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Cock up or Conspiracy ? How to respond

8 July 2002 - EPUK

Photographers contributing to titles owned by IPC Media, the UK’s largest magazine publisher, received an unpleasant surprise last week – a new contract and accompanying revised terms and conditions. And this is how we at EPUK think you should respond

Here is a draft reply for photographers who have received IPC’s new core contributor contract. Please amend as you think fit, sign, post and email to: mark_winterton@ipcmedia.com

If you haven’t received a letter, either because you’re not a “core contributor” or IPC freelance, you may wish to amend this letter to express condemnation of the contract and offer support for those on it’s receiving end.

Mark Winterton
Intellectual Property Manager
IPC Media Ltd
King’s Reach Tower
Stamford Street
LONDON
SE1 9LS

Dear Mark Winterton

Re: Core Contributor Agreement

Thank you for your letter of 1 July 2002 informing me of the new terms and conditions for commissioned work in your core contributor agreement.

I am dismayed to read its provisions, which are damaging to me as an individual trader. You say that any future work I am commissioned to do will be on the basis of assigning all rights.

As the owner of the copyright in my own work I do not assign copyright. Assignment would prevent me from re-using my work for all time. Instead I issue licences to my clients, priced according to the rights required, which is standard industry custom and practice.

You state that without a swift response – which I take to mean my immediate signature to the terms dictated – my account will be de-activated on August 1st.

While I wish to continue working for you, I would ask you to reconsider your contract for core contributors, particularly in light of the fact that the British Government has said through the DTI that it wishes individuals to be able to trade on a global basis.

My only alternative would be to supply IPC outside the terms of this contract and I understand that IPC welcomes individually negotiated agreements with commissioning editors.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further.

Yours sincerely

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