Online only - see here

Guardian willing to talk on online edition

Guardian Media Group has written to some contributors (at least) "to notify you that The Guardian and The Observer are launching subscription-only digital PDF versions of the newspapers on 20th October 2003 aimed primarily at readers abroad who are unable to obtain a print version of the newspapers."

"In the short term, we do not expect there to be a huge number of subscriptions as these are very new products and it remains largely unknown whether there will be significant consumer demand for them," the letters say, so, naturally, "At launch we are not increasing rates to contributors..."

The Freelance understands that the Guardian regards this re-use of text as being covered by the 5 per cent uplift in rates for databases and the Web edition agreed in March 1999. The paper has also contacted photographers - whose work is not covered by that model agreement - asking for a licence to use their work in the new edition and offering a 1.5 per cent uplift.

The Guardian promises that they "will keep the situation closely under review and if and when we have sufficient subscribers to enable us to increase rates we will contact all contributors to this effect." The NUJ is also engaed in continuing talks with the paper reviewing the uplift as a whole.

Several other publications including the Telegraph and New Scientist are piloting Adobe "page-turner" software that replicates the look of the printed thing. Not all have had the courtesy even to inform contributors.

Last modified: 29 October 2003 - © 2003 contributors
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