Thursday, May 09, 2002

I just checked the status of my "rad," and it said "active." I almost had a heart attack! Yippee! It wasn't a scam. So I figure I'd better post something good. Today, I received the following Wooden Horse Publishing Alert. I'd like to just put a link to it, or copy an excerpt, but this Alert isn't appearing on their website yet and while you are encouraged to share this information, the entire newsletter must be included. So I'm sorry for the length, but here goes.

First, a very brief synopsis. Basically, it is encouraging support for the "Freelance Writers and Artists Protection Act of 2002" which is being sponsored in Congress by Rep. John Conyers, Jr (D-Michigan) and Chris Cannon (R-Utah). I wanted to get additional information, including a copy of the bill itself, so I visited the National Writers Union's site. Sure enough, there were links to all the background information I was seeking.

May 9, 2002

Meg Weaver, Editor,
Petra Lattmann, Contributing Editor
Copyright (c) 2001 Wooden Horse Publishing


Hi everybody,

You get an assignment from a magazine.

You tell other writers how much you got paid.

You've committed a crime.

I'm not kidding. It really *is* against American antitrust law for freelance writers to share information about pay.

That's why freelancers should support a bipartisan bill recently introduced in Congress by Rep. John Conyers, Jr (D-Michigan) and Chris Cannon (R-Utah) and named the "Freelance Writers and Artists Protection Act of
2002." It will grant freelance authors an exemption from anti-trust law.

The bill is a result of years of lobbying from the National Writers Union and the Graphic Artists Guild.

You can read the bill itself and Rep. Conyers' statement at the press conference introducing the bill on the NWU website at

Here are some excerpts from Rep. Conyers' statement:

"The advent of the Internet has created an entirely new market for the distribution of creative content, such as music, movies, news articles, and photographs. The desire for instant information has made it more important
than ever to get that work out to millions of people quickly and to have the rights to the distribution of articles and graphics cleared immediately."

"As we saw from last year's New York Times v. Tasini case, however, the creators of information - freelance writers, illustrators, cartoonists, graphic designers, and photographers - often have not shared in the benefits of this new market. In some cases, large media conglomerates often force creators to sign away the rights to their works through "take it or leave it" - or adhesion - contracts if they wish to have them published and distributed."

"Individual writers and artists don't stand a chance of negotiating favorable terms and fees when they must go up against media giants. And because many creators are not "employees" of the publishers, the antitrust
laws forbid them from bargaining as a unit or even sharing information about the pricing of their work. Each freelancer must, therefore, go it alone and negotiate individually with the publishers who control the media

"First, this legislation gives freelance writers and artists an antitrust exemption so they can present a united front against the big media companies who have been forcing them to sign non-negotiable contracts that surrender all their rights. In doing so, the bill makes it easier for freelancers to bargain fairly for their rights as a collective."

"In addition, because of the speed and nature of the publishing industry, these same freelance writers and artists often do not have time to have their works protected under the copyright laws before the publications they
go into are printed. As a result, the creators may not receive relief under the copyright laws if their works are stolen. The bill remedies this by automatically protecting the individual works when the publication
receives copyright protection."

"Finally, this bill addresses the problem of the theft of creative works that have not been released. There are creators who decide not to release an article, book, movie, or song, but others steal them and infringe on the
creators' rights. The criminal copyright law penalizes those who infringe works having a retail value of $1,000 or more, but works that have not been released are not protected because they have no retail value. They are,
however, valuable to their creators, and we need to close the loophole in the law that allows the theft of these unreleased or unpublished works. For that reason, the bill amends the law to say that the theft of unpublished works also can be a criminal offense."

If you like to make sure that this bill passes, take the time to either personally visit a member of Congress, write a letter and spread the word.

You can do the latter simply by forwarding this newsletter to writing friends and colleagues and posting it on writers' message boards and mailing lists. You have my permission if you send the newsletter in it entirety.


These are stories we have just posted or are working on:

WORTH has a new editor-in-chief.

The details are on the Home, Fast News, and Content Watch pages of the site

Just in:
THE NEW ENVIRONMENTALIST is a new magazine and website that takes a look at the environment, both at home and work. It features information about how to overhaul your lifestyle and make the environment better. It will include a large range of tips for reducing energy consumption and pollution and will update their readers on current environment challenges and accomplishments. The editors will try to inform about how to apply common
sense, simple technology, and good sense and science to help make our environment better, cleaner and save money. Pitch the editor/publisher, Ray Rasmussen, The New Environmentalist, 2222 Francisco Drive, Suite 510,
El Dorado Hills, CA 95762-3766, (916) 941-1133, fax: (425) 790-4423.

Great Lakes Publishing, the publishers of OHIO Magazine, are now producing the first issue of LONG WEEKENDS magazine. This new travel publication with a circulation of 250,000 in 8 states in and around the Great Lakes region, will concentrate on travel stories about destinations within a one-day drive. The stories will be about hotels, inns, B&Bs, and events in the area. CLEVELAND magazine, which is a typical up-scale city magazine features arts and entertainment, dining, travel, nightlife, homes in the area, and notable places and people. Suggestions for both publications go to the editor, Richard Osborne, who is reached at the magazine, 1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 730, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 771-2833.

PARENTS EXPECTING, the over one million controlled circulation quarterly published by G+J USA, changes course and will lower its circulation and frequency in an attempt to convert a portion of its circulation to paid
readers. Beginning with the spring issue, on newsstands April 16, the 7-year-old full-service pregnancy magazine slashes its circulation to 500,000, with 325,000 copies continuing to reach doctor's offices. For the first time, 175,000 copies will be on newsstands, and the frequency change will depend on how successful this new venture will be. Parents Expecting also had a makeover with better quality paper and a more consumer friendly editorial content. Kate Lawlor is the editor-in-chief, with Ronald Kelly managing editor. They are at 375 Lexington Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10017, (212) 499-2000.

Just so you know: We migrate all these facts into the Wooden Horse database if you need them later (



A subscription to the Wooden Horse Magazines Database - at a special price!

Tired of flowers, scarves or George Foreman grills? Want to really look forward to your Mother's Day gift?

Then give this to your loved ones and have them sign you up for 6 months for $79 or a full year for $119 of access to the magazine database writers must have to be successful today (or do it yourself!)

They, or you, don't have to drive to the mall and fight the crowds. Just click on the links below and get instant access to writer's guidelines, editorial calendars and full contact information for over 2,000 US and Canadian consumer and trade magazines.

*** And, if you have procrastinators in your family, these special subscription prices are available up to, and including, Mother's Day! ***

Here's how to order:

1) Online - just go to: for 1 year for 6 months

Just be sure to sign up on or before May 12, 2002.

2) Fax - Our 24-hour fax number is (831) 761-9085. From the purchaser, we need: Name, address, phone and e-mail (in case we have questions), credit card number and expiration date. And for the subscriber: Name, address,
e-mail, and a log-in and password (alphanumerics only, please.)

3) Mail - Our address is

Wooden Horse Publishing
1961 Main Street, Suite 222
Watsonville, CA 95076

Be sure to have your letter postmarked on or before May 12, 2002.

From the purchaser, we need: Name, address, phone and e-mail (in case we have questions). You may pay by check or money order in U.S. funds to "Wooden Horse Publishing" or include your credit card number and expiration date. No COD. For the subscriber, we need: Name, address, e-mail, and a log-in and password (alphanumerics only, please.)

If you have any questions, e-mail Meg at or call her at (831) 728-0835.


BUDGET LIVING will get the Martha Stewart-treatment. The new magazine is scheduled for launch next September and the plans are to create a media empire per industry newsletter Folio: First Day with the "magazine, book, television, radio, syndicated newspaper columns and Internet properties, all focused on various components of the Budget Living theme." Targeted readers are being presented as "men and women in upper-income households who are in the midst of their peak earning and spending years" but who relish good bargains. The magazine itself will probably be on a budget, since founder Donald Welsh will be launching the 148-page, $3.95 per issue title with a modest $5 million...

CONSUMER REPORTS is recalling a glove compartment kit the magazine used as a subscription incentive. The kit contained a flashlight that can overheat and melt the case and a tire pressure gauge that gives inaccurate readings, which could lead people to improperly inflate their tires. Yes, the magazine will list the recall in their regular "recalls" section in the July issue...

ROLLING STONE has been gathering moss, but no longer. Newsstand sales down 10%, $15 million short in advertising revenue in 2001, and fellow music magazine BLENDER growing nicely. So, owner Jann Wenner fired its top editor, a long-time friend, and put Kirsten Dunst on the cover. Is he moving the music magazine into the general entertainment market?...

"Magazine advertising is looking like the second half of the year could be better," said newly minted AOL Time Warner (TIME, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, FIELD & STREAM) CEO Richard Parsons Monday at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference. But then he also admitted that the company had over-hyped the ad sales "synergy" between the various media divisions. The company just posted the largest loss ever for an American company...

Keep writing - and make sure Mother gets what she really wants,



Wooden Horse Publishing
1961 Main Street, Suite 222
Watsonville, CA 95076
(831) 728-0835
(831) 761-9085 (fax)

To subscribe to the News Alerts or unsubscribe, just e-mail Meg at

Copyright (c) 2002 Wooden Horse Publishing. Please feel free to forward this News Alert but only in its entirety.

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