Protect your ass. Don’t worry about protecting a publisher. Don’t worry about protecting an agent. They got theirs covered. You cover your own. Note: this does not mean to help yourself before you help others. It just means to protect yourself, because this is an industry that often inadvertently will step on your neck if you don’t know what’s up. Protecting yourself is about educating yourself and making sure there’s no avenue for you to accidentally — or willfully — get used and abused.