Thursday 31 January 2019

Bauer taking all rights

I have nothing positive to say about this, so I'll just copy today's email correspondence between myself and Tracie Couper who is the Features editor Spirit & Destiny and then go for a very long walk.

Hi Tracie, 
I run the Womagwriter blog ( which passes on information to those wishing to submit fiction to the various women’s magazines. Today I’ve been contacted by several people telling me that you now require all rights to the stories you buy – and that in some cases this is being imposed after acceptance. I’m sure that last bit can’t be correct, but would very much welcome a clarification about the rights you now require – and any other information you feel may be of use to writers who’d like to submit to your magazine.
Best wishes,
Patsy Collins

Dear Patsy
The current situation is that any article appearing in the magazine will require the writer/contributor to sign an agreement, giving us all rights to the article/story/feature. This is because Spirit & Destiny is now syndicated in other countries, including Australia and New Zealand.
Tracie Couper
Features editor Spirit & Destiny 

Hi Tracie,
Thanks for your reply. 
Can you explain why it’s ‘all rights’ and not ‘first rights with extensions’ as is the case with many other magazines in the same position? 
Best wishes,

Hi Patsy
This is the agreement that has been drawn up by our legal team and applies to all Bauer publications.


Bubble said...

Ah, it's because we say so, then. Nothing to do with overseas bits.

Sherri said...

So, TaB too? Not heard anything about that yet.

Lindsay said...

Thanks for the info Patsy. I gather Bauer publish Yours and Take a Break too which were potential publishers of short stories.

Sharon Boothroyd said...

Yours have always have taken copyright. We need to know if this all rights contract applies to TABFF now.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything we can do?

Anonymous said...

I really, really hope that DC Thomson continue to hold out against this horrible trend. I wonder what's driving it? For the magazines, the consequence will be they will receive fewer stories from good, experienced writers. Surely, the extra money they will make by holding all rights won't be worth the loss of so many quality stories?

Tara Westgate

Carolb said...

I'm sad that this has happened to a magazine that promotes mental and emotional well-being.

When I wrote my Womag Rights article for Writing Magazine last year I mentioned the potential for other magazines to eventually go the all rights route, so I was pleased that no further defections occurred.

I sincerely hope Bauer confirms to the writers on their TAB FF that they are not extending the all rights terms to them too...

Patsy said...

@ Bubble – because the legal people say so – and that's because it's so much easier to take all rights than work out what they need, take just those and leave writers with what's left and their self respect.

@ Bernadette – Tracie's respoinse suggests that, but I'm hoping she means it's company policy, rather than just applying to this one magazine, but perhaps not a policy applying in all cases.

@ Lindasy, Sharon and Tara – Yours and You Cat already take all rights. So far there has been nothing from TAB to say they will. I have asked for clarification.

@ Anonymous – I really don't know.

@ Carol – I hope so too.

Celia said...

If it 'applies to all Bauer publications' then TABFF will be included.
But people will just cave in and sell to them as with WW.
I'm a very very very part-time writer these days and an even more part-time seller.
Sigh, what has the lovely Womag market become?
(Please, DCT, don't follow the trend!)

Sherri said...

Not everyone has caved in Celia.

But you are right, in that many will and the editors won't notice until it is too late and they realise that they now have a lower quality product on their hands and fewer people who buy it.

(That is in no way saying that those who do still write for them are not good writers, but it will be a smaller pool to choose from and therefore likely to be less good on average.)

Anonymous said...

It's like a bloody disease.

Anonymous said...

How can such a huge organisation be so badly run? They have changed the contracts without actually telling the people who are affected and now they are trying to enforce the new contracts retrospectively? Their legal team want sacking if they think this is the way to run any business, never mind a magazine supposedly devoted to positivity.
When Norah left TAB they sent out a group email to all their regular authors keeping us informed of the changes. How hard would it have been to do the same this time, if indeed it does extend to all Bauer publications?
And their 'reasons' don't hold up. They can already publish our stories anywhere in the world, as often as they like without paying me any extra or even telling me. Why do they need more than that? What? I still had a scrap of dignity and pride in my work. Oh, okay then. Take that too.
If this is true, then shame on you, Bauer. And if whoever is in charge there does believe in karma, probably best you don't go out in the snow this weekend.

Alex G said...

A total non-response from Couper. 'It's like this because we and our lawyers say so.' No apology or acknowledgment that it's a shameful decision. What can we do? We can campaign and we can refuse to submit to them, that's what. I will report them to the NUJ if nobody else here has? But as it's non-fiction as well as fiction I expect someone already will have.

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