Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Dinner's on me

We freelancers got a settlement with the Globe. The payout is $11 million.
Since I have about 250 articles in the Globe databases, this should be a nice payday.

Details of the settlement process will be published in the Globe and the National Post on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the case against Southam (via the successor companies, mostly Canwest) and the Star continues. I have more than 500 stories in their database.
Funny thing: I was so happy writing for them that I would have gladly signed over electronic rights. Now, from a financial standpoint, I'm glad they never asked. Back then, freelance budgets were always tight. I'm not up on that aspect of newspapers now, but I hear they rarely buy news, which is mostly what I sold them.
A commenter asked about pictures. I suppose there's no settlement there because InfoGlobe doesn't carry them.


The actual settlement does mention art and photographs. Send me a personal e-mail at mbourrie@yahoo.com and I'll send you a PDF of the agreement.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how much the lawyers will charge in this case? I remember reading that some American newspapers just purged their freelance contributions from their databases after getting some complaints.
No doubt, Google, which has big plans to digitize newspaper archives, will be watching this decision with interest.

Ottawa Watch said...

The Globe will not have to purge anything because they've made this deal.
Google will have to pay an awful lot of money to the newspapers if they digitalize their archives. This is, as far as time limits allw, copyright material. The newspapers make a lot of money off their archives, through InfoGlobe, InfoMart, etc. They won't let themselves get ripped off.

Anonymous said...

Any idea how the payouts will work? Do you have to apply?

Anonymous said...

If I had an article in the Globe -- am I part of this settlement, or did I have to sign on to the class action?

Anonymous said...

So little of North American newspaper archives have been digitzed pre-1980 and what newspaper, considering economic conditions, is likely to do it these days, The sale of Paper of Record hasn't gone over well.


Ottawa Watch said...

I don't know how you apply for a payout. PWAC has not seen fit to update its web page (PWAC.ca). Usually, there are ads taken out saying how to apply.
You have to have a story in InfoGlobe, meaning a story you sold to them between 1977 and sometime in the mid-to-late 1990s, when the Globe started asking for contracts signing off electronic rights.
I have no idea if this pay-out will be calculated by number of words or by number of stories.
You don't have to opt in to a class action. You can opt out.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for commenting on this and I hope you keep us apprised if you hear more -- all I knew was what I read in yesterday's Globe. And of course, if anything comes of this in terms of money we all owe a debt of gratitude to Heather Robertson.

Ottawa Watch said...

A huge debt.
I think we should throw a really big party for her.

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