In the United States, commercial contracts between two parties are generally settled using common law and state statutes. If two businesses are involved in a dispute over a contract, the dispute is usually resolved under the terms of the Uniform Commercial Code. Each state such as New York is allowed to modify rules of the Uniform Commercial Code to a certain extent.
Dragonlance vs. Dungeons & Dragons publisher
Recently, Dragonlance authors Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis are in the news because they’re suing their publisher for breach of contract. If you’re a book lover, you may have already heard about the Dragonlance universe. The trilogy made headlines in the 80s with the publication of “Dragons of Autumn Twilight,” “Dragons of Winter Night” and “Dragons of Spring Dawning.”
According to Hickman and Weis, their publisher approached them again in 2017 to produce a similar storyline based on the Dungeon & Dragons theme. Agreeing to the business contract, the two authors produced a complete manuscript titled “Dragons of Deceit,” which was approved by the publisher. Another title, “Dragons of Fate,” was almost complete when the authors got a notice from their publisher that they will not approve any more drafts.
Hickman and Weis are suing their publisher, Wizards of the Coast, for $10 Million. According to them, the publisher wasted years of effort by the authors and did not allow them to publish their work in any other form or to get their guaranteed advance, royalties and incentive payments.
Business and commercial law is often difficult to interpret. In cases like this, the help of experienced lawyers adept at understanding complex contract issues and disputes is required.