New freelance deal agreed between Guardian and NUJ

By Dominic Ponsford

Guardian Newspapers has signed a deal with the NUJ to guarantee
syndication rights for the 4,000 freelance photographers and
illustrators on its books.

According to the NUJ, it is the first deal of its kind with a national paper.

Under
the Freelance Charter, a version of which has already been adopted for
writers, contributors will be offered the chance to sign up for a deal
whereby The Guardian syndicates their work and splits the proceeds. The
nonexclusive syndication deal is voluntary and means photographers
still retain their copyright.

According to Guardian Newspapers
(which includes The Observer), the 70,000 freelance photos and
illustrations it uses every year are “set to increase as excellence in
photojournalism and illustrations forms a key element of GNL’s
full-colour Berliner launches”.

NUJ freelance organiser John
Toner said: “It has been a lengthy negotiation, but we are very pleased
that GNL addressed most of our concerns.

The most important
elements are that the licence is voluntary, and that contributors will
retain copyright and can continue to earn from re-use of their work
elsewhere.”

Asked how the charter compares with other newspapers,
Toner said: “Other newspapers don’t negotiate with me, so it’s
difficult to know.

“I know that News International has tried to
get exclusive syndication for freelance photographers, which means in
practice you lose copyright.”

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