The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Friday, March 12, 2004

New York Times rips off its contract photographers, too...

According to Photo District at any rate [link via Romenesko, where else?].

The Times has just 'offered' its freelance snappers a new contract, it seems:
The contract asks freelance photographers to assign joint copyright ownership to The New York Times, giving the newspaper the absolute right to exploit the photographs for the life of the copyright and collect all licensing fees, without payment to the photographer.

The difference in bargaining power between the parties naturally makes this contract a take it or leave it thing.

Glory at Capitalism at work: the snappers have been receiving for their work an economic rent which the NYTC is now returning to its rightful owner!

The piece has one or two interesting pieces of background. For example,
The Times had no previous written agreement with freelancers.

That can scarcely be good business practice.

The New York Times has not increased its assignment fees since the Eighties.

How many other of the Times' contracts for talent (employed and freelance) have not gone up in the same period?

Would Executive Editor Bill Keller be happy to work for 1980s wages?

The article does suggest that the Times is not alone amongst US rags in squeezing its freelance snappers.

But its niggardly ways in the matter are not exactly something it advertises to the plebs.

In judging the NYTC management, it's another piece in the puzzle.

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