The Peter Lampack Agency sued Martha Grimes after she left his agency (read fired him) claiming that he was due money from sales by another agent years down the road. (A nightmare for any author to even think about.)
Today Publisher’s Marketplace talked quickly about a ruling today on this case that upheld the lower court ruling against the agency. They said basically:
“The series of rulings against Lampack have potentially wide implications for other agents in New York. It seems clear the court believes that once an author terminates an agent’s representation, the agent has no enduring financial interest in unsold rights, future contract extensions, and unsold option books, unless a representation agreement explicitly states otherwise.”
In other words, folks, don’t sign agency agreements, as I have shouted a thousand times before, and watch the agency clause in your contracts. Agents are going to be trying to sneak in this rights grab of your work. Caution!!!
The Passive Guy did a very clear and fantastic article about this case today and how important it is. All writers, go read Passive Guy’s take on this. Remember, he is an IP attorney and knows what he is talking about.