California Freelance Writers: New Law Limiting Writing Gigs

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  1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
    Kenna McHughposted 4 months ago

    How many of you live in California and are freelance writers? Did you hear about the new law limiting writing gigs per publication: 35 articles per year per client? The new law starts on January 1, 2020. It's crazy!
    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ … aw-1248195

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image91
      Rochelle Frankposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Good Grief! It's hard enough to make a living at a below-minimum-hourly-wage without this. Makes no sense at all. Why does anyone think this is a good idea? Who benefits? What are the reasons?

      Sould people who pick vegetables be limited in the amount of beets they grab in one field?
      Should plumbers be restricted to a certain number of leaks they can fix in a day?

    2. Kierstin Gunsberg profile image97
      Kierstin Gunsbergposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Wow, this is ludicrous. I'm not in California but I'm sure that many freelancers there freelance because, like me, they don't *want* to be employed. I freelance because it allows me to work around my family's schedule - I can work as much or as little as needed depending on my husband's job and my kids' needs any given week/month. If Gonzalez's desire here is to create more jobs within California all she's doing is forcing publications to look for freelancers who can produce outside of the state and leaving tons of talented Californian's without an income (plus, those freelancers pay taxes to the state so she's removing tax revenue as well).

      This is a really out-of-touch law. Normally I would applaud politicians looking out for the working class but in this case it seems like she's saying gig culture isn't valid. There's a ton of us that depend on and prefer it.

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
        Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Exactly, it takes our freedom away while California loses potential income.

  2. Kenna McHugh profile image92
    Kenna McHughposted 4 months ago

    It's nuts. If you read the article, the author, Gonzales, staff picked an arbitrary number.

  3. Will Apse profile image92
    Will Apseposted 4 months ago

    I remember Paul Edmondson writing a post many years ago suggesting that internet writers would earn less and less as time passed. It was a little uncharacteristic of his posts but had the ring of an evidence based assertion.

    I am only mentioning it because the idea had a Californian origin. It seems to have been on the state's mind for a very long time.

    It is doubtful that a single state in the US can really transform the business of writing online to provide secure, well-compensated, benefit-bearing jobs.

    Anyway, apologies to Paul, I only remember a fraction of his post. I just filed a few lines in the "we are all doomed category".

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      I never saw Paul's post, but I agree. I have seen the decline, but once in a while, I get an awesome gig.
      Gonzales' bill is socialistic, just like California. I agree with Rochelle's argument. How can you tell someone how much work they can do?

      1. Will Apse profile image92
        Will Apseposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        A friend of mine married a Dutch woman and I got to spend a fair amount of time in Holland. One of the surprising things over there was that no matter what kind of job you had, it provided a reasonable life. So fast food workers, bartenders, cleaners etc etc could afford to raise a family without food stamps or tax credits. They were terribly socialistic (sic), lol.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
          Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          Whether it is something to laugh about or not doesn't matter. The smaller countries work well with this ideology, like Denmark.

          1. Will Apse profile image92
            Will Apseposted 4 months agoin reply to this

            Western Europe generally, gets by with that ideology, and that is a big area.

            The UK is about to join the US in what the President of the European Commission calls "a race to the bottom." That is to a low tax, low regulation, low public provision, low social cohesion set up with plenty of authoritarian measures to keep the marginalized, silent.

            California seems to be a strange instance of trying to hold some kind of line.

            1. theraggededge profile image98
              theraggededgeposted 4 months agoin reply to this

              What? Where did you get that idea?

              UK will be free to set its own regulations and social provisions. We'll also be able to offer state aid to struggling industries which is currently forbidden under EU regs.

              A FTD with the US doesn't mean that British standards will slip. However, it does mean that we can shrug off unnecessary EU bureaucratic laws. UK standards in everything from safety to beaches will always be higher than the current EU ones.

              Look at what is happening in Spain and France right now. It is an indication of where the EU is headed. If you want to see authoritarianism in action go take a gander on YouTube or Twitter.

              Spain https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKATMOEGiyo

              France is in its 49th week of violence in major cities. Police and firefighters clash. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSXJKuDt0k8

              The EU is very quiet about all this. We don't want it in the UK.

              1. Will Apse profile image92
                Will Apseposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                Four current cabinet members contributed to this book: Britannia Unchained. It is worth a read.

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannia_Unchained

                A quote:

                "The British are among the worst idlers in the world. We work among the lowest hours, we retire early and our productivity is poor. Whereas Indian children aspire to be doctors or businessmen, the British are more interested in football and pop music"

                Boris recommends that Britain becomes a new Singapore (an autocracy as it happens). Nonsense of course, the UK will become another US. No maternity leave, no paid holidays, poor healthcare provision, and only fear to keep things in order.

                How else to compete with the US in a free trade deal?

                After quitting as a more than an equal partner in Europe, the UK will become a pimple on the behind of Trump"s American.

                What joy.

                1. theraggededge profile image98
                  theraggededgeposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                  Written in 2012. You missed this bit:

                  "We are convinced that Britain’s best days are not behind us. We cannot afford to listen to the siren voices of the statists who are happy for Britain to become a second rate power in Europe, and a third rate power in the world. Decline is not inevitable"

                  But, it was a crappy book in any case.

                  I suggest you read something that explains the history and development of the European Union. Maybe 'The Great Deception' by Christopher Booker, which has been updated to reflect the current situation. It's free on Scribd, if you have an account there.

                  Edit: You also completely ignored the points I made regarding the current events within Spain and France. And I can add to that: 25-40% youth unemployment, the fact that Germany is in recession, industry is in decline and Deutschebank is on the verge of collapse.

                  Sorry to the OP for hijacking your thread, but I couldn't let this one go unremarked.

                  1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
                    Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                    No worries. I find it interesting.

                  2. Will Apse profile image92
                    Will Apseposted 4 months agoin reply to this

                    If you think a "crappy book" that happens to be written by four of the most powerful politicians in the UK and fully supported by the most powerful, is not a cause for concern, you are missing the point.

                    The UK can choose between going into the wild west of small government and even smaller democracy (the 2 are connected) or trying to hang onto to some of the decency that still lingers in corners of Europe.

                    Of course, if it all comes down to keeping out immigrants, then the choice is between, tolerating them anyway after Brexit or seeing the economy crumble as the vital jobs go unfilled.

                    Whatever powers your dreams of "freedom", you are going to be very disappointed.

  4. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 4 months ago

    As far as I can tell, this law does not apply to HP.

    HP doesn't pay us to write. We pay them 40% of our earnings from our ad revenue for the privilege of using their websites as a marketing, technical, accounting, and management tool.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      I am not sure how the law applies to revenue sharing.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image89
        paradigmsearchposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        There's no sharing. They just take their fee before forwarding us the remainder.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
          Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          I see your point. I am sure that it is the case.

          1. paradigmsearch profile image89
            paradigmsearchposted 4 months agoin reply to this

            If there's any ambiguity in HP's contract, I'm sure they will modify it posthaste. big_smile

            1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
              Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

              I suspect so!

  5. psycheskinner profile image84
    psycheskinnerposted 4 months ago

    The one thing that limits this law is that the publication has to have the main purpose of disseminating news -- I don't think anyone thinks Hubpages is primarily a newspaper.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      My concern is some media houses or publications will forego California writers because the new law is "unclear" or "too difficult to deal with."

      1. psycheskinner profile image84
        psycheskinnerposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, companies would rather just avoid any risk.  I bet some people are changing their address of record already.

        1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
          Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          Yes. I have thought about it

  6. Dean Traylor profile image94
    Dean Traylorposted 4 months ago

    It sounds like one of those laws that looked good on paper and may have had good intention, but wasn't thought out. It's a bit of a jump, but I don't see this one working.

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      I agree. It will not work because it cuts income into California. I write with companies all over the world. It brings money to California.

    2. Larry Slawson profile image97
      Larry Slawsonposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      I agree, Dean.  Crazy stuff. Not sure why California thought this was a good idea haha.

  7. EricDockett profile image98
    EricDockettposted 4 months ago

    This law appears to be aimed at the companies, not the writers.

    If you are a writer who works freelance for a California publication you can't write more than 35 articles in a year. If you did, the sanctions would be on the company you wrote for, not you.

    But if you are a California writer who writes for a publication in some other state you're fine. I don't see how the government can stop you from writing as many articles as you want.

    Am I understanding correctly?

    1. psycheskinner profile image84
      psycheskinnerposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, that is the goal, but is a company going to respond by making a person an employee which is costly and involves more liability, or just cutting their work and spreading it around to stay under the limit, or hiring out of state?  I bet I can guess.

      1. EricDockett profile image98
        EricDockettposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        It just seems like it will shift work around. Instead of a company contracting with one freelancer to write 35 articles, they hire two to write 17-18 each. Or one to write 34 and another to write one. If a company used to rely on one freelancer to write 150 pieces in a year, they now have to spread that work around to several contractors. I agree -- they aren't going to hire anyone full-time, and if some did they would probably go out of business.

        If you are writer who only writes for California companies, you'll be forced to find new clients. But the work will be out there, I assume, because as mentioned above, companies will need to diversify their freelance workforce.

        This law doesn't solve anything. It is just going to annoy people and make their lives harder.

  8. Kenna McHugh profile image92
    Kenna McHughposted 4 months ago

    Eric,
    That makes sense. I hope it plays out that way.

  9. Will Apse profile image92
    Will Apseposted 4 months ago

    Just to annoy everyone, here is an article from The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/5eb0944e-f67 … a8fc8f2d65

    Quote:

       "The British government is planning to diverge from the EU on regulation and workers’ rights after Brexit, despite its pledge to maintain a “level playing field” in prime minister Boris Johnson’s deal, according to an official paper shared by ministers this week...."

    For "diverge" read "Americanize" or "Singaporeanize." or "Sinonize".

    Slightly unsure that all of those are actual words.

  10. Edwin Alcantara profile image91
    Edwin Alcantaraposted 3 months ago

    Wow, no wonder people are leaving California. Too much regulations!

    1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
      Kenna McHughposted 3 months agoin reply to this

      Exactly!!

    2. watergeek profile image97
      watergeekposted 2 months agoin reply to this

      I actually think people leaving California is  a good idea. Good for them, because they're avoiding regulations. Good for those of us who remain, because California is overcrowded. We're having a hard time providing services to all the newbies, and a hard time taking care of oldtimers chased out of their homes by developers. We need to depopulate. . . . Not that this has anything to do with the current thread (lol).

      1. Kenna McHugh profile image92
        Kenna McHughposted 2 months agoin reply to this

        This new legislation is also adversely affecting the music industry.

  11. paradigmsearch profile image89
    paradigmsearchposted 2 months ago

    There was a time when I was one prolific dude around here; but even if the law were to apply to Maven/HP, I'm pretty sure they'll be safe from any transgression on my part these days. big_smile

    I would like to maybe write at least a few more articles for HP in 2020. We shall see.

 
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