NUJ hails win in Scotsman copyright row

Eleven photographers say they have come to a £20,000-plus
out-of-court settlement with The Scotsman Publications Ltd (TSPL) after
a long-running legal dispute over a copyright claim.

The dispute was settled on the day before both sides were due to meet in court in Edinburgh.

The
NUJ, which represented the photographers, hailed the settlement as a
“comprehensive legal victory”. The origins of the dispute go back to
early 2001, when TSPL notified photographers that it wanted to
establish a new contract with contributors to its three titles – The
Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland on Sunday.

The
dispute surfaced when it became clear the publishers wanted the right
to reproduce photographs in the future without additional payment.

A
core group of photographers decided that they would not work under the
new contract and forbade TSPL from using any of their archived images.

Colin
McPherson, one of the photographers, said: “It is gratifying to have
established that we do own the rights to the photographs and can
specify where they can and cannot be used.”

NUJ general secretary
Jeremy Dear said: “This victory sends a warning to companies that they
cannot ride roughshod over rights of freelances.”

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