Contract Advice For Freelance Creators
Advice is Still Relevant
The following list was prepared by PWAC a few years ago during a freelance writers contract dispute. It was available to be copied and distributed widely to freelance creators at that time.
While some of the content is dated, the principles are still valid.
PWAC Contract Advice
When faced with an abusive contract, consider adopting these options with Number One being the option of choice and the other three fallback positions being assumed as necessary.
- Refuse to sign, and tell the publisher or editor why you are refusing.
- Tell the publisher or editor that you don't like the contract, and try to put off signing for as long as possible. If you have been given a deadline for signing the contract, try to negotiate an extension of the deadline so you can look at it further. Use the time to work with other local freelancers, freelance organizations, and national organizations to effectively resist the contract's implementation.
- Sign, but cross out and initial the offending clause(s).
- Sign, but cross out and initial the contract's expiry date and replace it with a date two months from now. If there is no expiry date, add one in.
In addition, you should consider joining the resistance freelancers from all creative sectors are presenting to these contracts by joining one or more organizations that are leading the fight and working with them to defeat publishers who want to abuse freelancers' copyright. Remember, lone wolves get picked off. We can only win this fight by standing together.
Finding Creator Organizations
Canadian Authors Association membership offers you representation as a creator. The CAA is a corporate member of:
- The Canadian Copyright Institute
- Access Copyright
- Public Lending Rights Commission
- The Book and Periodical Council.
For a list of other creator organizations see the CAA list of national writing associations.
Updated: January 27, 2005