Beeb stick with snatch of the day

The BBC has made what is says is its final offer on Radio Features, insisting that it needs an exclusive licence that is tantamount to a grab of copyright.

Talks have dragged on for several years now, although the pace has picked up since the Creators' Rights Alliance conference last March and the BBC is now negotiating with the NUJ, BECTU, Writers' Guild and Society of Authors jointly.

Much attention has been paid to the moral rights clauses and, while there seems to be an improvement, there is still considerable ambiguity.

A new minimum payment equivalent to seven minutes has been offered, and the Beeb is proposing to increase the rate per minute from £25.50 to £33.

While these proposals are attractive, the sticking point is the Rights Clause:

In consideration of the fee stated above you hereby grant the BBC an exclusive licence of the complete copyright and all other rights for all purposes (including use in all media now known or which may hereafter become known) everywhere in the contributions for the full period of copyright and any extensions revivals or renewals thereof

The NUJ negotiators are not prepared to recommend this to members and the Freelance Industrial Council (FIC) supports the view that it is unacceptable.

Despite the "finality" of the current offer, negotiators will try to bring the BBC back to the table in the hope of persuading it to define the licence it requires and to make an additional payment accordingly.

Last modified: 23 November 2001 - © 2002 contributors
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