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Jo Matyas to Robert Charles Dunne

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Please pass this message on to your member Mr. Dunne and to your blog:

Dear Mr. Dunne,

First of all, no I am not the same writer as Mr. Joe Matyas who is a long time writer with Sun Media, based out of London, Ontario.

Secondly, yes, things have changed substantially since you may have written for the Toronto Star (assuming that you were selling ALL rights at that time as opposed to first rights, which is the way it has been done for at least the past decade). Copyright in Canada automatically belongs with the freelance writer. The newspaper purchases first Canadian rights and is able to publish the piece in print and post it on their website. That is the agreement that I have with the Toronto Star. The copyright does not belong with the publication unless the specifically purchase those rights.

Third - and very importantly - freelance writers make their living writing and selling pieces, NOT by being reimbursed through "free" trips to destinations. These trips take large amounts of time, are very labour intensive, do not always pan out to articles (but, if chosen carefully, usually do produce material) and are totally separate from the extensive amount if time required for additional research, writing and marketing of pieces. It is not, despite your loose suggestion, a free vacation-style ride. Anyone who has been on a busy press trip schedule would know otherwise. It is almost impossible to make a full time living writing and selling freelance pieces (especially in the travel genre), so that - combined with the Canadian copyright laws - is why freelance writers vigorously defend the rights to their work.

If you would like to use my work to fill your website or blog space, I would appreciate you letting me know where to send an invoice. I don't expect you to give away your livelihood for free, not should you expect me too.

I hope this explains this situation.

Yours truly,

Jo Matyas

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