A little collective negotiation

GETTING out from under a corporate rights grab can be a severe hassle. But we can report a recent successful mini-collective strategy against just such a nasty.

One of the writers involved said: "I was asked to sign an all-rights grab contract that also insisted on applying such terms retrospectively to all work I'd done for the company's publications. But then another writer, asked to do the same, contacted me and a third colleague, asking whether we felt similarly uncomfortable.

"Having pooled our thoughts, we replied separately - though willing to join forces if necessary - explaining why we felt this was not appropriate. The response took little time: we were told we would be able to continue working under our original terms.

"It just goes to show that - at times, anyway - it’s worth objecting to such contracts, however much one fears the possibility of losing work. Our writing is as valuable to them as it is to us, and if writers communicate with one another to consolidate their power, it can prove effective, and remain amicable..."