When do questions "belong" to a set?

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When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:43 pm

Near the end of production for this year’s CO, I encountered a situation that was new to me, and I realized that I don’t know of any standard community expectations regarding it. So I'd like to see what other people think, at least in the abstract.

Late in the writing process, and with Auroni’s permission, I’d recruited Eric (he couldn’t volunteer fast enough) to help out with CO. Since we were at 65% completion with a week left to go, it was an all-hands-on-deck situation; Auroni also brought Eliza more fully on board at this point. Eliza made it a condition of her working on the set that Eric not be involved, and thus removed him from the set; unaware of what what was happening (thought it was a technical error), I re-added him. In the resulting conversation, she declared that, were Eric to stay on, she would not only stop work on the set (absolutely her right to choose who she works with!) but also publicly share her existing half-packet’s worth of questions, making them unusable.

Before getting to the actual questions I want to discuss, some disclaimers: I am in no way starting this thread to "denounce" Eliza—as you saw from the thanks-and-praise posts in the discussion thread, she basically single-handedly rescued this set. And I’m definitely not writing it to vindicate Eric or make him a "martyr": I was dismayed by what he did with his residual access to the set. My concerns about practicality aside, Eliza had Auroni’s go-ahead to remove Eric from the set, and, again, it’s 100% her right to choose who she works with, and who her work is associated with. In other words, I’m not trying to escalate any kind of personal vendetta or drama to the forums, because there is none. (I’ve discussed this thread with both parties.)

So then, why am I bringing this up publicly? I guess I personally want some clarity on when questions "belong" to a set.
  • If I'd decided that, for whatever reason, I couldn’t morally condone the set, and had chosen to post the existing questions publicly, I suspect that the general sentiment would be that I had no "right" to do that with everyone else’s work.
  • But moreover, my intuition is that I would get a similar reaction if I only posted my own questions. At least, I suspect that I would have thought "he had no right to do that!" if, I dunno, Stephen Liu, had posted all of his questions before ACF Nationals.
In general, I guess I’ve never thought about what "rights" editors and writers have with respect to their contributions to a set, and I’m curious to see what other people think.

EDIT: grammar
Last edited by vinteuil on Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:19 pm

Most quizbowl companies specifically say that when you turn in questions to them, the questions become their property. So I would not recommend trying this strategy when working on a NAQT set, NSC, or NASAT. I don't know about ACF.

On the other hand, this was a different enterprise in which no contracts were signed. In this case, legally I don't think anything would stop a person from releasing his or her questions and doing what he or she wished to do.

On yet another hand, without knowing the full story, I find all of this rather childish. I hope everyone in the example above would be able to put aside personal differences to work together on a set like professionals.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by theMoMA » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:38 pm

I'm curious what kind of "rights" you mean.

In a legal sense, unless writers are operating under a formal work-for-hire contract, they are probably the copyright holders of their questions and have the right to withdraw them and publish them elsewhere as they see fit. In such a scenario, the editors would likely have no legal right to include the withdrawn questions in the set.

If you're talking about "rights" in the sense of what others deem acceptable, I can imagine my own reaction ranging from "understanding" to "outraged" if a writer decided to withdraw their questions, depending on the reason and whether the editors had enough time to make other plans so that the tournament occurred. For instance, if a writer were mistreated by the head editor in a flagrant and indefensible way, I'd have a hard time faulting the writer for withdrawing questions and ensuring that they couldn't be used at the tournament, and if the misconduct was bad enough, I wouldn't really care about the spot it put the tournament in. But if a writer decided to withdraw and expose their questions for a reason that seemed petty to me, I'd probably feel quite upset if it resulted in an incomplete event that I'd paid money to travel to and play.

This seems like a reasonable range of responses, in my mind, but of course everyone would have their own reaction and criteria upon which it'd be based--and perhaps that is what this thread is trying to suss out. But to me that does not seem like a discussion of "rights" so much as norms.

We all understand that someone with access to a tournament's questions or answer document can do a number of things to expose question content for a number of reasons, ranging from accidentally exposing a single bonus part to maliciously exposing the public to the entire set. Even if a writer was within his or her legal rights to withdraw questions from an event, doing so would not give that person the "right" to remain free of criticism or other consequences for making that decision; whether the writer's decision was met with acceptance or outrage would be a result of many individual decisions based on various quizbowlers' attitudes and assessments of the situation. And even if a writer was not within his or her legal rights to withdraw questions from an event, the sums of money are, practically speaking, so low that recourse to the legal system would likely not be a practical solution for anyone, and so legality would probably only be a factor so far as it impacted the community reaction.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:42 pm

theMoMA wrote:I'm curious what kind of "rights" you mean.

In a legal sense, unless writers are operating under a formal work-for-hire contract, they are probably the copyright holders of their questions and have the right to withdraw them and publish them elsewhere as they see fit. In such a scenario, the editors would likely have no legal right to include the withdrawn questions in the set.

If you're talking about "rights" in the sense of what others deem acceptable, I can imagine my own reaction ranging from "understanding" to "outraged" if a writer decided to withdraw their questions, depending on the reason and whether the editors had enough time to make other plans so that the tournament occurred. For instance, if a writer were mistreated by the head editor in a flagrant and indefensible way, I'd have a hard time faulting the writer for withdrawing questions and ensuring that they couldn't be used at the tournament, and if the misconduct was bad enough, I wouldn't really care about the spot it put the tournament in. But if a writer decided to withdraw and expose their questions for a reason that seemed petty to me, I'd probably feel quite upset if it resulted in an incomplete event that I'd paid money to travel to and play.

This seems like a reasonable range of responses, in my mind, but of course everyone would have their own reaction and criteria upon which it'd be based--and perhaps that is what this thread is trying to suss out. But to me that does not seem like a discussion of "rights" so much as norms.

We all understand that someone with access to a tournament's questions or answer document can do a number of things to expose question content for a number of reasons, ranging from accidentally exposing a single bonus part to maliciously exposing the public to the entire set. Even if a writer was within his or her legal rights to withdraw questions from an event, doing so would not give that person the "right" to remain free of criticism or other consequences for making that decision; whether the writer's decision was met with acceptance or outrage would be a result of many individual decisions based on various quizbowlers' attitudes and assessments of the situation. And even if a writer was not within his or her legal rights to withdraw questions from an event, the sums of money are, practically speaking, so low that recourse to the legal system would likely not be a practical solution for anyone, and so legality would probably only be a factor so far as it impacted the community reaction.
I suppose that I meant "norms" more than "rights," then. Thanks for helping to clarify things.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by otsasonr » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:25 pm

I think there are some important details missing from the account presented here, which factor into the justifiability of the actions taken.

If Eliza produced questions under the explicit understanding that Eric would not be involved in the production of the set, then I think she would be well justified in pulling those questions from the set if that understanding were later violated. This rests on the fact that, essentially, her participation would have been gained fraudulently. It seems unjust to say that she is required to allow the product of her labour to be a part of the set, when the very conditions she set when agreeing to carry out that labour were ignored.

If, on the other hand, the condition that Eric not be involved was only stipulated subsequent to the work she performed, then it similarly seems unfair for her to leave the other editors in the lurch by removing her questions; the other editors should not be punished for unknowingly violating conditions of her participation, especially when the actions they were taking were in the attempt to ensure completion of the set. Once she made her conditions known, she should absolutely be free to withhold any further work, but the questions she already provided should be considered part of the set.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:32 pm

otsasonr wrote:I think there are some important details missing from the account presented here, which factor into the justifiability of the actions taken.

If Eliza produced questions under the explicit understanding that Eric would not be involved in the production of the set, then I think she would be well justified in pulling those questions from the set if that understanding were later violated. This rests on the fact that, essentially, her participation would have been gained fraudulently. It seems unjust to say that she is required to allow the product of her labour to be a part of the set, when the very conditions she set when agreeing to carry out that labour were ignored.

If, on the other hand, the condition that Eric not be involved was only stipulated subsequent to the work she performed, then it similarly seems unfair for her to leave the other editors in the lurch by removing her questions; the other editors should not be punished for unknowingly violating conditions of her participation, especially when the actions they were taking were in the attempt to ensure completion of the set. Once she made her conditions known, she should absolutely be free to withhold any further work, but the questions she already provided should be considered part of the set.
Eric was added to the set on 13 July; as far as I know, Eliza was added on the 15th, at which point Eric's name was in the list of writers on the spreadsheet.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:13 pm

Well. Lots to unpack here.

The real question isn't when questions "belong" to a set, it's when sabotage is acceptable. I agree with Rein that, to an extent, you have a right to withhold further labor if you feel alienated. I don't think you have a right to pull the set *backwards* because of that, which is what Eliza was threatening to do.

Lets not mince words - what Eliza did amounts to hostage-taking. Threatening to expose much-needed questions over a petty political dispute with another member of the community is an unprecedented and detestable upending of quizbowl norms and violation of trust. Not only would her have actions force the editors to expend additional labor to cover the losses, it made it impossible to bring in much-needed help on this set (e.g. my help - anyone who had to hear the tossups on David Liu and the DROP-seq bonus could tell you that). Not to mention that this sets a horrible precedent - given Eliza's behavior here and elsewhere, I would not be confident that she wouldn't do something worse in the future, e.g. threatening to nuke an entire set, rather than just her questions. We cannot, and should not, live with that kind of unhinged behavior. If it were up to me, she would never get access to questions again.

Your #1 duty as a editor, writer, contributor, or member of the community is to produce a playable, well-written, well-run tournament, regardless of personal ideology or disputes between you and other editors. I take this extremely seriously, having made it a habit of helping out with sets whenever I can. I've even repeatedly edited tournaments with many people who I have strong disagreements with, and some I have even publicly spoken out against (Auroni, Matt Weiner, NAQT - which, interestingly, Eliza's high-minded purism didn't stop her from staffing even though I wrote questions for HSNCT this year). Regardless of what you have a *right* to do, you have entered into a sacred trust when you contribute to a set, which should include setting your personal biases aside to write a good tournament. Eliza failed to do this, and the set was worse because of her inexcusable behavior.

An additional, related question is when it should be considered acceptable to withdraw further labor. I certainly would deserve chastisement if I threatened to pull out of a set over a petty dispute, especially if I never had to interact with the person with whom I had the dispute. If the dispute was much more serious (e.g. a traumatizing crime was committed), that would certainly be a different matter.

RELATED: If you want me to look over your questions, and Eliza is working on your set, you can do it privately. I won't tell anyone. You don't have to thank me in your post either, I don't care.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Dominator » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:06 pm

This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Ike » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:14 pm

Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
I'm in agreement. This thread, and the recent revival of the Quizbowl and Mental Health thread could have benefited by having less finger pointing so that the discussion of issues at hand could not get obscured. It's really starting to get old to see these personal disputes crop up again on HSQB -- just because there is a legitimate discussion to be had here doesn't mean you should bootstrap (intentionally or unintentionally) a personal dispute onto it.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:19 pm

Ike wrote:
Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
I'm in agreement. This thread, and the recent revival of the Quizbowl and Mental Health thread could have benefited by having less finger pointing so that the discussion of issues at hand could not get obscured. It's really starting to get old to see these personal disputes crop up again on HSQB -- just because there is a legitimate discussion to be had here doesn't mean you should bootstrap (intentionally or unintentionally) a personal dispute onto it.
Look, we can't be conflict-averse to the point where personal conflicts actually affect the playing and editing of sets. That's what happened here. In case its not clear by now, this was clearly Jacob's neutral, detached method of whistleblowing about what happened during the editing of CO. There have certainly been instances where personal disputes that affect no one except the people involved have spilled over onto the forums where they shouldn't have - I really don't think this is one of those times.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:26 pm

Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
Naveed (personal communication): "There's nothing worse than "hypothetical" threads that are clearly about a specific person." (Strong co-sign.)
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Ike » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:30 pm

Sima Guang Hater wrote:
Ike wrote:
Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
I'm in agreement. This thread, and the recent revival of the Quizbowl and Mental Health thread could have benefited by having less finger pointing so that the discussion of issues at hand could not get obscured. It's really starting to get old to see these personal disputes crop up again on HSQB -- just because there is a legitimate discussion to be had here doesn't mean you should bootstrap (intentionally or unintentionally) a personal dispute onto it.
Look, we can't be conflict-averse to the point where personal conflicts actually affect the playing and editing of sets. That's what happened here. In case its not clear by now, this was clearly Jacob's neutral, detached method of whistleblowing about what happened during the editing of CO. There have certainly been instances where personal disputes that affect no one except the people involved have spilled over onto the forums where they shouldn't have - I really don't think this is one of those times.
I don't think a version of this thread free of the personal disputes is conflict-averse. What's being discussed here is the appropriate "norms" and "rights" one can expect in question production.

My stance on the topic is very nearly identical to Andrew Hart's -- I think we could have arrived at that without the personal disputes. In my opinion, any discussion of blackballing should be handled separately -- preferably in a non-public area.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:46 pm

I agree with Jacob and Naveed; threads like this almost inevitably become about specific people no matter how many steps are taken to conceal their identities. There are limits to how abstractly things like this can be discussed given the nature of the community, and pretending threads aren't about specific people (that "should we ban Luke" thread earlier comes to mind) makes them worse more often than better.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Cheynem » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:04 pm

I think if this thread was really meant to answer the question being posed, there was no reason to go through the specifics.

On the other hand, if the events of the tournament production deserve a broader analysis, then maybe they should have been. But in that case, I think the OP should have been more direct.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:08 pm

Cheynem wrote:I think if this thread was really meant to answer the question being posed, there was no reason to go through the specifics.

On the other hand, if the events of the tournament production deserve a broader analysis, then maybe they should have been. But in that case, I think the OP should have been more direct.
Both?

EDIT: To be much less glib, I only got started thinking about this issue because of one particular situation, and I didn't think it would be possible to open it up for discussion without either subtweeting or making the situation known; but I also thought that the latter was independently desirable.
Last edited by vinteuil on Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by touchpack » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:10 pm

Cheynem wrote:I think if this thread was really meant to answer the question being posed, there was no reason to go through the specifics.

On the other hand, if the events of the tournament production deserve a broader analysis, then maybe they should have been. But in that case, I think the OP should have been more direct.
Hard agree.

The question of "what does the quizbowl community think about ownership of questions" does not require divulging details on say, the exact dates at which persons A and B were added to the set, which solely serves the purpose of publicly litigating a private disagreement which didn't really harm anyone. (I say this as someone who lost a game in part because the David Liu tossup was nearly unanswerable)

I would also hard disagree with the notion that this sitiation is serious enough to warrant a trial and conviction in the court of public opinion.
Last edited by touchpack on Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by halle » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:13 pm

Leaving aside the specifics of this instance, I’d like to address the original question of this thread. It seems worthwhile to reiterate the norms surrounding participation in the production of a set, since these norms are, for the most part, unspoken. In my opinion (which matches up pretty closely with what Rein said in his post), if there are going to be strings attached to the questions you’re contributing to a set, you should make those terms known ahead of time, so that you aren’t putting anyone in a position of completely screwing over a set by surprising the team when you threaten to pull questions. A head editor should know ahead of time if adding a writer to their team will prevent them from later adding certain other writers. This doesn’t seem controversial to me, to be honest. If there’s a situation where someone is unexpectedly being asked to work with their abuser, it seems fine to refuse to work with them without having given advance warning, but that would clearly be an extreme case.

Another question this brings to mind for me is what counts as reasonable grounds to refuse to work with someone. When signing on to work on a set, your priority should be making the set as good as it possibly can be, so bringing in interpersonal considerations seems counterproductive unless those considerations have to do with an individual’s competence in the role they’ll be performing. There are exceptions to this—as I mentioned above, everyone has the right to refuse to collaborate with people who have abused or seriously wronged them in the past, or people who they have strong ideological reasons not to support. I’m not sure, however, what ideological reasons are strong enough to warrant objections that could jeopardize a set. I guess we could leave that judgment up to individual head editors, allowing them to decide if the objections are warranted by refusing to take people on as writers or editors if they think their terms are unreasonable. I’m not fully comfortable with that approach, though, since it places the judgment in the hands of an individual who is not necessarily impartial. I guess what I’m saying is that we don’t currently have community norms for the issue of what appropriate grounds for refusing to work with someone might be. I don’t have suggestions for what those norms should be, at the moment, but perhaps framing the issue in this way will help us make some progress on figuring it out.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Dominator » Mon Jul 30, 2018 6:22 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
Naveed (personal communication): "There's nothing worse than "hypothetical" threads that are clearly about a specific person." (Strong co-sign.)
The only reason you think this thread is "clearly about a specific person" is because you have some knowledge of the situation that I, and others like me, do not. I can say confidently that I would not have guessed the identities of Person A and Person B here if all I knew was the description of the actual problem in question.

Furthermore, questions like this quickly get to a point where people agree that "it depends", which naturally leads us to ask about those factors in this particular case with these particular people rather than more general principles. And I personally don't care to go down that path. You might find as a result that I, and others like me, won't want to participate in this otherwise promising thread.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:27 pm

Dominator wrote:
vinteuil wrote:
Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
Naveed (personal communication): "There's nothing worse than "hypothetical" threads that are clearly about a specific person." (Strong co-sign.)
The only reason you think this thread is "clearly about a specific person" is because you have some knowledge of the situation that I, and others like me, do not. I can say confidently that I would not have guessed the identities of Person A and Person B here if all I knew was the description of the actual problem in question.
I don't want to litigate this too hard, but I seriously doubt that I would be able to credibly post "gee, I was wondering about this very specific and infrequently-encountered potential aspect of the editorial process" given that I, ya know, was just one of the editors on a high-visibility set.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by tabstop » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:12 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Dominator wrote:
vinteuil wrote:
Dominator wrote:This is a great question to ask, Jacob. But I wish it had been asked with names redacted so that the specific personalities involved wouldn't mask the larger, more important issues.
Naveed (personal communication): "There's nothing worse than "hypothetical" threads that are clearly about a specific person." (Strong co-sign.)
The only reason you think this thread is "clearly about a specific person" is because you have some knowledge of the situation that I, and others like me, do not. I can say confidently that I would not have guessed the identities of Person A and Person B here if all I knew was the description of the actual problem in question.
I don't want to litigate this too hard, but I seriously doubt that I would be able to credibly post "gee, I was wondering about this very specific and infrequently-encountered potential aspect of the editorial process" given that I, ya know, was just one of the editors on a high-visibility set.
I think it would have been clear that it was CO-related, but not who it was, so it might have been possible to have the thread anonymously. However, I think I prefer this way as well, because
  • Even though (or, really because) “it depends” is looking like the consensus answer, the anonymous thread would be not very useful (since I doubt we’d ever be able to draw a line);
  • The people involved are probably more guessable than Noah thinks (it’s a pretty finite list of writers; and even as much as I try to ignore gossip, and not knowing anything about CO at all, I was pretty sure I knew who was going to be in this thread just from the title and author), and I personally would rather we be direct about it;
  • Anonymity would not have lasted more than three posts anyway. (No slight intended to the participants; if something like that would be posted with something I had done as the subject, I doubt I’d be able to resist giving my side of the story.)
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:57 pm

To return to the topic Jacob initially asked, would a template "contract" posted to the ACF website be helpful? To be used by housewrites, packet sub, and collaborative tournaments alike, easily modifiable for dollar values and "criteria" of writers/editors joining a set. Not meant to be legally hard and fast, but just to give editors some conscience of mind if they have to make tough decisions.

I'm honestly surprised no legal issues around this area have arisen yet, considering that some tournaments can generate decent money from mirror fees. Or, rather, there probably have been, but controversy has mostly been swept under the rug so far.

(I actually guess I recommend formally laying out fees ahead of time for all tournaments, since I know from hearsay/experience that it can be very frustrating when your signed-up collaborators seriously undercontribute on their questions, and this would give some editors leeway to not, like, pay for unwritten questions.)
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Cheynem » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:15 am

I would hope editors don't actually pay for unwritten questions now, contract or no contract.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:18 am

Cheynem wrote:I would hope editors don't actually pay for unwritten questions now, contract or no contract.
Usually, from what I've heard, it goes something like--I'll write 20% of the set, he writes 30%, she writes 50%, I'll edit it all, and we'll split the mirror fees proportionally. But if what the 30% writer does is exceptionally low quality--or he only writes 20%--it can sometimes feel awkward to have to say, "You gave me so much extra work, I don't want to split these fees with you."

I feel addressing that ahead of time--and I really wouldn't like to call it a contract, more like just some explicit written confirmation--would make that conversation much easier, and you'd be able to address anything else that might reasonably come up as well.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:15 pm

Let's speak generally in terms of naming names and set production.

When I'm putting together my writing and editing team for NASAT next year, I don't want to hire someone who might behave in conduct that would threaten the production of the NASAT set.

If information about such issues with a certain person isn't shared in the community, then such issues can arise again and again in the future with different groups that bring in that person.

HSQB is the main forum for discussion of quiz bowl and quiz bowl-related issues. There is no other method of communication that can cover subjects such as this and is also reasonably accessible to everyone that would need that information. The closest thing we would have to a good alternative is the misconduct reporting form, but 1) this isn't set up; 2) it's very unclear who would actually have running it be a reasonable part of their duties; and 3) would require such a constantly changing group of people involved due to the number of housewrites put together each year that it'd be a huge time sink just to make sure that access to relevant information would be limited to only the people that need to know this kind of information.
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by theMoMA » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:34 pm

Although I certainly wouldn't fault a head editor for laying out contractual terms ahead of time, especially if the collaborators on a set don't know each other particularly well, I think there's a reason that people (as far as I know) haven't done so. As I've said upthread, the money that people earn from writing sets is, while not insignificant, almost never going to be worth fighting over in the legal system. As a result, the currency of quizbowl, especially when it comes to writing and editing, is reputation more than cash. The ultimate dispute resolution mechanism is thus going to be a post on this forum, not a lawsuit in the courts.

People should try to be up front about how the proceeds of a tournament will be split so that no one is surprised by the outcome, but my experience leads me to believe that setting everything down in a formal contract is not a particularly good use of time for a collaborative circuit tournament. (Obviously, the calculations are very different when it comes to large companies running large events.)
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Re: When do questions "belong" to a set?

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:14 pm

When do questions "belong" to a set?
Questions belong to a set when they are shared with an editor. It's possible to imagine scenarios in which it is appropriate to post your questions to prevent them from being used, but those scenarios don't actually happen, so people should not take that action or threaten to do so.

There is always the possibility that people will quit working on a set, and there are a lot of reasons why that can happen. Posting questions and quitting are not equivalent actions.

If you are a Head Editor, and somebody makes an offer to work on a set with you but will post their questions if X happens, then don't work with that person. On the other hand, you should always assume that there are lots of circumstances that would cause people to quit working with you, and that's something you have to live with.

I was once fired from a set for reporting plagiarism. I didn't post the questions before the tournament, and you shouldn't either. Additionally, you should not make threats that you are not willing to carry out.
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