Nightmare on 43rd Street
THE NEW YORK TIMES company last month
sent editors a freelance contract with a nasty new twist. It expects
writers to sign a statement accepting that "As works made for
hire, your articles may be reused by the
This is an attempt to use the feature of Anglo-Saxon copyright law which gives rights in employees work to the employer as, for example, when a photographer is hired to do a days work rather than selling an individual photo.
Robin Davis Miller, executive director of the Authors Guild, responded
Dan Carlinsky of the American Society of Journalists and Authors pointed
out that the
Prominent freelance writers joining the three organisations' protest include Russell Banks, David Bradley, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ken Follett, Erica Jong, Garrison Keillor, Barbara Kingsolver, Nicholas Lemann, J. Anthony Lukas, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Alvin Toffler, Heidi Toffler and Fay Weldon.
The NUJ has joined the IoJ and other UK organisations in another letter of protest.
Even before the latest letter, writers were refusing contracts from the paper. And the ASJA reports that Hearst publications have also lost out from management's hard-line attitude. One writer turned them down for an exclusive at double the normal fee - itself more than adequate by UK standards.
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