Welcome to the National Writers Union

The National Writers Union UAW Local 1981 is the only labor union that represents freelance writers.

Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era.

Combining the strength of more than 1,200 members in our 13 chapters with the support of the United Automobile Workers, the NWU works to advance the economic and working conditions of all writers.  Our members also directly benefit from the many valuable services the Union offers—including grievance assistance, contract advice, and much more—while actively contributing to a growing movement of professional freelancers who have banded together to assert their collective power.

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Special Announcements

05/22/2014 - 3:38pm


 
The 2014 Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, April 8 -10, which celebrated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, featured the voices of veterans of the civil rights struggle, including former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Georgia Congressman John Lewis and former President Jimmy Carter, to political recipients of the Act’s passage like former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. The LBJ Library has posted photos and videos from each day of the event.
 
Dispatches from the Civil Rights Summit 2014, Austin, Texas
 
By: NWU Member James Patterson: Diplomat, Writer, Speaker, Educator

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin in public accommodations including restaurants, hotels, theaters and retail businesses. The Act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to ban workplace discrimination. Before the Act employers could legally exclude blacks from job openings with a simple “no Negroes.” Congressman John Lewis, who was brutally beaten at Selma in 1965, told participants “times have changed” but work needed to be done on civil rights, such as restoring important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (The GOP-dominated Supreme Court struck down key provisions in 2013.)

 
Lewis said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “a living document” and the struggle goes on for equality and justice. Public furor over Johnson’s disastrous handling of Vietnam has somewhat abated, many say, and historians are looking at more positive aspects of his administration, especially his work on civil rights legislation. Summit planners said they hoped the event would help people see beyond Johnson’s failed Vietnam policy. That may not happen, however, as Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award winning author Robert Caro is currently at work on his fifth and final volume on Johnson and it may bring attention back to the president’s role in escalating the Vietnam War.
 
The Civil Rights Summit, though, was essentially a Vietnam Free Zone where there was nothing but praise for the late Texas president. Caro was absent from the Summit reportedly due to differences with planners over Johnson’s civil rights legacy. Also absent were members of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family. Reportedly, they are in legal disputes with each other and with some of the panelists over some of King’s personal items. Further, one family member claims Johnson was involved in the assassination of Dr. King. University of Texas Austin students were upset with planners. Reportedly, there were few Summit seats for students. An estimated 9,035 students applied for tickets and only 640 received them. The Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium at the LBJ Presidential Library seats only 967 people.
 
There were 46 panelists who spoke at the event. Summit planes invited controversial Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry but did not invite him to speak. As a result, Perry had “a schedule conflict” and could not attend. According to LBJ Library spokesperson Anne Wheeler, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Texas, John Cornyn, Texas, Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, and Harry Reid, Nevada, were invited but could not attend. Similarly, GOP House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi did not attend. In my view, Cruz, McConnell and Boehner would have likely drawn angry protesters, especially over their views on immigration reform. According to the Daily Texas, a UT-Austin newspaper, Social work freshman Addis Gezahegn said, “I would gladly miss class to be in the same room as the first black president of the United States. The only black person on the UT campus like 50 years ago carried a mop and a broom.”
 
On the last day of the Summit, President Obama spoke and Summit planners panicked when they realized the audience was, well, very light for his speech. They opened doors for students and even herded press from the Media Center into the auditorium. Summit planners had, they said, worked on this event for three years. Still, problems arose. One of the most embarrassing problems was the total exclusion of civil rights for the disabled from the agenda.
 
The landmark American with Disabilities Act of 1990, signed by former President George H.W. Bush, who did not attend the event, celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. At the very last minute, Summit planners added distinguished educator and disability rights advocate Lex Freidan to a panel on Civil Rights in the 21st Century. He had an important message and it is sad few heard it. Friedan’s name did not appear in the official Summit program. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, during his first twenty years in Congress, adamantly and wholeheartedly opposed all civil rights legislation. His Texas constituents opposed it and so did he. President Kennedy’s tragic assassination in Dallas in November 1963, the televised brutality and violence against blacks in the Deep South, Klan murders of white civil rights workers in Mississippi, and Dr. King’s compassioned plea for help in ending segregation, changed Lyndon Johnson and the course of our nation’s history. 
 
Johnson was not perfect but when history called, he listened and acted to help end bigotry and discrimination. Few other Southern politicians heard history’s call at that time. As a youth in Alabama in 1964, LBJ was a hated man. Arizona’s Republican Senator Barry Goldwater, who said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was unconstitutional, was the white man’s savior. Fortunately, Goldwater lost in a landslide. He won Alabama by a Klanslide. Johnson famously predicted his signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would cost his party the South. Solidly Republican today, Alabama, like much of the South, is still resistant to civil rights for gays and marriage equality.
 
As Congressman John Lewis and other Civil Rights veterans said at the Summit, the Civil Rights struggle goes on for equality and justice. Like Johnson, the Civil Rights Summit was not a perfect event. It was, though, historic and its messages provided participants with the energy, enthusiasm and promise for the ongoing fight for a better and more just America.

About the Author:

James Patterson, who attended Alabama’s segregated schools in the 1970s, received a family education in civil rights. His father, a member of the Alabama National Guard, was federalized by President Kennedy for the integration of the University of Alabama in June 1963 and by President Johnson for service at Selma in March of 1965 to prevent violence by “domestic terrorists,” the Ku Klux Klan. Patterson is now a San Francisco-based writer and speaker.
 

 

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05/21/2014 - 5:39pm

The case of New York Times reporter James Risen highlights the need for a federal shield law. In 2006, Risen published “State of War,” a book that described Operation Merlin, a failed CIA attempt to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. Risen used classified information given to him by confidential source(s). The Obama Administration investigated the leak and filed criminal charges against former CIA agent Jeffery Sterling under the Espionage Act. The federal prosecutor also subpoenaed Risen, who is not charged with a crime, to testify in court to reveal his source(s). He refused.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruled that there is no First Amendment reporter’s privilege to protect confidential sources in criminal cases in federal court. Risen has appealed to the US Supreme Court, who may decide as early as June 2, whether to hear his appeal. If the Court denies his petition, Risen could be held in contempt of court and face jail time or fines if he refuses to reveal his confidential source(s).

In September, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Free Flow of Information Act (S. 987) on a 13-5 bipartisan vote. The bill would create a qualified reporter’s privilege, which would allow federal judges to strike a balance between protecting confidential sources and facilitating the public’s right to know and compelling a reporter to testify.  NWU and the Shield Coalition support this bill as it includes freelancers as “qualified reporters.”

The bill contains a national security exception in leak cases (Section 5), which states that the risk of future leaks by a confidential source is not enough to force a reporter to testify. A reporter would have to reveal a confidential source only if the government proves that the reporter’s testimony would help to prevent an act of terrorism or other acts that could harm national security.

Risen’s book was published years after the alleged CIA operation. Under the Free Flow of Information Act, the government would have had to prove that forcing Risen to testify would prevent some future harm to national security.

If Risen’s petition is denied by the Supreme Court, it will be up to Congress to enact concrete legal standards for when reporters can and cannot protect confidential sources. The time has come for Congress to pass the Free Flow of Information Act.


 

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05/07/2014 - 3:40pm

It's time for NWU members and other writers to submit comments to the U.S. Copyright Office once again. It was very helpful when we did it in 2012, so we need to do it again. The idea of an "orphan works" law just won't die. An orphan works law or an expanded definition of “fair use” would let anyone who claims they can't identify or find whoever they think holds the rights to your copyrighted work have the right to use, copy, or even publish your work for free without your permission.

Here are a couple of scenarios about orphan works: You published an article or poem in a magazine long out of print. If a library has a copy in its collection, but can't find the magazine publisher (out of business?), they could call it an “orphan," scan it, and publish it on the Web. Say, your book has been out of print for years, so you self-publish your own e-book. If someone can't find the publisher of the original book, they could call it an "orphan" and issue their own edition without your knowledge or permission, which would compete with your e-book and deprive you of income. Or a story posted on your blog could be plagiarized on another Web site without your knowledge, permission, or payment.

So much for your ability to resell or republish your backlist work!

You can help NWU prevent a disastrous so-called “orphan works” law by submitting comments to the Copyright Office by May 21. Fill out the form on the US Copyright Office website and attach a file of your letter. The link to the NWU sample letter is provided here, or below.

You can use our sample letter, but it will be much more effective if you tell your own story. Examples of how you are earning money from stories, articles, Web content, books, or excerpts whose original editions are listed in bibliographies and library catalogs as "out of print" will be extremely helpful.

Please spread the word to NWU members and other writers. This is our final opportunity to be heard before the Copyright Office makes its recommendations about "orphan works" to Congress.

Thank you for making NWU’s advocacy much stronger!

Orphan Works Comments: Form Letter (download as a .doc file here)

Submit electronically at www.copyright.gov/orphan/comment-submission

 

To: Maria Pallante, Register of Copyright
U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress

Re: Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

(FR Doc. 2014–02830; Copyright Office Docket Number 2012-12)

Dear Ms. Pallante:

I endorse comments to the Copyright Office submitted by the National Writers Union. As a working writer, I oppose any "orphan works" legislation or any interpretation of “fair use” that permits use of my work without my permission or restricts my remedies for copyright infringement because someone claims they were unable to identify or locate me or any person or entity they thought held certain rights to my work.

Proposals for "orphan works" legislation and expanded interpretations of “fair use” fail to consider ways working writers earn our living. Under the Berne Convention, an exception to copyright for “fair use” or other use of “orphan works” is permitted only if it "does not conflict with normal exploitation" of the work. But, as far as I know, the Copyright Office has never conducted research on the market for works whose original printed editions have gone out of print and might be deemed "orphaned.” Nor has it asked writers about new norms of commercial exploitation of our “out-of-print” works, especially via self-publication and digital publication.

Orphan works” legislation or “fair use” cannot properly be evaluated without understanding writers' new business models that only writers can provide. If work to which I hold some or all rights is deemed “orphaned" because it is not in publishers' or libraries' records, despite the fact that I am currently earning money from it, any so-called “orphan work” would unfairly compete with and destroy the value of my rights.

Before the Copyright Office or Congress considers any "orphan works" or “fair use” legislation, I request you hold hearings to learn from writers and other creators about how we are currently exploiting our rights to our work and how such a law would affect us. No "orphan works" legislation should be considered unless it respects the rights of creators.

Sincerely,

 

 

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04/23/2014 - 1:59pm

Wednesday April 23, 2014 is World Copyright Day, a day designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote literacy and recognize authors. Copyright law varies across the world, but the idea of copyright is that laws around creative works should benefit society at large and also protect and incentivize creators, who enrich and enliven culture with their original stories, music, poems and photographs.

But the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) say journalists and other creators are being deprived of their rights and ability to earn a living from future use of their creations. And it is happening with the stroke of the pen, with the signing of unfair contracts riddled with clauses writers might not understand when they sign their rights away.

Across the world, IFJ and EFJ say writers, photojournalists, and other creators are being asked to sign “model contracts” with clauses that cut creators out of future decisions regarding their work – and out of future profits.

The IFJ and EFJ are asking for laws that would protect creators in negotiations, “ensuring that both moral and economical rights are respected.” Moral rights refers to a special framework of recognitions and protections for the intrinsic creative bond between creators and their works. Moral rights are more broadly recognized in Europe than in the US.

The advocacy groups called for stronger laws worldwide. “One cannot expect journalists to make a living when they are systematically asked to sign away their authors’ rights”, said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

The National Writers Union Grievance and Contract Division (GCD) provides free contract advice to members. Earlier this year, the division advised writers to protect their rights to revenue from future digital publication of their own works and, when negotiating contracts, to“negotiate each type of publication right separately, and strike any reference to 'all media' in contract language.”

The EFJ and IFJ also critized contracts that contain buy-out clauses, assignment for future unknown uses and moral rights transfers.

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04/11/2014 - 4:28pm

 

“Thrive” is the title of a new book out by Arianna Huffington, and she talks about the project in an interview with Deirdre Donahue in the April, 2014 issue of AARP Bulletin. The new book focuses on work-life balance and redefining traditional notions of success. Yet Huffington's progressive blog Huffington Post was enormously succesful, at least in part thanks to the work of professional journalists who worked without compensation. She built a business model that doesn't pay freelance contributors.

In 2010, Huffington sold her blog to AOL for $350 milion dollars and took a job as AOL's head of content. National Writers Union and the Newspaper Guild led a boycott of HuffPost at the time. The boycott has ended, but we still want to see a pay scale for online writers (view a panel session we hosted on the topic here). Writers create more than content. We create value and wealth. Just ask Arianna Huffington.

Working without pay should not be the expectation of online publications – or online writers. Quality journalism must be justly compensated. National Writers Union members have started sending off their own letters to AARP. Now we are asking everyone to do the same. Please cut and paste the letter below and send it to: Bulletin@aarp.org. And keep an eye out for the "Thrive" tour coming to your town.

To: Bulletin@aarp.org :

In your April issue of the "AARP Bulletin," Deirdre Donahue interviewed Arianna Huffington about her success and her latest theme, "Thrive." The interview failed to point out that one of the reasons Arianna "thrives" is because she doesn't pay most of the writer/contributors to her flagship huffingtonpost.com. HuffPost became a large progressive blog because of the unpaid contributions of many full-time journalists that brought quality reporting, traffic, and value that allowed her to sell it to AOL for $350 million in 2010. Along with the sale price, Arianna enjoys a $4 million annual salary as AOL's head of content. She shared none of the sale price with the many working writers that created that value. Some might call that "thriving." Others might use another term.

 

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04/04/2014 - 4:19pm

The European Federation of Journalists today condemned the killing of an Associated Press (AP) photographer from Germany who was killed while working in Afghanistan ahead of elections Saturday. The photographer was killed and another was wounded when, the AP reported, an Afghan police commander approached the convoy the photojournalists were traveling with - a convoy of elections workers delivering ballots - and opened fire on the journalists.

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03/31/2014 - 9:49am

Event: Copyright in the Digital Age: Creators in a landscape of Google Books and orphan works
Hosts: National Writers Union, DC Chapter and the Special Libraries Association, Social Science Division
When: April 24th, 2014, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT - Click to add this event to your iCalendar.
Where: AFL-CIO, 815 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, President's Room

US copyright is in flux. How can our copyright system continue to strike the right balance between social good and the need for benefits and incentives to diverse creators? What can we learn from listening to creators themselves about how they are negotiating a new landscape? Join us for a panel session focusing on how writers are making a living in the digital age, the state of fair use, and authors' perspectives on book scanning services such as Scribd, Google Books, and Amazon's Look Inside The Book program.

Speakers include Edward Hasbrouck, activist, journalist, author, consumer advocate and NWU Book Division co-chair; Michael Capobianco, author, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America (SFWA), President 1996-1998 and 2007-2008; and Kurt Wimmer, an expert in privacy and digital media law and general counsel for the Newspaper Association of America. Larry Guthrie of the Special Libraries Association, Social Science Division's Labor Section will moderate.

Bring a brown bag lunch. The event will be webcast. For more information visit:
http://www.nwu-dc.org/content/copyright-digital-age

Contact: nwudc.news@gmail.com

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03/17/2014 - 6:11pm

Three major journalists' unions in Ukraine and Russia have agreed to work together to support safety for journalists covering events in Ukraine and Crimea, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). The Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), the National Union of the Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and Russian affiliates the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) came together for a meeting in Brussels, Belgium where they vowed to support transparency of information and committed to upholding reporting principles outlined in the IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists.

Read more on the IFJ site:

 


 

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02/24/2014 - 7:09pm

Frequently Asked Questions about Revised Settlement of Electronic Databases Copyright Litigation
(post-Tasini case class action)


What is the settlement about?
A class action lawsuit was initiated in 2001 by the National Writers Union and two other writers’ organizations to compensate writers for uncompensated electronic uses of their work prior to the Supreme Court decision in Tasini v. New York Times. After a long and contentious legal process, a revised settlement was negotiated by all parties and was given preliminary approval by a federal court in New York on January 22, 2014. A hearing on final approval has been scheduled for June 10, 2014, but that date could change.

How is this different from the settlement proposed in 2005?  
Most writers who filed claims will get slightly more money under this revised settlement than under the original proposal, including those writers who had not registered their copyrights.

Who can file for payment?
Only those people who filed a valid claim before September 30, 2005, are eligible to receive payment. No new claims will be accepted for the revised settlement, and no additional works can be added to previously filed claims.

If I didn’t file a claim, will this settlement affect me?
Yes. You can do nothing, opt out, or object. If you do nothing, you will give up some rights if freelance articles you wrote were reproduced in publications that participated in the settlement.

What should I do if I didn't file a claim in 2005?
If you find out that any works you wrote are covered by the settlement, you should probably opt out now. There is no benefit to anyone who didn’t file a claim, but there are potential costs. If you didn't file a claim and you do nothing, you will give up some rights to all your affected works, in perpetuity, but you will get no money. If you opt out, you won't give up any rights. Opting out is simple and free. You don’t have to try to list all your works.

What should I do if I filed a claim in 2005?
If the settlement is approved, the publications that published the work for which you made claims choose to participate in the settlement, and your claim is deemed valid by the claims administrator, and you will eventually get a payment. If you feel it’s a bad deal, you can opt out now.
If you are fairly confident you are never going to do anything to generate any revenue from the works covered by the settlement, you will probably want to stay in and get paid. If you are generating other revenue from these works or think you might, you need to decide whether the compensation you will get from the settlement is enough to be worth the rights you will give up.

What rights do I give up if I stay in the settlement?  
Non-exclusive rights in perpetuity to any and all forms of digital distribution of all affected works, which are infinitely sublicensable.
Are the license and rights granted by the proposed settlement limited to the works for which I made claims?
No. The license covers all your freelance contributions to participating publications, even if you didn't make claims for them and even if you didn't make a claim at all.

What do you recommend I should do?
That’s up to you. We can’t make a decision for you. Only you know your work and what revenue you may expect from it, if any, in the future.

How long before we are paid?
That depends on the court, over which we have no control. It will be at least several more months. But we will alert members and other writers when the settlement has finally been approved and when payment is likely.

Which publications are included in the settlement?
A list of publishers can be found in Exhibit F, but the list contains only the names of corporations and not the names of individual journals or magazines. The final list of which publications choose to participate in the
settlement won't be known until after the settlement is finally approved.
I filled out a claim for the Google Book Settlement in 2010. Are the two settlements related?
No. These are two entirely separate, very different cases.

Can I object to the settlement?
Yes. Anyone who files the proper paperwork will have a chance to speak to the court before the court decides whether to give final approval to the settlement.

What if I still have questions? How do I get more info?
The full Notice of Revised Class Action Settlement is posted at www.copyrightclassaction.com. If you still need help, you may contact us at nwu@nwu.org. It may take us time to answer your question.
 


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02/15/2014 - 9:24pm

Friday, February 21, 2014

The United Auto Workers today, February 21, 2014, filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging outside interference in a historic Southern auto plant vote last week. A win for the UAW would have represented a major victory for the labor movement in the South.  The vote one week ago saw Volkswagen auto plant workers vote narrowly against union representation that would have led to the establishment of a works council - the first such proposed model of labor-management relations in the United States.

The UAW alleges that a firestorm of interference and threats from special interest groups influenced how workers voted over three days last week. (WATCH: Workers’ React to Outside Interference).

According to a UAW Release: Of the anti-union messaging: “It’s essentially saying, ‘If you unionize, it’s going to hurt your economy. Why? Because I’m going to make sure it does,’” said Volkswagen worker Lauren Feinauer. “I hope people see it for the underhanded threat that it is.”

The campaign also included threats by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker related to promises of a new product line awarded to the plant if workers voted against UAW representation.

The objections state, “Senator Corker’s conduct was shameful and undertaken with utter disregard for the rights of the citizens of Tennessee and surrounding states that work at Volkswagen. … The clear message of the campaign was that voting for the union would result in stagnation for the Chattanooga plant, with no new product, no job security, and withholding of state support for its expansion.”

The UAW announced after the vote:

“While we certainly would have liked a victory for workers here, we deeply respect the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, Volkswagen management and IG Metall for doing their best to create a free and open atmosphere for workers to exercise their basic human right to form a union,” said UAW President Bob King.

Read the full announcement here.  Volkswagen Chattanooga workers were brave and stood up to the tremendous pressure from outside. Send them a message of support on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UAWVW to remind them they have allies, brothers and sisters standing with them in solidarity.


 

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Union News

02/03/2011 - 10:54am

Media Release

31 January 2011

IFJ Condemns “Desperate Tactics” as Egypt Targets Media

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on Egypt to end the crackdown on journalism and media which has led to numerous beatings of media staff and censorship of television and communications networks. As the political crisis has intensified with renewed protests in the streets the regime of President Hosni Mubarak has become ever-more desperate to stop media coverage of the uprising.

Media reports say that the Government last week blocked websites and the Qatari- based international broadcaster, Al-Jazeera has been taken off the air. Its office in Cairo has been shut down and staff were arrested, their film confiscated. The studios of the French public broadcaster, France 2 have also been shut.

02/03/2011 - 10:05am

Media Release

31 January 2011

IFJ Welcomes Tunisian Union Strategy for Jobs and Press Freedom

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed calls from Tunisian journalists’ union to put free speech and rights of journalists at the heart of a new strategy for democracy in the country.

Members of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists meeting last week in the wake of dramatic political changes inside the country adopted a strategic plan to tackle the crisis of jobs and media restructuring following the collapse of the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

01/27/2011 - 1:27pm

Obituary of David Hardy, NWU Member and Union Brother by Patricia Hilliard
 
David Hardy had a long career as a news reporter. This was not easy in an era that did not accept African-Americans in this line of work, but as he explained, being African-American meant he had to work twice as hard and be twice as good as white reporters.  Working twice as hard earned him the recognition he deserved. He was given the United Press International Investigative Reporting Award for his investigative articles on a corrupt senator, David Friedland, who was wanted by the FBI. The Society of Professional Journalists honored him for excellence in feature writing.   Hardy was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting by the Daily News. Ironically, later, David Hardy entered a legal battle against the Daily News for employment discrimination which he ultimately won. 

01/05/2011 - 11:36pm

UtterJargon.com homepage.

To Sebastian Pinera, President of the Republic of Chile....

01/05/2011 - 9:37pm
Media Release
31 December 2010
Please click here for the French version

Please click here for the Spanish version

IFJ Reports Heavy Media Loss to Violence after 97 Journalists Died in 2010

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today warned that journalists and media personnel remain prime targets for political extremists, gangsters and terrorists as it announced that at least 94 journalists and media personnel who were killed in 2010, victims of targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents. Three other journalists lost their lives in accidents this year.

The IFJ list was issued just two days after police in Sweden and Denmark revealed they had foiled a potentially deadly bomb plot against Jyllens Posten, the Danish newspaper that in 2005 set off protests around the world when it published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed.

Elsewhere the IFJ list puts Pakistan top of the list of the most dangerous zones for journalists in 2010, ahead of Mexico, Honduras and Iraq.

"Nearly 100 journalists killed is a heavy loss which ought to stir the world governments into action to offer better protection to journalists," said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President. "The sheer number of murders and conflict related incidents which claimed the lives of journalists and media personnel around the globe this year has brought into sharp focus the high risks associated with the practice journalism today."



12/21/2010 - 2:03pm

The hearing for Penguin v. Steinbeck which was originally scheduled for this Wednesday, December 22nd at 4 PM has been postponed until January 20th at 4 PM. The location is the same, at 500 Pearl Street, in Courtroom 17 A in front of Magistrate Gabriel W. Gorenstein.

We will be sure to send out a reminder the week before the new hearing date.

Thank you again for your concern and support on this very serious issue before the court.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

In solidarity,

Gail Steinbeck Gail Knight Steinbeck
Chairperson
CREATIVE PROPERTY RIGHTS ALLIANCE
1482 East Valley Road, Suite 100
Montecito, CA 93108
Phone: (805) 565-0275
Fax (805) 565-0276
www.creativepropertyrightsalliance.org

12/17/2010 - 3:05pm

Dear Artists and Authors,

 
On Wednesday, December 22nd a Goliath publisher will once again attempt to dilute the rights of artists to control their copyrights and exercise their right to be paid fair market value for their works. In an ongoing battle between the publisher Penguin and the family of the Nobel Laureate, John Steinbeck, the publisher has sued the family for over $150,000.00 in legal fees, after the Steinbecks tried and failed to terminate and renegotiate their contracts under Sections 304C of the United States Copyright Act. The goal was to be sure the copyrights were held by John Steinbeck's family, as the Copyright Act intended, with the objective to renegotiate their contracts for present day, fair market value. While the upcoming hearing is basically only a fee issue, it has the potential to add another ominous layer to the precedent setting case, Penguin v. Steinbeck and will only be another impediment to artists' Federal termination rights. 
12/03/2010 - 2:14pm

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the political backlash being mounted against the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks and accused the United States of attacking free speech after it put pressure on the website’s host server to shut down the site yesterday.
The website’s host Amazon.com blocked access to WikiLeaks after United States officials condemned the torrent of revelations about political, business and diplomatic affairs that has given people around the world unprecedented access to detailed information from United States sources, much of it embarrassing to leading public figures.
“It is unacceptable to try to deny people the right to know,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “These revelations may be embarrassing in their detail, but they also expose corruption and double-dealing in public life that is worthy of public scrutiny. The response of the United States is desperate and dangerous because it goes against fundamental principles of free speech and democracy.”

12/01/2010 - 4:53pm

 

NEW YORK CITY November 18 – As part of the Interfaith Worker Justice Day of Action Against Wage Theft, about 30 former Inkwell workers filed their case in federal court for over $360,000 in back wages. The freelance writers, translators, graphic artists and editors worked for Inkwell Solutions, a “development house” used by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to outsource the production of textbooks. In 2009 the workers completed a textbook project for the Texas school systems, in English and Spanish. Inkwell closed their doors and the owners tried to skip town without paying the freelancers.

11/12/2010 - 1:23am

GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION

November 23, 2010

To Mark One Year Since Massacre In Philippines

Dear friends and colleagues,

We write to you on behalf of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) to alert you to activities around the world to commemorate the world’s single biggest atrocity against journalists - the brutal murder of 32 journalists and media workers in a massacre of at least 58 people in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao, in the southern Philippines on November 23, 2009.

At the request of colleagues attending the IFJ Asia-Pacific regional meeting in September 2010, the IFJ Asia-Pacific office is working with our friends in the Philippines to prepare a Global Day of Action on November 23, 2010, to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre.

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