Most assuredly, the AP has a new contract. We first reported about it here (A New AP Contract Emerging? - 5/14/08), and more than one copy came our way from several readers. Of note in their paperwork, was the disparity between pay from bureau to bureau.
You have until June 1, or about 2 weeks, to indicate your intent to object to this or sign it. If you don't sign by June 1, you won't be getting any more AP assignments.
Interestingly, the AP notes in their cover letter "We urge you to read the agreement closely and to seek expert guidance before signing if you desire." Yes, be sure to talk to a lawyer, and your insurance agent (regarding indemnification, if for nothing else), before signing.
I've consolidated sections 7, 8 and 9, because they have some fairly standard language in them, and my comments/suggestions in those sections are somewhat limited.
In the end, there clearly was an attempt at doing more for the photographers. Perhaps it was because the AP was competing with Reuters for freelancers, who already pays royalties. Perhaps it was because there was ambiguous, or aged language in the last contract that needed updating. Perhaps it was because they just couldn't get consistent image quality from their freelancers (setting aside competition from Reuters) with the previous low rates. Perhaps it was the AP making an effort to be more thoughtful about the realities of being a photographer. Likely, it was a combination of all of the above.
- The 2008 AP Contract Analysis - Introduction
- The 2008 AP Contract Analysis - Opening Recitations
- The 2008 AP Contract Analysis - Section 1
- The 2008 AP Contract Analysis - Section 2
- The AP 2008 Contract Analysis - Section 3
- The AP 2008 Contract Analysis - Section 4
- The AP 2008 Contract Analysis - Section 5
- The AP 2008 Contract Analysis - Section 6
- The AP 2008 Contract Analysis - Sections 7,8 & 9
- The AP 2008 Contract Analysis - Rates
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