Erica Scime

Glossing over writers’ rights

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

One month after Transcontinental Media released the appallingly unfair changes to its writers’ contract, it has announced the launch of Véro, a French magazine for women in Quebec–a move that is weighted with contradiction for its writers.

Given its recent whining about the impact of social media and digital technology on the print industry, which it claims are the reasons for having to revamp its contract, it is unusual that Transcon would launch a magazine now. But, more so, the values and standards that Véro will supposedly promote in its glossy pages are far from those inherent in the contract that its writers had to sign.

Véro, which will hit newsstands in September, was inspired by Véronique Cloutier, a prominent French radio and television personalityand one of the most admired women in Quebec. The media company says that Véro will not only be written with the muse in mind, but will be written for women who, like Cloutier, are passionate, ambitious, and sophisticated. It also said that the magazine will “embody the values and principles that Véronique Cloutier lives by.” But surely Cloutier would not approve of the contract that the women who will write for Véro will have to sign.

This document, which also applies to contributors of Elle Canada, Canadian Living, Vancouver Magazine, and many others, forces writers, photographers, and illustrators to relinquish the moral rights to their work. This means it can be published elsewhere without their permission, edited and changed without consultation, even published without their name–all without any increase in what they are paid. These conditions will do nothing but stifle and underrate the women who will write for Véro.

Transcon has said that it believes Véro will be a perfect fit for its brand. Cloutier, of course, has said that she is honoured to be working with the company, and has praised the support that the media company has given her in her print endeavour. It is just a shame that Transcon does not support the writers that will make Cloutier’s foray into the printed page possible.

If Cloutier and the editors of Véro value intelligent, creative women as much as they seem to suggest, perhaps the two are not such a natural fit for Transcon after all.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 + fourteen =