Steve Proulx has a copy of the new freelance agreement that Quebecor-owned magazine publisher TVA Publications is forcing its writers to sign.
What’s so extreme about it, sadly, isn’t that it demands complete exclusive rights, including copyright, over all work submitted, or that it demands writers waive all moral rights, or that it demands retroactive rights to all past submitted work, or that half of these demands are so over-the-top that they probably wouldn’t stand up in court.
What’s horrible is that this is for magazine freelancers, who once upon a time were treated with more respect and professionalism than newspaper freelancers.
And what’s worse is that so many aspiring writers are so desperate for a byline and so naive about what it will mean for them that they’re willing to work for peanuts and will sign this agreement without giving it a second look.
UPDATE (Jan. 22): Steve adds a letter from a former contributor to Quebecor-owned weekly ICI.
UPDATE (Jan. 23): The FPJQ issues a press release condemning the contract.
UPDATE (Jan. 26): Looks like this may have had some effect, with a report that at least one editor is backing off from enforcing this contract.