Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random House UK Wants Morality Clause

I got this from Boing Boing, so it will be all over the tubes by now, but...

Random House UK is currently sending out contracts for children's books that includes a clause declaring:
If you act or behave in a way which damages your reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children, and consequently the market for or value of the work is seriously diminished, and we may (at our option) take any of the following actions: Delay publication / Renegotiate advance / Terminate the agreement.
The full story is in Teh Grauniad, who got it from the Society of Authors' Children's Writers and Illustrators Group. The Guardian story drags out the usual counter-examples -- they're more recognizable on their side of the pond, but similar cases could be made here -- as to why this is a policy that would be interpreted selectively at best. It's really just an escape clause for Random House; they want to be able to find an excuse to abandon a book after paying for it if they suddenly decide to do so.

Anyone heard of something similar on this side of the pond?

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