Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Friend Opus.

I was previously rather hard on the website for Opus Expo, a Canadian epublisher.  A year and a half later the website is much improved.  However I would note that you have to send a signed contract upon submission of your manuscript.  A contract which, by the way, includes the following highlights:

"...you grant to OpusExpo the exclusive right throughout the World to publish, reproduce, broadcast, perform, telecommunicate, distribute, rent, sell and otherwise exploit in any manner whatsoever any material or content (each a "Work") that you submit to OpusExpo for publication..."

"OpusExpo's editor(s) shall have the right to alter, edit, update and/or modify the Work in any manner whatsoever ... OpusExpo may submit a final proof to you for proofreading. You will be allowed ten (10) days to make typographical corrections, but you may not otherwise change the Work."

The contract gets even murkier on the issue of royalties:

"OpusExpo will pay to you twenty five percent (25%) of OpusExpo's gross receipts which arise as a result of any exploitation of the Work. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no royalties will be payable on the first 25 copies of the Work which are sold."

Gross receipts (or "gross) is generally defined as the total amount of income received without subtracting any costs or expenses (IRS).  However, Opus Expo defines it as follows:

"OpusExpo's gross receipts are defined as all monies actually received by OpusExpo from the exploitation of the Work less any publishing costs, distribution costs, refunds, returns or trade credits paid or granted by OpusExpo in connection with its exploitation of the Work."
 
Is it just me or have they just defined gross as being net?  Oh wait, it gets better:
 
"It may be necessary to employ agents to assist in the publication of the Work. All commissions and amounts paid to such agents will be deducted from OpusExpo's gross receipts for the purposes of calculating the royalty. As well, any license fees paid by OpusExpo to any third party for any content that may be included with the Work will be deducted from OpusExpo's gross receipts for the purposes of calculating the royalty."
 
This may just explain why Opus Expo's current line up consists of Public Domain works?

4 comments:

Angie said...

Is it just me or have they just defined gross as being net?

Matterofact they have. That's a pretty blatant display of either ignorance or deceit, I can't quite tell which. Neither possibility makes me want to submit anything to them. I mean, aside from the whole concept of contractually handing all rights over to them with the submission, with apparently no chance whatsoever for negotiation or even a last opportunity to change one's mind. Good grief.

Angie

fiona glass said...

O.M.G. I've seen some shocking contracts in my time but that might just, actually, be the worst.

The cynic in me suspects they won't make much attempt to sell more than 25 copies of each work...

Fae said...

"The cynic in me suspects they won't make much attempt to sell more than 25 copies of each work..."

The cynic in me says they know even with effort they probably won't sell more than that (if even that) of every book and thus will never have to pay royalties to anyone.

fiona glass said...

Exactly what I was trying to say only you put it better. ;)