Talks with the Guardian make progress
We can work it out...
THE GUARDIAN AND OBSERVER have agreed to research the practicality of NUJ ideas on how both freelances and the two papers could increase their income from members' work.
The 1999 agreement over freelance contributors' copyright confirmed our half-share in the proceeds of "syndication" (sale of individual articles) to other publications. But it also revealed that the papers were selling many articles, whether by staff or freelances, through a global web of blanket "lifting rights" agreements for relatively small annual fees.
These lifting arrangements came under the Guardian's standard license fee of 5 per cent for additional rights beyond the actual paper. So freelance articles were in effect being sold all around the world for a pound or so per thousand words.
Freelance negotiators submitted that the Guardian Media Group (GMG) could probably make more money for all concerned if they shifted their whole resale operation to "spot sales". Now GMG has agreed to set up a pilot syndication project in one major territory. It will be monitored by the joint NUJ/GMG working party.
Meanwhile, talks continue on increasing the minimum rates set out in the agreement. Guardian contributors should have received a letter consulting you about all these developments.
If you didn't get that letter, call or email the Freelance Office to get onto the list.