Why I don’t blog at the Financial Times

That I don’t blog at the Financial Times comes about by this rather sad story.

The FT has the Economist’s Forum with well-known authors like Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and, well, I will not list all of them. The moderator is sharp commentator Martin Wolf.

It appeared that Martin Wolf approved of my latest piece on the moratorium on stigma in government debt. I felt honoured to be included in the list of contributors. Publication of that piece in the FT would be imporant since the FT is probably the key financial newspaper. 

However, the newspaper presented me with a non-exclusive copyright and licence statement that implied that I would surrender my rights to the FT for the rest of my life, without the option to change conditions or end that contract. You will have heard stories of young musicians who lose their rights to music companies in such ways. It would be nice to be able to do a submission under better conditions than merely being published. For this reason I included a limitation in article 1. Below I copy that article 1 with my addition in red. To my regret, the legal officer did not accept any changes. It was “take it or leave it”. Well, that ended my short affair with the FT. It is a pity. I always had admiration for the Pearson publishing company.

Now it may be that people in Europe will suffer longer from the current economic crisis since the suggestion of a moratorium on stigma in government debt will not have circulated as much. Legal inflexibility thus can be counted as one of the factors that prolonges the crisis.

Quote:

Copyright Licence

  1.  You have agreed to contribute material to The Financial Times Ltd (“FT”) (company number 227590) for publication by FT and/or its affiliates and syndication partners. The terms of this copyright licence apply to any material submitted by you to FT in any format and accepted by us for publication in any format from time to time (the “material”). This licence is a legal contract between you and FT. This licence and contract applies only to the “Economists’ Forum” in 2012.

Unquote.

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