIN for trade paperback collections..."

He was compensated -- probably handsomely -- when he did the work originally, in a contract that likely stipulates that the publisher gets to reprint/republish the work without additional compensation. There is no legal requirement to pay him again for work he did years ago; why do some suppose there's a MORAL requirement?

I work designing computer systems. My employer (a bank) pays me for my designs, and then pays developers to write code, QA guys to test, DBAs to make sure they keep running, etc. When a user logs onto "my" system years later, should I (and everyone else who worked on the system) expect to get paid again? No; we did our work and got paid for it way back then.

I'd like to know if the Trek book writers get (or expect) additional payment (above and beyond the standard royalty) when one of their books gets picked up by the SFBC? I suspect not, because they sold all rights to their work ("work for hire") to the rights-holder when they did the work.

I see it this way: the publisher/rights-holder takes a risk and buys a "work for hire" outright. It may sell really well, and have a long afterlife. Or, it may bomb. If the creator isn't expected to give the money back for a stiff, how can s/he expect additional compensation if it is a glorious, mega-selling success? The risk is all on the publisher; the creators get paid the same either way (unless there's a royalty in place.)

So, it all depends on the contract signed when the work was created. If that contract doesn't stipulate additional payment for reprints/trades/whatever, then there doesn't seem to be any legal or moral obligation to pay them. The creators didn't actually create the property, after all.
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