‘Pay As You Go’ Will Work Only If Writers and Creators Get Their Fair Share
National Writers Union (UAW 1981) Urges Content Providers To Engage
In Revenue Sharing With Creators and Freelance Writers
Immediate release, 19 February 2004
The recent introduction of "pay-as-you-go" software
allows computer users to make micro-payments when they access specific
articles on the Web. The NWU is advocating that when a payment is made
to access a specific article, the writer/creator of the article should
receive a percentage of the gross revenue generated by that transaction.
The National Writers Union (UAW 1981) supports the "Pay As
You Go" concept provided that:
- Creators and freelance writers are given their fair
percentage of the gross revenue generated by the "pay-as-you-go" Web sites.
- Creators and freelance writers are notified in
advance if their work is being sold on these sites.
- Creators and freelance writers are given the
option to opt-out of this program.
The NWU does not support the "Pay As You Go" concept if
Internet content providers sell articles but do not share the revenue generated
by those articles with the creators. Indeed, many creators and freelance writers
are being coerced into signing "all rights" contracts. These contracts
allow publishers to sell the articles several times over for a profit without
sharing the revenue generated by these additional sales of articles with the writers.
These contracts violate the spirit of the Supreme Court's landmark Tasini
decision, which established that when independent creators sell content to publishers
this includes first print rights only; all other uses, including electronic sales
and sales the third parties must be negotiated separately.
First North American Serial Rights (FSNAR) is the standard journalism
contract that freelancers traditionally sign in the United States. Any
system or contract that undermines this standard is unacceptable. The NWU does
not endorse any "Pay As You Go" system where writers do not receive their fair
share of the gross revenue generated by their work. This
new software has the capability to easily allow for content providers to ensure
that creators and freelance writers receive their fair share of revenue
generated by their work. There is no excuse for creators not being included in
the "Pay As You Go" model.