Saturday, July 13, 2013

Indemnity clauses

Hi Noah, What's the current state of the industry in regards to indemnity clauses in publishing contracts? In particular how often are these clauses "fair" (i.e. for breach of warranties only, indemnities only become active on final sustained judgment) and how often are these clauses "unfair" (i.e. indemnify for ALL claims, even frivolous ones). I ask because I've received a publishing contract with an indemnity clause which is, in my estimation, unfair. My agent says that's just the way it is now, but I'd like to be sure. 

I don't want to get into specifics in giving legal advice, but I will say this: if you are dealing with a major, reputable publisher, then in my experience, most of the time, boilerplate legal clauses such as the indemnity clause, tend to be boilerplate and major houses rarely modify them. So if you have a reputable agent and a major, reputable house, I wouldn't worry too much. The concern tends to escalate when you go with smaller or unknown houses or agents.

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