EPUK Editorial Photographers United Kingdom and Ireland. The private mailing list and public resource for editorial photographers

Business Week rights deal doubles the rates!

1 January 2000 - EPUK

A new freelance deal whereby Business Week pays photographers one hundred per cent extra for more rights marks a defining moment in the battle against rights grabs and sets the standard against which all rights deals should be judged for a decade to come. And it is a triumph for the US EP (Editorial Photo) email campaigning group which is only just over one year old.

The company will acquire the following rights beyond single publication in the US domestic print edition: simultaneous publication in foreign editions, online and in joint ventures, and rights to all reprints (business reprints of editorial for advertising purposes) except the cover.
The photographer retains copyright, syndication rights, cover reprint rights and gets paid for reuse in Business Week.

The new contract will apply to stock pictures as well as commissioned work, and the company will pay for the extra rights in every case, whether or not it chooses to exercise them. The contract will not be optional. It will run for four years. Every photographer supplying Business Week will have to sign it.

In return all rates will double. The minimum space rate, one quarter page, rises from $225 to $450. The day rate rises from $425 to $850, and will then increase to $1,000 over the four year period, exclusive of expenses.

The day rate is against space. That means if the space rates for commissioned work published exceeds the time rates, the photographer gets paid the full space rates, & expenses.

All this didn’t just happen. It began with the San Francisco Nine photographers who put their livelihoods at risk refusing to sign the old Business Week contracts in a land where organised freelance industrial action is against the law. The email group they founded rapidly spread resistance right across the United States and then around the world.

The resulting stalemate was broken when the company decided to recognise that photographers owned their rights, and that extra rights had to be paid for with real money, not the derisory few per cent usually on offer.

A bitter confrontation was transformed into a win/win solution. The company is guaranteed the extra rights it needs to develop its business. The photographer is guaranteed payment for them without having to fight over every job.

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