Letter sent on behalf of the Canadian Freelance Union and Unifor Media Council to St. Joseph Communications:
The Canadian Freelance Union and Unifor Media Council are deeply concerned about new clauses that St. Joseph Communications (SJC) properties are using in their updated (fall 2022) contract to engage freelance contributors. The contract contains language that gives far-reaching rights to SJC that many contributors cannot morally or, in some cases, legally agree to.
Based on conversations with dozens of SJC contributors throughout the fall and during the first-ever national freelance summit in February, 2023, these new clauses have made many people hesitant to work with SJC for fear they stand to lose control over their work.
While SJC has, of course, the right to publish material that it contracts to be produced for its properties, we find the sections that relate to “ancillary rights” to be an unfair overreach of your company’s power.
To start, the addition of this clause takes rights away from freelance contributors to use their own works: In addition to the Publishing Rights, Contributor also grants to SJC and each of its affiliated companies the exclusive right and license to control, administer, license and/or sell the Ancillary Rights, provided that such use continues to be in association with Contributor’s name.