I am NO lawyer and have absolutely NO desire to be one. While I pretty much hate all lawyers, I do trust them with one thing: contracts. Who of you understand all the bullshit in contracts? Who wants to? Why should I care? Did you go to law school? Did you play a lawyer in a porn parody? Did a lawyer screw you literally? Quite honestly, it’s not my job to know or understand contracts. Because of this, I always ask my lawyer to read any contract someone sends my way before signing and making a binding agreement.
Simply put, you are a fool to sign any contract that you do not understand. I have seen many grrls sign contracts without even getting a lawyer to read them or a friend to double check what the deal entails. In fact, nine out of ten times the grrl will regret the deal she signs, and as a result, gets heavily screwed.
If you are offered a contract from an agent, a company, a website, an individual or even your business partner, get a lawyer and get the facts straight! This is first and foremost a business and my simple rule that always applies is, “Trust no one.” If you’re able to get a second or third opinion before you agree to an agent, a webmaster, or any company that wants to do business with you, then go for it. What have you got to lose?
If someone asks you to sign a contract, don’t be scared. Just say, “Thank you and I need a couple days for my people to look at it.” If they’re legit and respect you, they will give you the time to do so. If they try to pressure you, then something is wrong.
Ask questions! And always make sure your work and your interests are protected. Make sure you know exactly what you get out of the deal and what your responsibility is.
In the end, I’m no lawyer. But, I do know the importance of asking questions, getting help, and not signing anything until you do.