Time for a treasure hunt

MEMBER Chris Wheal happened to do a Google search for his name - as one does - and found some articles of his, from the Guardian, on various websites. Freelance organiser John Toner got in touch with the Guardian who, because they demand a licence to sell freelances' work on but often do little with it, had no idea about the breaches. They have now charged these organisations money and are paying Chris half.

Chris pointed out, politely, that it seemed strange they should demand such a wide licence but not then police it; that they charge too little for syndication; that they have even given his work away for free in the past (so he got 50 per cent of nothing); and that he thought he could do a better job himself.

He offered to give them 50 per cent if they came up with the sales lead (which they have never done so far) instead of them giving him 50 per cent. The Guardian has now accepted, agreeing that it no longer needs the right to syndicate Chris's work (spot sales only).

So don't be embarrassed by the term "vanity searching". Go to www.google.com and enter your name, in double quotes. If you have many namesakes, you may well want to consider a pen-name in future - but you can still find articles one-by-one, by entering the phrase most likely to be unique to that piece, again in double quotes.

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