WHAT IS A NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT?

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WHAT IS A NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT?

I am in the process of researching for a book I would like to compile with other writers. My proposal is to ask women in my local community as well as from support groups to write a letter/memoir to their son for publication in a book It Takes a Village. How do I collect this information and protect the writer and myself, as the one with the idea? I want to protect myself by doing a form that indicates they are submitting their work to me and my committee and cannot use my idea later. Once their work is submitted, I would like permission to edit it for grammar errors and content review. In addition, I would like to know what specifically do I include in a non-disclosure agreement for this particular project?

Asked on March 5, 2018 under Business Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no specific or set form for such an agreement, and that you have outlined in your question--
1) That they cannot use your idea or anything you disclose to them for their own benefit or the benefit of others, or disclose to other persons without your permission;
2) That you have the sole discretion to decide to use the content they submit;
3) That if you choose to, you may publish and use it; and
4) You have the right to edit the content
--would form the outline of an agreement; simply elaborate on it and make sure that all the terms are clear. Note, however, that for any contract or agreement to be enforceable, there must be "consideration"--something of value. It does not have to be large--a token initial payment, plus another, larger (but still modest) one if their content is used--would be sufficient, or value can be provided in other ways (gift cards; authorial credit; etc.), but *something* of value must be given them in exchange for their agreement.


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