High-profile children’s entertainment licensor Kenn Viselman (Teletubbies, Thomas the Tank Engine), who refers to himself as the Madonna of the toy business, is launching a new preschool program called Millipede and he’s looking for content from children’s producers. The submission form contract has raised some eyebrows from people who have emailed us about it, and I’m curious whether others out there would feel comfortable submitting to Viselman’s show.
There’s a lot of legalese in there, so I attempted to translate it into human-readable language. Here’s what I came up with: Before you submit anything to Kenn, you have to acknowledge that your property is not unique and that Kenn may have already had the same idea. You also have to acknowledge that you won’t file a lawsuit if he ends up producing something that looks exactly like your own work. If he likes your idea, and hasn’t already thought of it himself, he’ll offer you a deal within his “standard parameters.” If you end up having any dispute with Kenn, you can’t take him to court. Instead, you have to agree that a random dude named Skip will resolve your problems (seriously, I’m not making this up folks).
I’m sure some of the terms are industry-standard for submission releases, but even if that’s the case, I find the entire process off-putting and one-sided, especially considering that Kenn’s the one looking for material. Here’s a longish article about the guy from a 2003 issue of Inc. magazine.