2003-04-23: ASJA and Authors Guild Rebuke AOL Time Warner for All Rights Contract

ASJA, Authors Guild Rebuke AOL Time Warner for All Rights Contract

April 23, 2003

Never before have media companies relied so heavily on freelance contributors to create valuable content. Freelance writers, photographers, illustrators and graphic artists create works that are sold many times over in today's digital universe. Such major media companies as Meredith Publishing and IDG, understanding that the best relationship with freelance contributors is a reasonable one, are improving their contracts. The New York Times has also begun changing some of its freelance contracts to share additional revenues from content. Time, Inc., however, stubbornly clings to an archaic contract demanding that independent contributors forfeit all rights to their work.

Such one-sided agreements are neither justified nor reasonable. By refusing to deal in an equitable manner, Time, Inc., antagonizes freelance creators who are important and vital business partners, and harms its long-term business prospects and those of its investors.

Time, Inc., and its parent, AOL Time Warner, enjoy continuing revenue streams from the work it obtains from freelance creators. We hope that the current management team will see the error of prior strategies, and realize that quality content the market values can come only from people who are treated as the partners they are, and who share in the ongoing value of their work.

American Society of Journalists and Authors
Jim Morrison, President

Authors Guild
Nick Taylor, President

  • A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.
    – Sidney Sheldon
  • A critic is a man who knows the way but can't drive the car.
    – Kenneth Tynan
  • A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self–addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.
    – Ring Lardner
  • A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
    – Marguerite Yourcenar
  • All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
    – Somerset Maugham
  • Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
    – Christopher Hampton
  • Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life.
    – Lawrence Kasdan
  • Copy from one, it's plagiarism; copy from two, it's research.
    –Wilson Mizner
  • Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them.
    – Flannery O'Connor
  • I just wrote a book, but don't go out and buy it yet, because I don't think it's finished yet.
    – Lawrence Welk
  • I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
    – Douglas Adams
  • I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done.
    – Stephen Wright
  • It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
    – Robert Benchley
  • It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.
    – Andrew Jackson
  • Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks.
    – Richard Curtis
  • No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self–deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.
    – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
    –Somerset Maugham
  • Writing a novel is like paddling from Boston to London in a bathtub. Sometimes the damn tub sinks. It's a wonder that most of them don't.
    – Stephen King
  • Writing a novel is like spelunking. You kind of create the right path for yourself. But, boy, are there so many points at which you think, absolutely, I'm going down the wrong hole here.
    – Chang–rae Lee
  • Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
    –Samuel Johnson