Sanoma News still
claims all rights
without any additional compensation
Helsinki (22.05.2009 - Juhani Artto) Sanoma News, part of the
Sanoma Group sent a new agreement to its freelancers on May 19. Following heavy criticism
towards the agreement it sent to freelancers in April, the company has changed its
position on three matters and demands that freelancers sign the new agreement by 15 June.
The first change is a reaction to the criticism that persons who are interviewed or
photographed have the right to know where the material is being published. In the new
agreement freelancers are obliged to inform, in advance, the persons they are going to
interview or photograph that the material may be used in any newspaper, magazine etc.
belonging to the Sanoma Group and also that it may be sold on further.
The second change concerns parallel use of the material provided by freelancers to Sanoma
News publications. In the agreement sent to freelancers in April all parallel use was
denied. In the new agreement Sanoma News allows the parallel use to photographers but not
to illustrators or journalists.
The third change concerns the timeframe when a freelancer is to be paid for the material
he or she has furnished to Sanoma News. In the April agreement Sanoma News elected to pay
for the purchase 21 days after the first publication. In the new agreement the company
adopts the common practise in Finland and is ready to pay within 14 days of purchase of
These changes are positive steps in the right direction but do not touch the most serious
problems of the April agreement, says Petri Savolainen, the ombudsman of
the Union of Journalists in Finland. Unacceptable for freelancers is that Sanoma News
claims again in the new agreement and without any additional compensation
exclusive rights for the
material provided by freelancers to the
company's publications (except for use in a freelancer's own exhibitions and compilation
books, when these do not compete with Sanoma)
all rights known and
unknown, in all means of distribution
full rights to use the
material in all units of the Sanoma group
all rights to sell the
material on further
right to modify the material
and publish it in another form of
expression (e.g. change a comic strip to an animation)
freelancers to take
responsibility for damage compensation and court expenses, concerning, for example, rights
On May 19 Savolainen held
negotiations with representatives of the Sanoma News on the agreement. After having heard
the changes the company had unilaterally made to the April agreement it had unilaterally
written, Savolainen concluded that the changes do not go far enough.
Representatives of the Union of Journalists and the other associations organising
freelancers will discuss the latest developments of the dispute and make new conclusions
The freelancers' struggle for a fair agreement with Sanoma News has received widespread
support from permanently employed journalists and their union chapters. On May 19 the
union chapter of Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet, one the largest magazine publishers in Finland,
encouraged freelancers by summoning: "Your cause is also our cause".