Soul-For-Hire

I received another work-for-hire contract on the ole email today… Nascent A-merikan company, again. They’d like exclusive rights to everything I write, cast doubt on the existence and meaning of the work ‘copyright’ and blood of the first-born child etc. They may even pay me a whopping $50US this time!! Wow, again!! The articles are much longer, which makes it much harder to cannibalise into other saleable pieces. My favourite part is the declaration that they haven’t found an editorial ‘voice’ yet, which I ‘may be able to help out with.’

Ha! Ha! Ha!

It’s getting beyond the pale, I must say. I checked out the travel writer’s forums, and they’re making rumblings about this sort of deal in general. They concluded that work-for-hire is a fine idea if you’re doing business writing specifically for the company, for which an exclusive contract is a good idea. Otherwise, nyet. Why bother uprooting your life, paying for plane tickets, travel insurance, warm beer, damp sheets and all the other delights of foreign travel, then pouring your heart into a lavishly-crafted yet witty and off the cuff piece to get fifty bucks and a boot up the arse?

I am all for the supporting of emerging companies, am cool with the low pay in exchange for publication, but this is just not cricket!

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