BRILL’S CONTENTVILLE REACHES ACCORD WITH WRITERS GROUP

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By: Staff reports

Free-lancers To Be Compensated







The National Writers Union (NWU) and Steven Brill have reached an
agreement over the sale of free-lancers work on Brill’s
Contentville.com.



Approved unanimously Thursday by the NWU national executive board,
the agreement is the first contract of its kind between a major
Web-based content provider and the union. NWU’s Publications Rights
Clearinghouse (PRC) will be used to assign and pay royalties to
writers whose work is sold on Contentville. The final contract will
be signed soon, the two parties said.



NWU began negotiations with Brill after many journalists were
surprised to find their articles for sale on Contentville, which
charges $2.95 for articles from 2,000 publications. Writers who
register the copyright for their work through the PRC will receive
30% of the fees paid by Contentville.com customers.



‘It’s not only what we should be doing under the law, but it’s also
the right thing to do,’ Brill said in a statement. ‘As a former
free-lancer I know that I’d be angry if others were selling my work
and not giving me the chance to participate in that sale or perhaps
even decide that it should not be sold.’



Jonathan Tasini called the agreement an important breakthrough. ‘We
hope and expect that the deal will be a model for other publishers
to address the significant liabilities they have incurred as the
result of the unauthorized sale of copyrighted material.,’ he said.



The 5,400 member NWU is threatening to sue Knight Ridder over its
NewsLibrary database which includes the online archives of over 100
newspapers. The union alleges that Knight Ridder is selling old
stories without paying the free-lance authors. The company denies
the charge.



The NWU also supports a suit by free-lancers against The Boston Globe.
Those journalists object to a new licensing agreement that requires
contributors to relinquish all rights to submissions.



Free-lancers aren’t the only ones seeking redress. Some publishers
have been surprised to find their content for sale at Contentville.com
and other sites. The articles were supplied by a third party aggregator,
which in some cases may not be authorized to distribute material to
sites like Contentville.







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Staff Reports



Related story:



BRILL, FREE-LANCERS HOPEFUL ON WRITER PACT (07/27/00)



CONTENTVILLE CATCHES WRITERS OFF GUARD (07/21/00)



FREE-LANCE UNION DEMANDS RESTITUTION FROM PAPERS (07/13/00)







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