Pacific Mags face freelancers' ire over rights

Publisher attempts to introduce an agreement requiring contributors to surrender all rights over the

Pacific Magazines, the Australian publisher of Marie Claire, is facing the ire of the country's freelance writers for its attempts to introduce an agreement requiring contributors to surrender all rights over their work.

This week, a union of journalists, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, is meeting the publisher on behalf of the freelancers to discuss their concerns, The Australian reports.

A clause in the proposed agreement demands that contributors give Pacific, "its assigns and licensees the right to utilise the [contributors'] material in any media currently known or hereafter created throughout the world in perpetuity."

However, the freelancers argue that repurposing and reselling their work is basic to their livelihood. Employers have to duly compensate them for further rights to use their contributions, especially in view of increasing opportunities for publishers to make money through multiple platforms of new media, such as the iPad, they say.

Pacific asserts that it is seeking the agreement on terms that are consistent with industry practice.

The MEAA says there has been a move by all major publishers towards such agreements for rights transfer, and it has written to them on the issue.