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Basically a company has notified me that the contract I signed was ' bought out ' by the author but this stinks of foul play as I have not up until this point had any communication with the author who is a freelancer as well about getting paid for work done. This contract I signed was in hindsight a bad move on my part as I was starting out when I agreed to it and had not had much exp within the industry at the time. I am trying to collect on money owed for the completion of a comic issue which was done and in the can over six months ago. First the company line was ' we will compensate you when the issue sells' now its ' track this person down if you want your money '. I am thinking about hiring a debt collector. Any advice would be appreciated. I told them in no uncertain terms this buyout was unacceptable, and I am not even sure what they are doing is legal.
If I understand correctly the issue is:
you did work for a comic and the payment was to depend on if and how the comic sells in the end?
The contract should clearly stipulate the terms of that: How much % you get from the store price (?) of each issue, and so forth, in every detail. Does it?
I don't know where you are located but there should be a lawyer who specialises in art law. An artists or illustrators guild (such as the GAG in the USA, or the IO in Germany) can recommend one. Have them read your contract, and get advice before hiring a debt collector.
Thanks for the input. Heres the deal. The comic was a back-end deal mainly although there was a provision that in addition to back end of sale I was to be paid a 15 per page rate. Again this was a couple of years ago when I was right out of school and very naive as I thought I was dealing with honest actors.
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I will reach out to GAG. Thank you
post screenshots of the document (unless it says that the terms of the agreement are confidential). For the benefit of those involved, black out the names. Then it's possible to see what you signed and questions can be answered.
Be careful what you sign...always a lesson there. Ever have doubts send it to bogdan so he can take a look.
Thanks guys. It was a learning experience. Will note your suggestions.
I had some partners muscle me out of a business once. If you are in an urban area, or a well populated suburban area, there is a good chance there are free legal services available with you.
I'd take all the papers you have and go see them.
At this point you don't even know who owes you the money, but I'll guess they do.
So figuring out the correct legal action and terms, you may be able to take it to a civil court. Perhaps legal aid will be able to assist you further with direction and perhaps even court training or court legal aid.