Here at Step Research, we’re working to create an amazing experience for three different groups. Regular people, Experts working with those regular people, and the Authors that create the content for those experts and regular people!
Since you’re reading this now, it means you’re an author, and we can’t wait to work with you!
The following article is designed to help an author know what a publishing agreement with Step Research is like. This is intended to help you (the author or authors) quickly access the key takeaways from the contract. The focus here is to highlight the parts of the agreement that are worth paying attention to and what they mean.
It is very important to Step Research that we represent authors well, and ensure they are taken care of. After all, we are authors ourselves!
Key Elements of Author Copyright License Agreement:
- A Non-Exclusive agreement
- Author owns the copyrights
- A fair cut of gross, and paid often
- What are derivative works?
- Right to review
- We represent the author
- Timing and termination
This is highlighted in the first sentence of Part 2 of the agreement.
This means that the author can always go do additional work with their copyrights. They can sell books, they can work with other publishers, digital or print. The author is not restricted from doing more with their copyrights.
Author owns the copyrights
This is highlighted in part 1 of the agreement.
This is an agreement for Step Research to license and use your copyrights. You continue to be the copyright holder of your work. This is also to protect Step Research if someone later contests your copyright. The author is certifying to Step Research that the author can legally license out the copyright.
For example, Part 1.H is about making sure the author signing the contract has already handled anything necessary with other shared authors. Part 13 says for example, that if someone later contests the author’s original copyrights, that this is the author’s problem and not Step Research’s problem.
This is from part 5 of the agreement.
- Quarterly payments.
- 20% of the gross goes to the author
- If there are multiple authors, each with their own copyrights, then Step Research Corporation will divide up the 20% among the authors
(As an example, if a product is sold that includes both works from one Author “a” and also includes works from a different Author “b”, and roughly 70% of a sold product comes from “a” and 30% of a sold product comes from “b”, then the 20% Royalties would typically be split between “a” and “b” at 70% to “a” and 30% to “b”.)
When Step Research is offering free versions of the product, there are no payments to the author for free versions. For example.
- Demonstration versions to experts and buyers
- Trail versions of the product
- Freemium versions of the product. When some amount is provided for free to people to get them excited to buy a Premium upgrade.
If there are multiple authors of the same copyright, then if the contract signer gives Step Research all the information, then Step Research will happily send the checks to the appropriate parties. However, if there is a problem with the split, that is the contract signor’s responsibility to resolve that with the other authors of the copyright.
In order to use the original work and copyrights in the software Step Research has to regularly make changes and adjustments to the text.
- Rewriting the text to use the correct grammar and wording to support putting in a person’s name and preferred gender pronouns.
- Breaking the text into bullet points or other changes to make the text more easily understandable in various activities and on mobile devices.
This agreement, in part 2, gives Step Research the right to make Derivative Works and then to use them.
Legally, Step Research created and owns these Derivative Works having spent the labor and time to create them. So to protect the author, part 11 says that if this agreement is terminated then Step Research can NOT keep using the Derivative Works. Step Research’s right to use the Derivative Works is based on the agreement with the author for the original copyright.
Right to review
As per the last sentence of part 2, the author gets the rights to review and make edits to the Derivative Works and anything we publish of the authors.
Representing the author
In all cases, when we are leveraging the copyright of the author and any derivative works, credit for original work is always given to the author(s) in the software where people can easily see and find it. This is specified in part 3.
Also, the author is agreeing to let Step Research use the author’s name, images, etc. as part of the promotion of the works as stated in part 10.
Since this agreement is NOT exclusive, we are hoping that authors never see a need to terminate this contract. If there is a desire for termination, then there are several terms as indicated in part 4 and 5.
- We start with a two year term to try things out. It takes a while to convert an author’s work to the digital world of software and we want to make sure to take the time to do it right and then also have time to market the work.
- If that first term works out, then it will renew for a 5 year term. This is to help Step Research with the stability and business safety to grow and market the author and their works.
- Additionally to protect Step Research’s investment into the author and the copyright, if Step Research is hitting the minimum royalty payments, then the agreement will automatically renew. Part 5 (h)