Watch out, photographers
ANOTHER photo agency issued a new contract to photographers last month. Photoshoot gave contributors only until 15 September to opt out of a clause which would allow it to take a 70 per cent cut of money distributed by any collecting society from "secondary uses" such as photocopying newspapers and magazines in libraries. Sorry the printed Freelance missed this. Do keep an eye on www.londonfreelance.org for updates.
There is a clear pattern here. Alamy - previously known as an agency less hostile to photographers - issued a similar change to terms and conditions in July, demanding a 50 per cent cut, as reported in the August Freelance. The pattern is the plan by BAPLA, the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, to form a collecting society in competition with DACS, the Design and Artists Collecting Society, to which many photographers belong. The difference is that only libraries and agencies would be members of the new beast (and Getty would be massively dominant among those).
The immediate practical advice remains: anyone receiving a new contract, or being asked to agree to varying a contract, must seek advice from your Union before signing anything.
Which means being in the union. Tell your colleagues who may not yet have joined.