Freelancers settle lawsuit on online databases

Posted on March 31, 2005 
Filed Under Uncategorized

The National Writers’ Union has settled a case against some of the biggest news databases in the world including The New York Times, Dow Jones & Co., Reed Elsevier Group’s LexisNexis and ProQuest Co. from re-selling freelance writers’ works without the authors’ permission.

The case was supported by a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that said the principles of copyright protection also applied to online distribution.

The writers’ representatives said that publishers including The New York Times Company; the Time Inc. unit of Time Warner; and Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, had agreed to pay writers up to US$1,500 for articles with copyrights registered by the writers.

Writers who failed to register their copyrights will receive up to US$60 an article, the writers’ group said.

The Times Company said in a statement that it was “pleased that this issue has been resolved and believes the agreement is fair to all parties involved.”

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