Wednesday, 22 May 2013

More on the Contract Issue...

Following on from the concerns raised by writers on the new DC Thomson contracts- which I mentioned in my last post- Womag has received a response with clarification from Shirley Blair, who is the fiction editor at People's Friend.

You can read it on Womag's latest post, here.

I don't think it acceptable to re-use a writers work without further payment- unless the fee you're paid initially is increased to reflect that fact.

Interestingly the new contract has a much wider reach:

"Our legal department decided that it was necessary to develop new contributor terms that apply right across our publishing business and are relevant to magazines, newspapers and digital publishing."

So this will effect not only the Scottish newspapers they produce, but also The Weekly News, The People's Friend, My Weekly, Beano, The Official Jacqueline Wilson Mag, teen magazine Shout, and Dandy Extreme, The Scots Magazine, and Animals and You- aimed at the younger market.

There's been an explanation of the Clause 8 concern. But saying there will be an" additional payment" if a collection is done, which suggests it will be a one-off payment and not royalties.

And the Joint Contributions aspect will certainly have a knock-on effect. The large print publishers who print previously published pocket novels (that are often in libraries and earn PLR) will now find they can't just use them as before, because they can only have the writers original, not the edited for publication version...

They will answer questions and concerns about the new contracts, which is good.

But, the new contracts are not negotiable, so if you don't sign it, they won't buy your work.

So it will now be down to individual writers to decide whether they sign the contract and continue to be paid for their work, or they don't sign and lose an income source...


Patsy said...

I suppose it's good that they're trying to explain - although it would perhaps have been better to provide a simple contract which was clearly explained and would have been even better if the contract was fair. From all I've read to date, I don't believe this one is.

Carolb said...

Yes, it is good that they are willing to explain, but sadly their explanations just clarify some of my concerns.

I have to agree, Patsy, I don't think it is fair. It gives DCT too much control over writers work with minimum remuneration. :(

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It's a whole can of worms, though I do remember my very first contract (years ago) suggested we shouldn't be reusing the edited version. I'm staying out of the discussion as I don't send much these days, but it does now stop me considering a pocket novel.