Any Freelancer Who Is Not Outraged Is Not Paying Attention
The defendants then proceed to tell the lawyers for the 23 individual named plaintiffs -- all of whom belong to that 160-author subset -- that they would fight them tooth and nail over a long list of issues. The defendants are interested, however, in "a global resolution of this matter."
The point is: The named plaintiffs were never doing the unregistered freelancers a favor. It was the other way around.
Why? The plaintiffs could not get their nice Category A and B awards, and their special $2,000 fees for being class representatives -- and their mouthpieces could not collect their $4.4 million in fees -- without wrapping the unregistereds into the deal.
The record of the "negotiations" makes it clear that it was really the "associational plaintiff" organizations -- the Authors Guild, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the National Writers Union -- that called the shots. To the extent these associations have freelance writers as members, the vast, vast majority of them have unregistered articles.
In the mediation brief the defendants attack the legitimacy of the writers' organizations to represent anyone. Yet that changed once the associations were willing to deal -- and deal badly -- on behalf of the unregistereds.
Take a close look at the Category C reduction provision of the settlement -- the terms under which the claim awards for unregistereds can go down, even to zero, if they turn out to overload the $10-million-to-$18-million settlement fund. What this means is that these sterling freelancer organizations thought that it was OK for C awards, which were already super-low, to be abandoned before the A's and B's would be touched. They were saying to their members: Give up your claims, grant a perpetual license to your works, and possibly don't even get anything in return.
And, again, remember that the A's and the B's couldn't pull off this deal in the first place without the C's.
Price Paid for Article
B Gets % of price
This scheme makes no sense -- none whatever -- by any explanation other than that the registereds sold out the unregistereds. It's real plain. The C's, who were the key to this deal, got screwed by their so-called representatives.