General Discussion

Do we really own the rights to our comics?
skoolmunkee at 1:30PM, Oct. 14, 2006
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It sounds like you are asking for two different things. Any merchandising agreement isn't going to happen until PS enters into business negotiations with a creator. Those may not be releaseable if they're highly independent of each other. Some people may sell the rights to their idea (which I think TheDeeMan did) and other people get to keep them (like Ronson). There may not be a template form where they fill in the blanks.

However, it sounds like you're more interested in what a creator's rights are on DD, which is easy to answer. Anyone who posts anything on DD maintains their rights. DD and PS have absolutely no control or say in them whatsoever unless they violate a ToS (like pornography), in which case we just deny to host it. Drunk Duck never, ever owned the rights to people's work on DD, so it isn't even something they could give away or sell in a business deal.

It would absolutely be against Platinum's best interests to steal someone's idea or trick them into a bad business deal. They wanted DD because it's an established community (and probably also because it's a built in audience). Anything that would generate hostility or negative publicity for them they would avoid. They are taking a very hands-off policy toward DD because the place was running fine before they got here, so why mess with a good thing? They don't want to be the big brother that steps in and tries to run the show or bully people.

I do think the ToS badly needs to be reworded. It's a big mess of words where they are trying to mixing the ideas and ownership together into one sentence, but it just creates confusion. I think the troublespots are the ones where they are referring to the Platinum content like Cowboys and Aliens, but that isn't clear from their wording, and it looks like they are trying to claim ownership and/or rights over everything on DD. It looks like a ToS that was created by Platinum for Platinum and hasn't been changed to suit DD and its content.
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:39PM
Rich at 5:35PM, Oct. 14, 2006
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skoolmunkee
unless they violate a ToS (like pornography), in which case we just deny to host it.

I don't know, there's more than a few webcomics on here that violate the porno thing so badly. Of course, it's mainly sick assrape yaoi stuff.

Someone
Drunk Duck never, ever owned the rights to people's work on DD, so it isn't even something they could give away or sell in a business deal.

The TOS are pretty clear on that. Of course, they are badly worded considering most people have absolutely ZERO experience in legal agreements. Most of the people on here are kids, so the TOS should probably be reworded in laymen's terms as “Platinum does not own any work submitted. Unless there is a distinct legal agreement between the creator and Platinum, the creator retains all rights to their creation”.

Someone
It would absolutely be against Platinum's best interests to steal someone's idea or trick them into a bad business deal.

Oh yes, they would never be stupid enough to steal anyone's work. I'm sure they don't want to be labelled the Ebaum's World of webcomics.

Ya see, places that steal people's work get their asses kicked left and right. Again, look at the infamous YTMND vs Ebaum's wars to see a great example. Ebaum's got attacked, hacked, spammed, and slammed into oblivion until they removed the stolen content in question.

They don't want the trouble stealing stuff would cause.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
SpANG at 5:22PM, Oct. 15, 2006
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Corvin
if a copy is not releasable, why not?

Corvin
2 reasons.
1. Every Option agreement is different
2. Ours is none of your business.

Option agreements are just made when PS decides to start pitching your story to someone that will buy. If you are approached with one, then you need to decide what you want to do.

As I stated before, if you have not SIGNED A CONTRACT, then PS owns no rights to anything you produce. The ToS is what it is though it probably could use a clarification re-write. But it clearly states that PS does NOT own any rights to your comic.

You are no more or less protected than you have EVER been putting your stuff online.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:52PM
Ronson at 5:59AM, Oct. 16, 2006
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Just to underscore what SpANG said, the administrators of DD are not involved in the contractual dealings with Platinum Studios. We don't represent them, we don't work for them. We run DD - the forums and the policing of accounts. It's a thankless job sometimes, but we all believe in a free webcomics community and are willing to spend our spare moments trying to keep it running smoothly.

But the inner workings of Platinum are not any of our business. This is a good thing because it lets us make decisions separate from Platinum that favor the DD community over everything else.

If you want to see what an option agreement looks like, you can probably find something somewhat similar if you google it. Barring that, you can go to the Platinum Studios website and request one - though I doubt they'll open themselves up to public critisisms on what are private business deals for them. No one who signed an option agreement with them did it with their eyes closed, including myself.

As for the TOS, I don't think they're vague at all. First of all when it states that the rights are owned by Platinum “and/or” the independent creators, that means that either Platinum, Platinum and the creator, or the independent creator own the rights.

Unless you made a deal with Platinum, it's assumed that the independent creator owns the rights. I know legal jargon is confusing, but it really does make sense. If Platinum tried to use those TOS as a way of stealing webcomics, they'd just drop the “or”.

Add to that that in the Gigcast with Dylan Squires AND in the Digital Stripping interview with Dylan and Scott Rosenburg, they say in no uncertain terms that they are not attempting to steal ownership of anyone's comics. Do you think they would say that publicly if they were going to attempt something shady?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Knuckles at 6:05AM, Oct. 16, 2006
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Which comics on here have been owned by PS so far? (Ie: who has signed the contract)

Myth Xaran (manga) - http://www.drunkduck.com/Myth_Xaran
Exodus Studios (Games & More) - http://www.exodus-studio.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
Ronson at 6:14AM, Oct. 16, 2006
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Knuckles
Which comics on here have been owned by PS so far? (Ie: who has signed the contract)

As far as I know, only “Cowboys and Aliens” is owned by Platinum. The writer of “Devoid of Life” has another comic that Platinum is printing, but not that one.

As for option agreements - which are a separate issue from ownership - I only know of my own comic. There are others, I'm sure, but I personally don't know who they are.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Piscareous at 9:16AM, Oct. 16, 2006
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Having read all of that. I believe I have a understanding of the situation. I'm glad with the conclusion I've come too. As long as drunk duck is advancing.
“Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance”
{url=http://www.drunkduck.com/Serenade_Song/}
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM

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