Now, my initial research on the topic shows that minors may enter legal contracts, BUT that they have the option at any time (until they are 18) to shrug that contract off. (The idea being that they can't make sound judgments until they are 18, so they get a free pass.)
My question to you, if you are a parent: if your 15-17 year-old approached you with a waiver for a creative community, would you sign it? It would let you know what Torn World was, where to find more information about it, what kind of material we published, what our payment terms are.
It would require agreement to allow us to publish their work non-exclusively on the Internet, with standard payment terms.
It would request a contact email for the guardian.
It would optionally allow the minor access to the contributor forums, where topics of an edgy nature may be discussed frankly. (Elsewise, the minor would be restricted to a tamer series of forums where such topics are not allowed.)
It would invite the guardian to be involved in Torn World and view for themselves what was happening there.
What would you think, if you received a waiver like this?
My question to you, as a minor or someone who was one once: Would this be such an amazing pain in your ass that you wouldn't want to do it? Would you understand the cautious business-end of such a requirement and cheerfully do so to be part of a kick-ass community and maybe even make some money? Would you want some other intermediary option where your work was reserved for members-only, you weren't allowed to collect money for it, and you couldn't participate in all of the forums? Would you fake your age or the waiver in order to join anyway? What would YOUR parents have done?
What other options can you think of to allow minors to get involved without opening up a can of worms legally?