NINC DIGITAL RIGHTS GROUP
Report to the Board of Directors
June 11, 2011
RE: Consultation with Elaine P. English, PLLC, on the subject of Harlequin's claims to digital rights
On April 12, 2011 the newly formed Digital Rights Group received approval from the Ninc Board for use of up to 10 billable hours from the Legal Fund. We then engaged the services of Elaine P. English, PLLC. Her May 26, 2011 Analysis is the result of that consultation.
The 29 members of this Group have a multitude of Harlequin contracts for multiple books in multiple lines. The dates of our contracts range from 1982 through the present day. To remain within the 10 hours allowed, we culled our contracts down to 15 representational 'model' contracts that reflect the various changes over the years in the Harlequin boilerplate and sent those contracts along with our questions and concerns to Elaine English.
NOTE: When, in her analysis, Elaine, at times, refers to a specific contract by year, that contract is the representative 'model' contract we sent her (please see chart).
Of the 29 members of the Ninc Digital Rights Group we had 400 to 500 Harlequin contracts to sort through to find the 15 'model' contracts to send Elaine. In order to do this we compared 4 clauses: Grant of Rights, Royalties, Other Rights, and Reversion. Through this comparison we found that our contracts were exactly the same or closely similar in these clauses in five different yearly groupings.
1984 through 1989
1990 through 1994
1995 through 2003
2004 through 2009
These groupings were then used to pick our 15 'model' contracts to send to Elaine. We chose at least one Agented and one Unagented contract from each grouping.
In her Analysis and Chart, Elaine refers to these 'model' contracts, but, as shown above, the 'model' is representative of the contracts in which we compared the 4 clauses and then sorted into like groups.
This explanation reflects our experience and may not reflect everyone's, but we thought it important to include so that others might know how the Analysis was derived.