Legal Handbook Says All the Right Things

Finding the Right Words for Your Documents

Sponsored by the Specialized Information Publishers Foundation (SIPF), the Independent Publishers Legal Handbook is a free and downloadable 150-page book for SIPA members, filled with forms, contracts and guidelines to help you navigate through today’s highly regulated and litigious world. What makes this book special is that these are forms used every day by SIPA members, so most are specific to this industry.

Please keep in mind that the Legal Handbook in no way replaces any legal advice that might sometimes be necessary. But it can save you valuable time and serve as a launching pad for letters, forms and agreements that are appropriate for your business. Certainly, the book can provide checklists for the provisions you’d want covered in your own legal documents—as well as provide you with the correct language or phrasing in many instances.

With that said, here are six excerpts from the SIPF Legal Handbook.

1. Language for an offer letter to an hourly employee:
We are pleased to offer you the position of proofreader at the rate of $20 per hour, effective January 15, 20XX. You will be working as part of John Doe’s editorial team. This offer is conditioned upon your ability to perform the essential functions of this position as determined by a medical examination. An appointment card is enclosed. The offer is further conditioned upon your availability to work in the U.S. as determined by the requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act described on the attached sheet.

2. Language for conference permission and audio-visual request form:
Set out below is a license, which we ask you to sign, permitting us to publish and record your presentation at the NAME OF CONFERENCE, CONFERENCE DATES at the xxxxxxxxx Hotel in City, State. We would like to make it clear that this permission is only a non-exclusive license and it does not transfer ownership of the copyright to us. Copyright remains with you (or your employer if you write the paper in the course of your employment), and you (or your employer) therefore remain free to publish, or to authorize others to publish on a nonexclusive basis, the presentation in any form, at any time and anywhere in the world.

3. Further language to have speaker assist with marketing of webinar:
Reasonably assisting in Company’s pre-audioconference marketing efforts, including participating in a short (approximately 5-10 minute) recorded interview concerning any upcoming audioconference in which Speaker will participate;

4. Here’s a clause for ad sales. (Ad sales will also be the topic for SIPA’s webinar on Thursday. See below.)
Publisher holds the Advertiser and its advertising agency jointly responsible for paying for all duly authorized advertising inserted in or attached to any [THIS COMPANY] products. All overdue invoices will be reinvoiced directly to the Advertiser, who will be held fully responsible for payment.

5. For confidentiality in a consultant’s agreement:
Company A and Consultant promise not to reveal without written authorization, to anybody, except other Company A staff, any proprietary or confidential information of Company B. Other Company A staff will be given access to information solely on a need to know basis. Company B promises not to reveal without written authorization, to anybody, except other Company B’s staff, any proprietary or confidential information of Company A.

6. From an agreement with a distribution company:
YOUR COMPANY will retain an amount equal to XX percent of the retail selling price from its sale of the PUBLICATION as a commission and will remit the other XX percent of the payment plus shipping charges collected to THIS COMPANY 15 days after the end of each calendar quarter.

These are just pieces of overall agreements that are totally yours to use and reference from as a SIPA member. (Again, we recommend running any final language by your own lawyer.) It is just one of a huge list of SIPA member benefits that is growing every day. Again, SIPA is thankful to the SIPF for sponsoring this Legal Handbook.


Brand New SIPA Webinar:
The Secrets of a Successful Ad-Sales Program:
How to Increase Revenue by Going
Beyond the Typical Subscription Model

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, 1-2:30 p.m. EST

Your Presenters:
Donna Jefferson, Publisher, Chesapeake Family
Rob Nance, Publisher, Sift Media
Wally Holdsworth, Publisher’s Rep, W. G. Holdsworth & Associates
Sign up today and sell more ads tomorrow!

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