Professional Writers ask members for their experience with TC Media freelance contracts
A bulletin that has gone out to more than 680 members of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) asks them for confidential information about their experience with Transcontinental Media freelance contracts. PWAC has been trying, so far without success, to convince TC Media to modify what it calls its "egregious" standard freelance contract.
"Through our network of allies we have learned that at least some of the editors at some of their publications have recently given assignments to some of their freelance contributors without insisting that they sign the most recent "standard" freelance contract," the bulletin says. "You will recognize the contract if it calls for you to grant the company all your copyright in the assignment in perpetuity in all media and also requiring you to waive your moral rights.
"TC Media is not alone in seeking these large and unreasonable concessions from their freelance contributors. We do not seek to demonize them or single them out, but rather to engage them in discussion as to how we might improve the contract in respect of freelancers and to invite them to consider a different business model that values relationships with content providers over a rapacious stance with regard to our ability to further uses of the work we do after their print run and distribution. Thus far they have rejected our collective invitation to engage in discussion of these issues but there is an indication that they are taking another look at the standard freelance contract in the very near future."