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Tuesday, 2 June 2020

All rights contracts – again.

If you came here because you're concerned about all rights contracts, then you can click on 'copyright' under this post to get my opinions on the matter. Those opinions are not favourable.

If you're here for my advice on the matter that's very simple – don't sign. Simply explain to whoever sent it that although you'd be happy to have your work published by them, you're not prepared to give up all your rights. They might listen – several of us asked Yours to reconsider and they did. 

The only way we can stop all magazines from taking all rights is if a lot of us refuse to sign any new all rights contracts, and if those who've already signed some contact the editors and explain they will no longer submit work under all rights terms, either in their own name or a pen name. We could achieve this together. I cannot do it alone.


14 comments:

Laura Tapper said...

Thanks so much for continuing to champion this issue. It's important that writers stand together and retain rights over their own work, especially when markets are few and all rights contracts are unnecessary.

ados123 said...

Well said, Laura. Thanks for all you do to bring this to the fore, Patsy. It is so unnecessary...
Alyson

Nicola said...

Thanks for this, Patsy. All-rights contracts make me feel queasy, so I avoid submitting to magazines that use them. It's heartening to know that standing up to this issue can change things.

Julie Day said...

I don't write for them but feel so bad for the authors who currently do. It is so unfair on them. We all stand together.

Chris Sutton said...

I absolutely understand the strength of feeling about this issue and I do share it. It is a liberty for any publishing company, established or start up, to ask for all rights. Nevertheless, in the end I did go ahead and sign the new contract with Woman's Weekly last year and as a result sold several more stories to them that, because of their length, just wouldn't have found a home anywhere else. For that reason, the one off aspect of it didn't matter to me so much, although it still rankled of course. I do still check with Emma Shacklock occasionally when I submit, just to enquire whether anything has changed. She must be sick of saying the same thing. No, the all rights requirement still applies.

We all have to do what works for us, I think. Markets continue to shrink. We've recently lost Weekly News, and That's Life in Australia no longer buys new fiction but is reusing old purchases. I'm not banging the drum for any mag in particular, I just think we have to be realistic about our writing and the opportunities open to us to sell it. If a market is there and we are able to submit to it, maybe it's better to sell a story once than not at all?

Patsy said...

@ Julie, sorry but I disagree. It's up to the individual what they do, but those who write for Womags under all rights terms are most definitely not standing with those who oppose these unfair contracts.

Anonymous said...

Bauer started changing contracts for their other freelancers in 2010. Think fiction was lucky to get as many years as it did. I suspect we got overlooked because we really didn't matter. That's the level they see us at.

AA

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Why would anyone want to give up all the rights to their work?

Julie Day said...

Patsy, I meant all Womag writers stand together to oppose these type of contracts. Ah, just reread your reply and now understand what you mean.

Patsy said...

@ Julie – if we really did all stand together we could indeed effectively oppose these contracts.

Lynda Shepherd said...

Hi Patsy, I've been asked to write about the rights of freelance writers in 1500 piece. It will be an overview of what to expect when you are accepted for publication. Would you be prepared to give me a quote I can include please.

Patsy said...

@ Lynda – you may quote what I've said on the blog, or you can email me (see contact me for address) if you can't find what you need.

Lynda Shepherd said...

Thanks Patsy. I'm not sure what's going to happen following the reaction I've had so far. When my editor comes back to me I'll email you either way.

Lynda Shepherd said...

Hi Patsy, Just to let you know I've decided not to go ahead with writing the piece on the rights of freelance writers.