Non-negotiations with Time Out mean non-grab

Blue rondo a la turk

WHEN IS a negotiation not a negotiation? When the company in question will communicate through the medium of a member of staff.

This is how the NUJ managed to have some influence on the latest terms and conditions to be offered to freelances by Time Out.

Approached for advice by a staffer at the mag, Freelance Organiser John Toner provided a critique of the latest proposals and a number of positive suggestions. "Can we sit down and talk about this?" he asked.

"No," said the management, "we are happy to communicate through our features editor." And so suggestions were relayed back and forth through this individual - hardly an ideal way to conduct business.

The upshot is that Time Out no longer seek all rights from contributors, with the exception of reviews. The new terms require an exclusive licence for 12 weeks and thereafter a non-exclusive licence.

A waiver of moral rights is required, but the company undertakes to use its "reasonable endeavours to procure that there is a credit in your favour".

Said Toner: "While this is far from ideal, the dropping of the all rights clause is a major step forward. I did argue that they should not need an exclusive licence for as long as 12 weeks. I still don't know why they have settled on this figure.

"This has come about because one or two of our members kept protesting. I believe we can make further improvements if more people question these terms."

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