A right to be paid
FREELANCES who hang on to their copyright
are making agreements where they license clients to use
material in different ways, in different markets, at different
times, perhaps extending over a number of years.
At the moment, copyright law confers a rather passive right
to take clients to court if we think they are breaking these
agreements. But this passive right is useless if you have no
organised way of finding out what a client is doing.
Should be be pressing for something stronger? Something
incorporated into copyright law that helps creators ensure
that they are being properly paid?
We could campaign with a slogan "copyright - the right
to be paid". We could suggest a right of audit, or a right
of specific performance which would place the onus on client
organisations to demonstrate that they are making the appropriate
payments and have the accounting structures and staff training
We could suggest that payment to creators should rank up there
with "preferred creditors" such as the Inland Revenue,
and that in situations where payment is not properly made copyright
always reverts to the creator.
Copyright, after all, exists to link creators to cash.