My Extraordinary Achievements - Chapter 315 - Copyright issue
Chapter 315: Copyright issue
Yixin was Meng Fan’s editor-in-chief. Even the unsigned “Guide to Campus RoMANce” was managed by his team. No need to mention how good Meng Fan’s drawing skills and painting style were; it went without saying. Of course, it’s weird how visible the difference was in his level in the previous serialized comics and in what they were looking at now. However, the better the paintings, the better. No matter how strange it was, you can’t question it face to face.
What’s the use of questioning anyways, other than not allowing people to improve? It’s only that this progress was really great, that’s all.
The deputy editor-in-chief and the others had also seen Meng Fan’s comics and knew about Meng Fan’s drawing skills, so after unfolding the sketches, even though they could see the beauty of the world, they weren’t as amazed as Goro Takahashi and others.
But after looking at the paintings, they moved on to storyline and character design, and their eyes lit up again.
Three scenes was obviously not much, but they saw Meng Fan’s skillfulness in screenwriting and mirroring.
After reading, their first thought was ‘Why did it end so quickly?’ and a desire for continuation.
Looking back, there were already scenes which stuck in their minds and couldn’t be easily erased, they left such a deep mark and a profound memory.
Like the tip of the iceberg, the world structure was revealing itself slowly; not much was said. These two characteristics were enough to guarantee a good comic.
Looking again at the outline and the pictures, it was clear that Meng Fan put a lot of effort into preparation of this comic.
Yixin, the deputy editor-in-chief, and others took their eyes from the sketches to look at Meng Fan and picked up the topic.
The deputy editor-in-chief was a man surnamed Zhu, who was probably in his forties, and looked very fierce and serious.
“Mr. Meng, please allow me to ask you a question first. Yesterday, a fight happened in Japan. Many people know that you were involved, including the Japanese. May I ask, what does Kodansha think of this?”
Not waiting for Meng Fan to answer, he added: “I don’t mean nothing bad by this. It is about whether you can sign a contract with Kodansha and whether the comics can be serialized in the magazine published by Kodansha. This is also related to the contract between us. Whether you sign or not will definitely have an impact on our contract. What do you say?”
“Kodansha has already contacted me before our meeting.” Meng Fan answered with a smile. “Of course, I cannot say the fighting incident didn’t have any effect. However, currently there are no problems with signing the contract.”
After taking a sip of water, Meng Fan was ready to take the initiative in his own hands and said: “To be honest, I could have signed with Kodansha when I was in Japan. I didn’t do it at once only because I want the comics to be serialized also on the domestic website. I’m leaving some room for domestic websites to put forward requirements and conditions. If it can lead to a win-win situation, or even a triple-win situation, then it is naturally the best.”
On the other hand, I could give the copyrights for Japan to Kodansha and the copyrights for Huaxia to you. In practice, it would lead to both sides not needing to interact very often. The only possible overlap would be the ownership of copyrights for the animated series. Naturally, I could first take this matter into my own hands and wait for the most profitable conditions, then find a team myself or join you and Kodansha for production.”
Meng Fan listed the very simple contents of the contract he had prepared before and proceeded to persuade deputy editor-in-chief Zhu and said: “I will give you the copyrights to the series uploaded on Chinese websites, offprint publications, works of creative co-workers, and audios. I want to keep the rest of the copyrights, such as film or tv series adaptation rights. For copyrights concerning games and animation, I am very happy to cooperate with Penguin Animation Network.”
Deputy editor-in-chief Zhu heard him out, kept frowning, muttered for a moment, and at last said: “Actually, you can authorize all other copyrights to us. After all, the resources we can provide are much larger than yours, and we can find better buyers for you. Taking profit into consideration, we are the best choice.”
Meng Fan shook his head with a smile.
“This is indeed true from the perspective of income, but income is not the biggest priority for me.”
Meng Fan didn’t say that he didn’t care about money at all.
“I also want to earn something, but I don’t want my work’s purpose to be just making money and nothing more. So, I really care about whether I can make decisions. Of course, I may not be able to succeed in the end. But well, it always feels more comfortable to destroy something with one’s own hands. As for the resources you mentioned, I can actually find them; but obviously it won’t be as convenient for me as it is for your big company.”
All authors attached great importance to copyrights, especially after the negotiations had been established. Naturally, they wanted as much copyright as possible to stay in their hands. The profit was of secondary importance. It wasn’t just acclaimed writers like Meng Fan or Mr. Sleepy but an overwhelming majority of authors. Basically everyone thought so, but sometimes it just wasn’t realistic. It’s just that not many people were willing to exchange the control over their work for little money.
Of course, it’s the same with negotiations. At the beginning, everyone would be hesitant to give up their property, but they would also need to give themselves room for bargaining and compromise.
In the end, Meng Fan insisted on his initial conditions and signed a cooperation agreement with Penguin Animation Network similar to the one signed with Kodansha and also authorized several copyrights; for example, copyrights for comic spin-offs and novel adaptations. As for movie adaptations and games, the rights stayed in Meng Fan’s hands.
As for animation rights, although they are still in Meng Fan’s hands for now, Meng Fan might wait until Kodansha’s representative comes over to discuss with the three parties.
The same contract was initially drafted, and neither party signed it.
Meng Fan contacted Takahashi Goro for explanation. Takahashi Goro called again soon after hanging up the phone. Kodansha was sending him and a close personnel to come to Huaxia tomorrow.
When Yixin and the deputy editor-in-chief heard about it, they decided not to go back but to stay in the city and wait for the Kodansha employees. If everything went well, they would sign the contract.
Meng Fan offered them a lift to the hotel. FlatHeadBro, who was still there, said that he would help Meng Fan and drive Yixin and the rest to the hotel.
Qin Jiaodao also came by car, but if she was to pick them up, they would have had to cram in her car, which couldn’t be compared with FlatHeadBro’s spacious Land Rover.
“Is writing a novel so profitable nowadays?”
The previous time, what Meng Fan saw as FlatHeadBro’s saddled horse might have been a little donkey. FlatHeadBro unexpectedly stated that he had a car; it was just that at daytime, it was more convenient to get coffee and milk tea and operate a little electric stove. In the evening though, it appeared appropriate to drive to Jieyan. He hadn’t expected that it was a Land Rover worth more than one million dollars.
Zhang Zhouwei, being right next to him, said with jealousy: “Whether or not does writing a novel make money — that, I do not know. However, what I do know is that FlatHeadBro is a suburban nouveau riche. It is said that making a fortune overnight is a daydream, something of very low probability. However, in China, something like that not only isn’t a daydream; it’s pretty common. It reminds me of places like Hangzhou with its households scheduled to be resettled — at least one to ten thousand of them. If the area is a little better, they will definitely not stop.”
Having seen that Meng Fan unexpectedly had put on an expression of jealousy, Zhang Zhouwei immediately distanced himself: “You jealous dummy!”
Meng Fan said: “I am not jealous of the resettlement, I am just thinking whether or not I must buy a car too.”
Zhang Zhouwei kept teasing around: “What car are you going to buy? Where do you want to go? Just go on foot!”
“Brother Meng, you’re back!”
Meng Fan was about to turn around and go back to the studio as it was a little cold outside. There was a man running anxiously from the other side of the road; it was Charlie.
Meng Fan supposed that Charlie parked his car nearby and asked him, laughing: “Charlie, are you going to the studio this late?”
“It’s great that you’re here!”
“Are you busy right now? There is this last-minute work at the studio; moreover, it’s related to Di Dao. I rushed here, although I have already finished work. There is this movie, a DreamWorks animated motion picture with Mandarin dubbing. We’ve got some stuff to do at last! If you’re not busy, come with me to see it.”
Meng Fan thought for a while and came to a conclusion that it was no big deal. Wu Tong would probably assume he hasn’t yet finished the meeting; furthermore, after signing a contract with The Chocolate Factory and getting rid of the “leeches,” he didn’t ever go out. He also felt kind of guilty, so he just nodded and said: “You go first; I will join you in a minute”.
Of course, he was interested in that dubbing project, it was a valid point.
Charlie rubbed his hands. In the courtyard, Zhang Zhouwei and some other people were laughing and greeting each other then quickly moved toward The Chocolate Factory. The day was getting more and more cold indeed.