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March 6, 2003

And the Oscar for worst freelancing of the year goes to...

Daniel Radosh

Last year around this time I single-handedly brought down the Academy Awards-industrial complex with my New York Times Op-Ed, Let Women Compete For Best Actor. Because the Times leeched some of the humor out of the piece, I also posted my preferred version on the ur-Radosh.net. Somehow, this version came to the attention of editors at the London Guardian, who re-published it without either asking or paying me. Eventually I found out and emailed the Guardian, which apologized (apparently sincerely) and promised to pay me the same amount as the Times had ($500). Here's where it gets tricky. I'm allowed to resell my Op-Ed pieces to anyone I like, and to keep 100% of whatever I can get. The Times syndicate is also allowed to resell the piece to whomever they like, and we split the fee 50/50 if they do. In this case, the Guardian should have just sent me a check. Instead, they sent it to the Times syndicate, which then forwarded 50% -- $250 -- to me. I called the Times to explain the situation, and faxed them all the paperwork upon request, but they never did send me my remaining $250. Now, arguably, $750 is already far more than this article is worth, but that's your opinion, not the market's. If you happen to see Pinch on the street, feel free to snatch his wallet and turn it over to me. I'll return the credit cards. Via the London Guardian.

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