Before You Sign | Morality Clauses

15 July 2017 Before

Contract clauses that allow a publisher to drop an author who acts "immorally" are becoming more common in the UK. These clauses are far too wide in their remit and we recommend that authors ask publishers to remove them.

Our Chief Executive, Nicola Solomon, told The Bookseller:

"These seem to us far wider than is necessary to protect a publisher’s legitimate interests. They are impossibly wide: an author could be in breach for being indirectly involved in something which the publisher thought may be damaging to its reputation.

We particularly dislike the fact that the test is often not objective but allows the publisher in its sole opinion to decide that something is damaging. We suggest to authors that these clauses be deleted in their entirety and, failing that, that they ask for assurances and amendments that make it clear that the provision would be invoked only in extreme and cynical cases.”

If you have any specific queries or would like advice on a contract, please email us.

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