A number of these guys seem to really know their stuff. Lately there's a thread there talking about what happens if Platnium Studio files for bankruptcy. It had a link to Steve Grant who I believe has worked in comics for some time. In one of his statements, although he warns he is NOT a lawyer, that if Platnium files, a bankruptcy judge could potentially award the comics on Drunkduck tp Platnium as company assests.
I would strongly suggest anyone who has their stuff on there, get it off!
If Platinum goes Bankrupt, you properties could be tied up in bankruptcy court.
Read the comics related part of Steven Grant's latest column….
Bankruptcy exists in its own little legal hell. A bankruptcy judge is unlikely to be a copyright and trademark expert, though I'm sure there are some, but he doesn't need to be. His interest is squeezing as many proceeds from a company's assets to pay off as much as possible of the company's debts. To some extent, bankruptcy law isn't bound by other law, and bankruptcy judges can alter some contract terms. A judge can decide that creator-owned property of yours really is a company asset after all. How likely that is depends on the judge, while the odds on you, one creditor among likely many, seeing any money a publisher may owe you is pretty minimal, and dependent on how great a percentage of the overall debt yours is.
This doesn't mean a judge will make those decisions, or that they can't be appealed. But it's possible. So the optimal action for talent if the publisher of their creator-owned comic seems headed down a fiscal dead end road is get out now. Even then a judge might view that as an attempt to hide assets and negate the departure. Publisher bankruptcy is a mess, and it's best to avoid it, if possible. But avoiding it's usually next to impossible, especially if your contract specifies that non-payment doesn't void the entire contract. But if non-payment isn't grounds for voiding a contract, what should be?
Does anyone have views on this? I'd hate to leave Drunkduck but I'm not a fan of potentially losing my comic. Another reason I'm considering leaving is because I received an e-mail from a Platnium Studio assoicate asking me about my comic and what's happening with it. I'm by no means saying they are trying to steal my product but again, I would hate to have my creation trapped in the thralls of bankruptcy through no other reason than by posting it here.
Thanks for any potential clarity that people can provide.