1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Seeking help on freelance contract issues

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by kimronspringle, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. I need help.

    I am a freelancer. The paper where I have done freelance work for years suddenly has corporate attorney that has said I have to sign a contract.

    I don't have a problem with the idea in principle. There is some standard language about not holding the company responsible for any legal trouble that arises because of mistakes I make, but there is also a spot that says I am responsible even in cases of the "company's own negligence." I quote that because that is the exact phrase as it appears in the contract.

    Have any of you had to sign contracts with similar language. I know, I know, if I have concerns I should have an attorney look at it, but for what amounts to about $40 per assignment, it is tough to justify the expense, especially if it is a routine bit of legalese.
  2. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    If you have an attorney friend who can help then ask him about the passages that give you concern.

    Just because they present a contract does not mean you have to sign it as it it is written.
  3. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I would be very concerned about signing that contract. They are basically saying that if you 'F' up, you're on your own. But also if they 'F' up, you can be blamed.

    If the paper's editors inserted something in your story that was legally questionable, then you would be held liable, even though it's their error.
  4. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    Cross out the offending sentence, initial it, then send the signed contract back ... betting it won't be an issue with them ...
  5. ringer

    ringer Member

    Not every contract fits every job. Sometimes they'll just send you the bioilerplate edition.
    You were smart to read it carefully.

    Dan's right. If the paper has an issue with the crossed-out section, they'll call you to discuss it.
  6. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    Do not bet on that.

    Not saying that wouldn't happen, but you should be the one to call them to discuss it, and suggest/request that they, themselves, take out the concerning passage entirely.

    Before you sign it.
  7. Dan Hickling

    Dan Hickling Member

    Have to say that I've seen (and signed) many such contracts, but have never seen a clause like that ... and any revisions I've made have always been rubber stamped ... not that this one couldn't be different ...
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page