- Saturday, October 10th, 4:45 pm to 6:00 pm
- Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Thomas Paine room
- Ed Klaris Principal at KlarisIP; professor of media law at Columbia
- Robin LloydNews editor, Scientific American
- Amy MaxmenFreelance journalist
Many publishers’ contracts exploit their content-providers. They request unreasonable agreements, like eternal copyright and total exemption from blame. Together at this session a lawyer, editors, and writers will discuss the types of common clauses that can impair writers' livelihoods. The group will discuss several alternatives to each type of clause that can be used when reviewing contracts and begin to develop resources that writers can refer to in contract negotiations.
Opening remarks from the session October 10, 2015
Made by Tinsley Davis, NASW Executive Director
The session that you are about to participate in is different than what was originally on tap and does not speak to the initial goal of a very hard working volunteer organizer Amy Maxmen. I apologize to all of you for the last minute change, and I apologize deeply to Amy for all her time and efforts that are not realized here. For some specific reasons that only came to light in the very recent past, we’ve had to recast the session to avoid violating anti-trust laws. This was one of those Pandora’s box shockers to all of us, one of those stupid-but-true situations, and Amy has been so patient as we figured out a way to reframe the session to be useful to you all.
For NASW, developing a single gold standard clause that writers agree to use in contract negotiations potentially violates anti-trust laws. Anti-trust is about more than price fixing. It is about formal or informal agreements among competitors to influence negotiations and thus the marketplace. Anti-trust isn’t just for corporations. The Sherman Act treats freelancers as competitors (interestingly, a bill in Congress in 2002 that would have exempted freelancers from the Sherman Act, did not pass)
Thanks to Amy and Ed Klaris an intellectual property lawyer at Klaris IP who have worked feverishly this week, we do have an excellent session that addresses a wide range of contract issues with one of the experts in the field of intellectual property, an element critical to writers. Ed will give a presentation, and then there will be plenty of time for those burning contract questions.
Addendum: There are many hard-hitting and helpful things that NASW can do, and has with the amazing work of the Freelance committee, to address the very real issues around contracts. We will take information from this session and use it to help build out a contract background resource for the Fine Print.