Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cat Protection Insurance

Cat Protection Insurance? I bet you are wondering what on Earth I am talking about?

Well, yesterday I think I must have had cotton wool in my ears. I went to the Educational Writers' Group January Forum at the Society of Authors, where we discussed issues to do with contracts.

Lots of interesting things were discussed in particular, copyright clauses and warranty and idemnity.

We were advised to send our contracts in to be checked by the Society of Authors, even if we have worked for that particular publisher before, as publishers are creeping in changes to the contracts and if you are not careful you may end up signing your copyright away. I found out it is illegal to get rights outright in France and Germany. So how come it is not illegal in the UK?

Many people also have problems getting their rights back after books have gone out of print. Publishers can keep a book 'in print' by holding back tiny numbers, or by providing Print On Demand. They will digitise a copy so they have a book in place but it prevents authors reclaiming copyright.

A lot of very worrying and scary stories were told about warranty and indemnity clauses and how some educational writers had been caught out with this. Even an alleged breach may mean you are liable to pay. It was recommended that this clause be removed from contracts. I also learnt it is possible to take out Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance with the NUJ if you are a member.

The Society of Authors do there own Professional Indemnity Insurance but you have to log in to their members area to view it. The cost is about £350pa.

That is not the only insurance the Society of Authors do though. They also do a Tax Protection Insurance, which has nothing to do with cats what-so-ever.

So whilst you are looking at these and the other benefits of membership, why not check out my page at the Society of Authors.

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