Oh man, this is just appalling.

From Lea Hernandez’ journal comes word of Tokyopop’s new contracts, in which they get you to give up all of your moral rights and remove the ability for you to claim that the work that you did is even yours. Plus? Delightful racism!


“Moral rights” is a fancy term (the French thought it up) that basically has to do with having your name attached to your creation (your credit!) and the right to approve or disapprove certain changes to your creation. Of course, we want you to get credit for your creation, and we want to work with you in case there are changes, but we want to do so under the terms in this pact instead of under fancy French idea. So, in order for us to adapt the Manga Pilot for different media, and to determine how we should include your credit in tough situations, you agree to give up any “moral rights” you might have.” [Emphasis Lea’s]

Lea: There you have it, folks: Moral Rights are dumb because the French thought of them, so give them up.

I can’t even begin to explain how terrible all this is. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TOKYOPOP?! I WANT TO LIKE YOU BUT YOU’RE MAKING IT IMPOSSIBLE. I may no longer want to like you.

More later, I’m knee-deep in the fucking Previews right now.

UPDATE #1: According to this Livejournal, the original payment for your 36 page pitch document that they never have to pay you for again is a whopping $750 (that figure was removed from later versions of the PDF). That’s an OUTSTANDING $20 a page.

UPDATE #2: Bryan Lee O’Malley breaks this all the way down for you. Kids: Don’t Sign Up. http://destroyerzooey.livejournal.com/180842.html

– Chris


  1. You know, have you thought about how many kids out there would gladly do this for free, just in order to get a publishing credit on their resume? The whole project is not ever meant to attract established writers/artists, and for new creators, who have no idea where to even start, it’s a really good first step. And hey, the $750, compared to the zero they would get for putting a comic up online or in the college paper, is a nice bonus.

  2. I would gladly take zero dollars over $750 in order to continue to own my ideas. Saying ‘it’s for the kids’ doesn’t excuse a terrible contract.

  3. No one in their right mind would sign that contract! If you’re totally getting bent over prison style, then by all means…soap up.
    A slap in the face to creators.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *