The notification went on to state that by agreeing to allow my article to be included in that publication I waived all my rights to lock the story and receive any compensation for it and that I acknowledged that the publication had the right to lock the story and receive 100% of any compensation for the story.
I find that really shocking. That’s a level of wicked beyond the conversation we’ve been having regarding Meg’s original post pointing out the conflict between locked stories and publications. Up to this point, the issue was that the author had to choose between getting paid or getting an audience. New to the conversation is this idea that some publication owners may want to profit from the author’s work while offering zero compensation to the writer. That’s a very ugly turn of events, in my opinion. Your long-term decision to boycott publications until this issue gets resolved by Medium is completely rational. The worst thing about this development is that it shows how the cross-purposes between the Partner Program and Pubs that Meg pointed out also, in addition to the problems already highlighted, sets up the possibility of predation of writers by unscrupulous editors. As Meg pointed out in her original post, the reason small publications have not been approved to join the Partner Program is that, to be approved, they have to show Medium that they have in place a process for passing compensation along to writers. Without that, the publication won’t get approved to lock stories and receive payment. SO, that means the pub in question submitted such a plan to Medium and got approved for the Partner Program. And after that approval, made a decision NOT to pass compensation on to writers. That certainly sounds like a violation of the terms of the Partner Program, and should get that publication sanctioned. It is certainly unethical, no matter the legalities.
The most important point here, in my opinion, is that we can all see now how this one little conflict in the system, most likely there because Medium Staff just didn’t think it through or see it coming, has the potential to turn us all against each other. WE NEED TO AGREE TOGETHER NOT TO LET THAT HAPPEN. We are all friends here. Let’s all just step back a minute and wait for Medium to chime in next week when they’re back in the office.
In the meantime, I’m with you, White Feather. I won’t be sending anything to pubs until this conflict is resolved.That’s only rational.
I think it’s important to keep squarely in mind, though, that most editors of publications are writers, too, and have just as much of a personal stake in this as we do. We all need this issue resolved, for all of our good. We are not the problem. Medium’s present system is the problem, and that should be a simple fix. It’s just not one in our power to accomplish. So let’s all just sit tight and stay friends…
The issue of Medium not promoting fiction and poetry is a different question. I write, read, publish and love both, so I have a personal stake in this. That said, my opinion is that Medium is Ev’s platform, so he does in the end get to decide what kind of writing his platform will champion, even if it’s not what we would choose if we were in charge. Ev’s platform, Ev’s vision. Medium has made no move toward or shown any interest I’m aware of in stopping us from publishing literary work on Medium, or forming our own little literary community here. When viewed in light of Medium’s obvious focus on non-fiction, I think that’s great. Probably the best we can hope for is to be tolerated. I’ll take it. The best thing about small publications, in my opinion, is that so many of them do publish, publicize, and support fiction and poetry. Another good reason why we all need to hold hands and sing kumbaya while we wait for Your Friends @ Medium to work out the kinks in the system. We literary Medium folk have a good thing going here. It’s not Ev’s thing, necessarily, but he’s not fighting us on it, either. That’s a good thing — and it makes it 100% up to us in the Medium literary community to ensure that we don’t implode over larger Medium platform issues, like the current debacle.