My Queen, I am sorry to disagree on the edge of this Stupor Bowl Weekend, especially with the Falcons playing in it again, but I must. All contracts are not negotiable. It is worse now that we are dealing with e-personalities. They can ignore you and there is nothing you can do about it. It is much easier to negotiate when you can look someone in the eye to present it.
You can disagree but of course you can't be right when you do ;)
All contracts are negotiable in the sense that if the terms won't be changed for you, then you don't sign it.
Some contracts or agreements are boilerplate (one size fits all) and the person or entity offering it does not change it for individuals.
1. Contests. One of my clients won the inaugeral MysteriousPress.com contest and you can bet that before I submitted his novel for consideration, I read the terms VERY carefully because those terms were binding.
2. Author/agency agreements. Our AA agreement is uniform for each client. We can carve out exceptions to the scope of representation but that's about the only thing we change. Scope of representation means what kinds of projects we rep for you. One of my clients has me for his adult work and another agent for his picture books. Our AA agreement reflects that.
Generally however, if you are licensing your story to a periodical you can ask for revisions to the offered contract. One very well known magazine always asks for film rights in their boilerplate, but will strike it upon request with no fuss muss or bother. You just need to know to ask.
Bad contracts can screw up your career.
Be very careful of the rights you assign to anyone.