Scottish snappers unite online for decent working terms
NEWSPAPER photographers in Edinburgh have come together - both actually and virtually - to resist attempts to undermine their copyright and to push for higher rates. A group of nearly forty photographers based in and around Edinburgh is now meeting regularly, and communicating by e-mail to swap information and to discuss ways to improve their conditions.
A proposed contract offered by the new Scottish daily newspaper Business am brought the photographers together. This threatened to undermine copyright and to deny reproduction fees for second and subsequent use of work. Negotiations on behalf of the group, undertaken by the NUJ, have already resulted in some of the offending clauses being removed. Talks on outstanding issues continue.
Since then Scotsman publications has suggested a new contract to its freelance photographers - which also threatens to abolish fees for second and subsequent use of pictures. This galvanised the original group of photographers to spread the word and sign up the rest of the Scottish capital's freelance snappers. The NUJ has also initiated talks with The Scotsman on the photographers' behalf.
A similar rights grab also appears to be in progress on Scottish Media Group titles. The photographers, who now style themselves as the Scottish Newspapers' Association of Photographers (Snap), are now keen to make contact with any other photographers in Scotland, or photographers elsewhere who sell work to Scottish newspapers. If negotiations with either paper prove unsuccessful, Snap may need a quick means to disseminate news of any action taken.
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