Judge Droll does justice

WHAT happens if you agree on payment upon publication and the client decides not to publish? This is an all too common question, with a less than common answer.

One NUJ member received a very positive answer when she went to court, and was represented by the freelance organiser. She had completed most of the work before the client said "sorry, can't publish, advertising has fallen through, blah, blah." As the court date neared, said client eventually offered £2000 to settle: nowhere near enough.

In court, the client argued that "payment on publication" means "if we don't publish you don't get paid". The NUJ argued "no, there was a clear intention to pay for the work that was done."

The client observed that "If you ask someone to build a wall and they don't build it then you don't pay them." To this the judge retorted "Yes, but the wall has been built," and ruled in favour of our member. With interest, she received £5000.

Oh, and the judge complimented the freelance organiser on his presentation of the case.

Another member received £2070 from IPC for breach of copyright and another got £1100 from a company that seemed to be going bust - but who responded instantly to a letter from the freelance office.

  • If you have trouble collecting what's due to you, you can visit www.londonfreelance.org/collect.html - it'll help get all the relevant details together for the Freelance Organiser to help you. And now it does all the arithmetic for you. If you just want to work out the interest and compensation you're owed, www.londonfreelance.org/interest.html should do the business.

Last modified: 14 October 2002 - © 2002 contributors
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