If you don't ask you don't get
MEMBERS of the Health freelance Group have succeeded in fending off a copyright grab at Healthlines magazine.
Towards the end of last year the magazine announced that in accepting commissions, contributors would be agreeing to license it to post finished articles on its website free of charge. They would also be agreeing not to "sell on, syndicate or issue the work in any media for a period of six months after publication". Healthlines is published every two months.
A similar copyright grab of "all previous work" completed for the magazine was also announced. Freelances were not to be paid for any of this.
Generously, their contact details would be included with the work -- if they requested this in writing.
Following direct discussions between HFG and the publisher, contributors are now being asked to license the magazine to post commissioned articles on its website in exchange for a 10% payment on top of the commission fee.
In return, contributors will not sell on or syndicate the work in the same form for three months after publication. All attempts to grab copyright over freelances previous work have been dropped by the magazine.
An HFG picture researcher free-lancing at the Sunday Times has also been successful in resisting tax at source, by using letters from the Inland Revenue to prove she was a legitimate freelance. Because the paper then categorised her as a "casual" and put her on their weekly invoicing system, she was paid on a week-by-week basis without deductions.
The editor responds
© 2000 NUJ & contributors
Last modified: 07 Feb 2000