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Biting the hand that (used to) feed you.......An Appeal to my Fellow Framers

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Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
As the green river of spent Patty's beer runs down over the Ides of March...... still no sign of the infamous "February Issue" that the "getting out" would have triggered the making whole of writers.

It's wearing thin.
 

osgood

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Perhaps it's really only February. March may be an illusion!
 

nikfrz

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
That Sux!

I know when a lot were saying that they werent getting their issues of Decor anymore, I was getting them. It would arrive late, but it did come.

I havent received one in 3 months now.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
I guess it's entirely possible that the request of fellow framers not assisting Decor has worked. Maybe they have no content and no magazine and of coarse no revenue. I'm sure the check is in the mail.
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
Jay,

Are you suggesting that the negative news from this long lasting thread has been counter productive to the efforts of those hoping to be paid?

Doug
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Yea, if this campaign is/was successful. They're not difficult dots to connect.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I think all of you should send Decor a Certified letter demand letter - pay within 10 days, or remove your articles from their website, as well as your name and likeness. You own the copyrights, there is no reason to let them continue to profit from your work.

If they don't comply, I know a good IP lawyer.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
You own the copyrights, there is no reason to let them continue to profit from your work.
Not so sure this is true, Paul - depends on the contractual arrangement as to whether they were buying the rights to the article for print and/or on the web. Also raised some issues re: my ability as a author to reproduce those articles elsewhere and also my ability to use them in a book content.

When I was writing for them, there was no website and my contract (yes there were written contracts) referenced print only. As the internet evolved, they wanted to add my articles to the web, which I was willing to do for additional compensation......which was not forthcoming and I am no longer writing for them at all.

If there are articles on the web that were not compensated (i.e. duplicates of articles written for the mag that are yet unpaid,) you have an excellent point - but demands that they be taken down should be made with a reference that they cannot use them UNTIL compensation has been provided.

Jay H - It is ridiculous to suggest that because a few framers who may have read a post on the Grumble and not offered to write for free for DECOR is the reason that no new magazines have been published.
 
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Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I'm almost 100% certain. First of all, I would claim they've breached the contract by failing to pay.

Also, and most writers don't know this, but except mostly for A/V works, the creator of written works retains rights to the work. All the publisher acquires is one-time rights to publication, and only in the form(s) agreed to. This is generally true even in if you've been paid for the work.

This means that if your old articles are being published online, it is probably being done without your permission. And if there is no written agreement specifically covering these things, you retain all rights except for one-time publication in its original form.

Anyone who is earning income from writing should spend an hour with an IP (Intellectual Property) attorney.

If someone would scan and email a Decor contract to me, I'll be glad to look it over. I'm not an attorney, but

well-versed on the subject.

Here's a link that you may find interesting.

http://www.librarycopyright.net/wordpress/punbb/viewtopic.php?id=1468
 

pwalters

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jay H - It is ridiculous to suggest that because a few framers who may have read a post on the Grumble and not offered to write for free for DECOR is the reason that no new magazines have been published.
I agree on this point Rob, but it's not impossible that vendors (many of whom monitor the G) have noticed/read/stumbled upon this thread and chosen not to continue doing business with Decor. If I were Pat, LJ or any one of a number of vendors who were aware of this thread and the apparenty issues that Decor is having (at least the issues that this thread infers they are having) I might be hesitant to send $$ for ads that may or may not ever run. Or perhaps be concerned that until this issue is resolved my company appearing to be associated with Decor could have a lasting negative impact on my business. Various factors that would definitely impact Decor's ability to continue to generate revenue to fulfill it's previous obligations.

Maybe it's unlikely, but it's definitely possible.
 

Jay H

PFG, Picture Framing God
Jay H - It is ridiculous to suggest that because a few framers who may have read a post on the Grumble and not offered to write for free for DECOR is the reason that no new magazines have been published.
I had thought of that. I'm equally unsure how effective your campaign would be advertised on the G only. Now that you too agree that this may be an ineffective action, why does this thread exists? To the degree it does work the contradiction between what you wish to happen (framers getting paid) and undermining the magazine (discouraging framer's support) is curious.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
.......... but it's not impossible that vendors (many of whom monitor the G) have noticed/read/stumbled upon this thread and chosen not to continue doing business with Decor.
So the "better" alternative would be to write for them for free or encourage others to do so, say nothing about the fact that they never paid their writers (many of which are friends and fellow Grumblers who have given generously of their information on the G and other forums) and encourage suppliers to continue to advertise with them on the chance that the writers MIGHT be paid?

As a reader of a publication (or an advertiser) - don't I deserve to know about the "culture" of that publication?

If telling potential advertisers that the magazine DOES NOT pay its writers (money owed) or that the "contents" of the publication are "free submissions" or "advotorially based" scares them off - yes, it may eliminate a revenue stream for the publication - but it may also cause the management of the publication to change its strategy or face the reality of its demise.

This thread was started after a long series of e-mails to Kim and others with no response. Kim was offered an opportunity to make good on the magazine's debts prior to this thread and the WCAF . She chose not to respond and I took the situation "public."

Selfishly, my objectives have been accomplished as DECOR did finally pay Barbara - they also indicated that she was owed money the longest and that other payments would follow, which remains to be seen.
 

janetj1968

PFG, Picture Framing God
There's no need to play the blame game.

Consider a Decor balance scale.

If I had a sandbag that said "Not paying writers" and weighed it against "Framers causing Demise/Lost Advertising", I'd have to say not only would they not equal out, but that both sandbags were actually placed because of Decor to begin with. Whose fault is it that anything is even ON the scale?

How about all the places that have prepaid their advertising already? It's not being published now, right? Is it okay to let it go on and on?

Why should any company profit at the expense of its accounts payable?

Despite everything that happens, Decor CAN still salvage themselves if they try. Just depends on how it unfolds.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
the creator of written works retains rights to the work. All the publisher acquires is one-time rights to publication, and only in the form(s) agreed to. This is generally true even in if you've been paid for the work.
Copylaw.com is a great website-

You should be greatly concerned about who owns the work you specially commission. For example, unless there is a special kind of agreement in place before any work begins, someone who contributes material to your new book or web site can, in theory, sell that same material elsewhere without your permission. Worse still, if there is no written agreement, and you want to adapt that material, or publish it elsewhere, you will probably need that person's permission. Similarly, if you hire someone to illustrate one of your short stories, unless there is a written agreement that says otherwise, you may be surprised to learn that the illustrator has become your coauthor. These seemingly odd results follow from the fact that under copyright law, authors are presumed to own the copyright in the works they create. The best way to avoid these problems is by having a written agreement in place before any work begins.

Do I Own the Work I've Paid For?

Not necessarily. If a specially commissioned work doesn't qualify as a "work for hire," you may not own the work -- or even have the exclusive right to use it. While you may have implied license to use it, the scope of your rights will be unclear at best. One way to avoid this situation is to use an appropriate work for hire agreement.

What is a Work for Hire?

One way to acquire rights is by license. With a license, you do not obtain total ownership of the final work, but rather certain limited rights to use it. These limited rights can either be exclusive or nonexclusive. A license can further be defined -- or limited -- by territory, duration, or even media.

As a rule, hiring parties prefer to obtain rights on "work for hire" basis (shorthand for "work made for hire"). With a work for hire, the hiring party steps into the shoes of the creator and becomes the author of the work for copyright purposes. With a work for hire, all of the attributes of copyright ownership -- including credit and control -- vest in the hiring party, not the creator.

Important! There are only two situations in which a work for hire can exist. They are: (1) a work created by an "independent contractor," and a (2) "work prepared by an employee" within the scope of her employment.

A. Works Created by Independent Contractors

For a work created by an independent contractor (or freelancer) to qualify as a work for hire, three specific conditions found in the Copyright Act must be meet:

1. the work must be "specially ordered" or "commissioned." What this means is the independent contractor is paid to create something new (as opposed to being paid for an already existing piece of work); and

2. prior to commencement of work, both parties must expressly agree in a signed document that the work shall be considered a work made for hire; and

3. the work must fall within at least one of the following nine narrow statutory categories of commissioned works list in the Copyright Act:

(1) a translation, (2) a contribution to a motion picture or other audiovisual work, (3) a contribution to a collective work (such as a magazine), (4) as an atlas, (5) as a compilation, (6) as an instructional text, (7) as a test, (8) as answer material for a test, (9) or a supplementary work (i.e., "a secondary adjunct to a work by another author" such as a foreword, afterword, chart, illustration, editorial note, bibliography, appendix and index).

My dealings with DECOR were very specific as to work for hire and I did have a written contract. However, please remember that I was dealing with the "old" regime in the heyday of the publication. I do not think Barbara ever had a written contract with the "new" DECOR.
 

pwalters

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
So the "better" alternative would be to write for them for free or encourage others to do so, say nothing about the fact that they never paid their writers (many of which are friends and fellow Grumblers who have given generously of their information on the G and other forums) and encourage suppliers to continue to advertise with them on the chance that the writers MIGHT be paid?
I don't think I said anything along these lines. My point was that there could be a correlation between the magazine getting bad press that might impact it's ability to generate revenue and writers getting paid what they were owed. Don't think it's an impossibility. I wasn't telling you to do one thing or another, just merely stating a possibility that I think was pointed out already by others.

Overall, I'm still of the opinion that this method of handling it leaves a bad taste all the way around. My opinion, your mileage may vary.
 

Rob Markoff

PFG, Picture Framing God
Well we just received the March issue of Art Business News - the Art Expo NY edition.........also published by Kim F.

Only problem is that Art Expo NY is OVER and we just received the issue :(.
 

Jeff Rodier

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Interesting that this was brought back to the top. Seems to me that during the PPFA threads those who are down on Decor are the same ones defending inaction by PPFA.

In this thread we have those who publicly condemned Decor and others who thought this thread would surely be the final nail in the coffin of Decor Magazine. Many said give it time, it takes money and participation by advertisers. It was pointed out how much Decor had done for our industry in the way of education and introducing new techniques and materials. Defenders warned that this thread may make it impossible for Decor to attract the needed money to pay those invoices.

Now we have the PPFA promoters who coincidently happen to be the same that made sure Decor could not continue in the industry. So the magazine which has done more for this industry than PPFA could ever claim was killed off in a public execution. This thread remained public where it would surely do collateral damage and yet the PPFA debate was sent into oblivion where it could not be seen by the public.

Am I wrong in my opinion that the two are the same but the supporters of the one are the offenders in the other. The Grumble is read by every manufacturer and vendor in our industry but most never log in so they can be simple observers. This thread was in great part responsible for the death of what was once a great trade magazine and yet it was left in the open.

Don't get me wrong about my belief that all debts shoud be paid but what gives.
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
Interesting that this was brought back to the top. Seems to me that during the PPFA threads those who are down on Decor are the same ones defending inaction by PPFA.

Don't get me wrong about my belief that all debts shoud be paid but what gives.
You are working with an erroneous assumption that PPFA could effectively do anything in short order. I think it was well established that any action on their behalf would have to travel through proper channels which takes both time and thought. Right or wrong there is no pathway within their system for a quick response, so the premise on the previous thread was faulty from the first sentence.
Secondly, nothing that was said about Decor lead to their demise. It was a combination of economic atrophy and their own decisions to alter their business model. I think that if anyone put the last nail in Decor's coffin it was Decor themselves by not honoring their obligations.
If you had attended the last Decor show in Atlanta (maybe you did) and walked the show floor on Sunday for 2 hours like I did, you might have a better understanding of where the failure started. The place was a ghost town, and there was not a single vendor that I talked with that was signing up for the next year. Decor's effective demise predated the beginning of this thread by a couple years.

What gives, you ask...well, it's just business, isn't it?
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
vino veritas?
 

FramerDave

PFG, Picture Framing God
vino veritas?
Yeah, something like that. I'd love nothing more than to address Jeff's pointing the finger at DECOR contributors as the cause of the magazine's demise, but it would be fruitless and would only involve airing a lot of dirty laundry. I'll not comment on the matter any further.
 

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Let it rest Dave. The District Attorney has blocked any attempt to exhume the
body now that the grass is 6" high and the headstone is in place.

Leave a yellow rose on the grave of valiant endeavors and raise a glass to all
the days of glory; may they all be remembered, and all forgotten for naught.

I only wish that Google or Microsoft had responded to my plea to digitize the
catalog of 130 years of the history of the industry; now like so much that has
gone before, is lost to the world.
 
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