On July 28, 2009, the Guardian announced new contractual terms soon to be forced upon contributing freelance photographers. In emails I’ve received about the matter, photographers liken it to the fight against the New York Times freelance agreement a few years ago. A petition has been started. Essentially, the Guardian is trying to escape usage fees for the unlimited re-use of images from commissioned assignments. Traditionally, Guardian News Media has paid for subsequent usage after initial publication. From the petition:
At a time when press photographers are suffering severe hardship as a result of the economic downturn, it comes as a further blow to be informed that [Guardian News Media] demands unlimited re-use of our photographs free of charge.”
Even if you don’t regularly shoot for the Guardian, please sign the petition in support of your fellow freelancers.