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Sharon Waxman, former New York Times Hollywood reporter, came across an incredible legal document presented to journalists at a junket for the new Justin Timberlake film Love Guru this week. It clearly says that any article produced by journalists “first must be submitted to Company and Artist for approval.” (Justin Timberlake will copy-edit for you!) And that then any article, or part of an article, not approved will be destroyed. (How does one destroy an unpublished article?)
Apart from the fact that it’s ridiculous legally—journalists as employees aren’t actually able to enter into such a contract, as they aren’t capable of assigning enforcement rights of their copyright to some Hollywood studio, seeing as they already have copyright agreements with their actual employers, the rest is just absurd. Particularly that the writer would agree “not to disclose to anyone any confidential, personal, or private information about Artist, Artist’s family, or Artist’s personal relationships at any time.” The contract has since disappeared. And yet still, everyone involved in its creation should be shot, then fired, then laughed out of America.