Freelance Creative Professionals Protection Act: What you need to know
In a few weeks, during April 2015, President Obama and the US Congress will meet to discuss the Freelance Creative Professionals Protection Act, whose purpose is to better define the work being done by creatives – designers, writers, video editors and so on – in relation to their clients.
Should everything go smoothly, the FCPP Act (Senate bill 040115) will become effective starting next year and replace the Freelance Writers and Artists Protection Act of 2002.
Since legalese is pretty hard to read without the assistance of a lawyer, I thought it might be helpful for you to read an article simplifying and analyzing the main and most important innovations in the FCPPA. So here goes.
Transferring payment within 15 days from project submission
Every freelancer knows this on inside and out. We’ve handed in our work only to find out the customer is taking their time with the payment, sometimes even up to 30 or 60 days from the project’s completion. The new law will force the client to pay within 15 days from project submission.
Limiting the amount of revisions
One of the most common problems we face as freelancers is that the client is unhappy with the work and asks for revisions. As long as we’re talking about a small number of changes, that makes sense. But some clients just don’t know when to stop and request endless revisions. We end up wasting our time, making the project less profitable for us.
The new law will limit the possible number of revisions, stated per profession: writers can be asked to submit up to three revisions, designers up to five revisions, etc. The final list of revision limits has not yet been made public.
Banning working under the influence
I love drinking beer every evening while I’m working on a new website. This type of thing is very popular with musicians(1) but not only them: I know plenty more designers and writers who, just like me, enjoy closing their day with a good drink.
Apparently in too many court cases between creative professionals and clients it is shown that the freelancer was working – at least some of the time – under the influence of alcohol, a fact which tipped off the scales and helped the clients win the case, even if the amount of alcohol was negligible.
For that reason, the new law will limit us and prohibit doing freelance projects under the influence of alcohol. Bummer.
Refunding child- and pet-raising costs
Childcare refunds are a common perk with hired employees. Recently the US Department of Labor has announced it will support employers offering workplace-funded childcare.
But what about us, the freelancers? We deserve support too. The FCPPA will allow us to insert expense clauses in our contracts referring specifically to this type of spending.
Happily, this does not only apply to children, but also to your household pets. If you have a cat or a dog, you can file their upbringing costs as expenses. It’s about time someone helps you finance that cat or dog that are helping you be more creative!
Will the US ever pass such a law? Won’t I be able to drink a few beers while working on a project? Will my clients pay for my dog’s food?
I’ll surely keep you updated, so stay tuned ;)
Happy April Fools’ day
Dobson, M (2010). Insecurity, professional sociability, and alcohol: Young freelance musicians’ perspectives on work and life in the music profession. Psychology of Music.
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