What It Feels Like To Be A Freelancer
This little video has been going around this week, striking a chord with freelancers of all stripes.
The video is posted on dontgetscrewedover.com and was sponsored by Docracy, a U.S.-based site launched last year that hosts free, open-source legal documents provided by users. The site contains personal documents such as wills and rental agreements, as well as business documents like employment contracts and real estate purchase agreements.
But when I searched their selection of freelance contracts, the ones I found were mainly tailored towards graphic designers and illustrators. I contacted the site to enquire about writing contracts and got a prompt email response from Docracy’s Veronica Picciafuoco.
“Our content, as you can see, is user-generated, so we don’t have everything,” she said. “However, we actively ‘hunt’ for good examples to host and we’ve been partnering with people like AIGA (major association of designers) and other great designers who were keen to share their knowledge. Unfortunately, writers are a whole different story. I personally reached out to a number of unions and associations of writers without success.”
She said Docracy may have a writing contract coming from a lawyer later this week but commented on the lack of response she got from the writing community, speculating that fragmentation of the community and poor attention to new media might be at play.
“Ask your community why is it so hard to find a good contract that protects the writers rather than the publishers,” she said, “and where are your advocates when you need them the most?”
They’re good questions. Why do you think Docracy has had so much trouble finding boilerplate writing contracts to include on their site? Is the writing community not paying enough attention to new media? Are graphic designers more contract-savvy? We’d love to hear your opinions in the comments section below.