One of the issues in dispute is that the Adelaide Review has been selling contributor copy to the Informit paid online information site, without consulting let alone reimbursing contributors.
Following the story on Monday, this morning the Adelaide Review editor and general manager, Luke Stegemann, sent the following email to contributors today.
From: Luke Stegemann
Sent: Wednesday, 27 January 2010 11:20 AM
Subject: The Adelaide Review
Comments have been made about the inclusion of The Adelaide Review material on the INFORMIT website.
TAR’s position is that when it purchases a piece it attains the copyright in that piece. We note that this view is not shared by some contributors.
Our initial response is to suspend any material on the INFORMIT website and communicate with our contributors. This does mean your work will not be promoted on the INFORMIT website now.
We will contact you individually shortly.
A response was swiftly forthcoming – again, sent to numerous contributors – from the Adelaide Review‘s former political and general columnist Michael Jacobs. As previously reported Jacobs withdrew his services from The Adelaide Review last week. Jacobs (who is also a lawyer) wrote to his colleagues:
In the absence of very explicit and unambiguous contracts to the contrary, TAR’s position on copyright flies in the face of common law and common sense. The idea that anyone would be prepared to sell their copyright for the rates Tar has paid – even at its best – would be laughed out of court. In my own case, as I have told the company, I regard even my toleration, for no extra fee, of their unilateral decision to re-publish on the website as a generous concession compared to the explicit terms on which I was first engaged and which the paper has never attempted to re-negotiate.
Further developments are expected, with the majority of contributors believed to share Jacobs’ view.
Watch this space.
CORRECTION: Some of the dates in my Crikey piece were a bit out. I am informed that The Adelaide Review went fortnightly in October 2004 – before the editorship of Lachlan Colquhoun – and reverted to monthly in April 2008. Spanish newspaper magnate Javier Moll purchased the Review in the early noughties, not the late 90s as I reported.