Sleazy Rights Grab

The Authors Guild reports that magazine publisher Conde Nast (Bon Appétit, GQ, The New Yorker, Self, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Wired, among others,) is attempting to screw freelancer writers out of a significant chunk of the TV & movie rights to their articles. Movies such as Saturday Night Live and Hurt Locker began as magazine articles. 

[They] would slice writers' share of potential film and television income to freelance works appearing in its magazines by more than 50%. Its new boilerplate contract — introduced last year — would give the company a free, exclusive 12-month right to option dramatic and multimedia rights. Under the contract, Condé Nast could choose to extend that option by up to 24 months for a modest sum. Should Condé Nast exercise the option, the writer would, under boilerplate terms, be paid just 1% of the film or tv production budget. Negotiated film and tv agreements typically pay the author 2.5% or more of the production budget. […] Christine Haughney of the New York Times writes about the contract and dispute today in an article that quotes Jan Constantine, the Authors Guild's general counsel.


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