Friday, August 29, 2008

Contract Conflict (1)


(see: 'Be Careful What You Wish For...(2)
' for back-story)

Them

Dear Stephen

I have requested a revised contract from our contracts department to reflect the change in the commission. You can invoice for the advance, but I would really like to see images for one drive if you can submit that asap. The contract should be raised and available to send to you as a doc. early next week.

Me

Dear (Editor)

Thank you for your email.

I have to say, at this stage, that I feel very disheartened by the slow progress of the contract – and by the lack of response to my emails and phone calls.

I was asking ****** for a contract (and a start date) in late June, and have subsequently asked the same of ****** and ******* all to no avail. However, I started the work, against my better judgment and in good faith, at *****'s request in late July encouraged by her promise that the contract would be with me in less than 1 week. I also noted ****'s assurance that the contract would be with me at the beginning of this week.

Now over 1 month since I started the work without a contract, I note your assurance that the contract will be with me in less than 1 week.

At this stage, I will not be continuing with any work until the contract is signed, nor will I be forwarding any work to you until the contract is signed and in place. Also, all images taken so far (about 1600 photographs) are not, as far I am concerned, covered by the terms and conditions of the contract - particularly your demand that I grant copyright of all images taken to your publishing company. I will therefore be retaining the copyright of those images, although I will agree to their use for the duration of the book’s life.

Although your may feel that my position is disagreeable, I feel that the contract has been ignored, or delayed, despite my constant requests and assertions that time was running out, to your colleagues. As a consequence I really do feel undermined and unappreciated at this stage.

On a more practical point, the weather here has been appalling through August – grey skies and rain most days – and I am not as happy with the images as I might have been given a much earlier start date. I am therefore also concerned that I will be held responsible for any images that do not meet your (justifiably) very high standards, and that I may soon run out of time to return to some areas. I feel that a much earlier start date would have given me more time – but as it stands, I feel that a later deadline may also be required to re-take shots with better light in some areas already completed.


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