MITCHELL THOMPSON | J-Source
[~] The Globe and Mail has received criticism for a revamped freelance contract that one critic says doesn’t treat authors fairly.
Content Writers Group — formerly known as the Canadian Writers Group — founder Derek Finkle said the provisions in the Globe’s “amended and restated” freelance contract take away rights freelancers previously retained, with no extra compensation in sight.
“The freelancer retains their copyright over the work but the contract makes those rights so narrow that you don’t really have the rights to your work,” Finkle said.
For example, the contract demands freelancers give up moral rights to their contracted material, Finkle said. The CWG said that obligates freelance writers to “give publishers the right to essentially mutilate your work in ways that you might not agree with.” Finkle added that it gives the company the power to rewrite copy freely, even if it changes the meaning of the work.
The danger, Finkle explained, is that authors would lose the right to challenge editorial changes that fundamentally alter the article’s intent. “It seems to mean, if a writer wrote something mean about Donald Trump, the paper is free to turn it around and make it a nice story about Donald Trump,” Finkle said. “Moral Rights is about control over the work.”