Magazine article Editor & Publisher

O, What a Tangled Web

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

O, What a Tangled Web

Article excerpt

Free-lancers sue 'Boston Globe'

Unfair business practices alleged

In the latest challenge to publishers' ability to post contributors' material on the Web, free-lancers at The Boston Globe sued the paper over a proposed agreement seeking broad rights to publish their past and future material without additional payment.

The Globe had asked about 750 of its most-often-used free-lance writers, photographers, and illustrators to sign the pact by July 1 or face being dropped by the paper. As of June 13, 293 had signed it, a Globe spokesman said.

The suit, filed in Massachusetts Superior Court on behalf of about 1,000 Globe free-lancers, accuses the paper of violating the state's unfair-business-practice law and seeks an injunction against the agreement. A hearing is set for June 23.

The agreement was the Globe's answer to a 1999 federal appeals court ruling barring the New York Times Co., parent of the Globe, and other publishers from using free-lancers' work in databases without their permission.

Because of that restriction, the Globe's online site, Boston.com, is missing some of the print content, Globe spokesman Richard Gulla said. …

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