Independent variable

THERE'S GOOD news and bad from the Independent on the rights front. First... a member reports that the paper had licenced some articles to several US companies including Northern Light, who in turn put their copyright sign on them and sold them to individuals on their "specials" pages.

They also appeared in newspapers, which also claimed copyright. So the member went to Small Claims Court. At first the Indy was going to contest the case.

Instead, however, it sent a cheque for £3616 - not, allegedly, for breach of copyright but "for commercial reasons". This was the full amount of the claim, which was the normal value of the licences, doubled for blatant infringement, plus interest.

The member "does not intend to work for the Independent again unless they cave in due to massive pressure from all freelancers who issue claims against them.

Now the bad news. The Independent has started selling individual archive articles to online readers on its own account. They pay £1 for 24 hours' access to one article. And guess what? They don't own them. It's important that all contributors make their views known to the meeting on 3 July - see here.

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