Since Marvel was bought out by Disney, rumors of a move to LA have struck fear into the hearts of New York freelancers and staff. Fear not, Marvel just signed a nine year least at swank New York offices.
Over at The Beat, rumors of an important meeting today about a move to fold DC into the arms of Warner – and California editorial offices.
Considering California work for hire laws, inquiring minds want to know how this may affect the landscape for freelancers.
Under California law, a party transferring rights a work made for hire agreement is an employee for purposes of workers compensation and unemployment insurance and thus there are a wide variety of issues related to those said matters including but not limited to the need on the part of the engaging party to have workers compensation insurance covering that party. Failure to have such workers compensation insurance is a crime under California law as well as exposing the engaging party to unlimited liability and substantial fines and penalties. And this is irrespective of whether or not there is any injury.
With the huge pool of talent in LA, DC may opt to have more work done in house by artists who would not be in a position to claim future copyright reversions or royalties. In the long run, that may be cheaper than hiring freelancers.
Just speculating. I have absolutely no inside information on this.