The Authors Guild issued an alert for members, criticizing Condé Nast’s new boilerplate contract for freelancers. Condé Nast’s new contract “acquires a free 12-month right to option dramatic and multimedia rights to articles appearing in its magazines.”
What do you think of the freelance contract from the publisher of The New Yorker, Vogue and Vanity Fair? Here’s more from the Authors Guild:
So, when does a contractual term cross the line and become a rights grab? Breaking with industry practice is clearly one thing to consider. A second is whether the publisher is seeking to control rights that aren’t the main point of the contract. A third — a biggie — is compensation: is the publisher taking rights at bargain-basement rates? Another way to look at that is whether a journalist or book author with greater bargaining power would find the deal acceptable. Condé Nast’s new boilerplate hits this trifecta with ease. Taking dramatization rights breaks with industry practice. The publisher is compensating the freelancer for his or her journalism, not for speculative movie and tv deals. And freelancers with adequate clout are reportedly avoiding the onerous new clauses entirely.