A freelancer or freelance worker, is a term commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Freelance workers are sometimes represented by a company or a temporary agency that resells freelance labor to clients; others work independently or use professional associations or websites to get work.
While the term independent contractor would be used in a higher register of English to designate the tax and employment classes of this type of worker, the term freelancing is most common in culture and creative industries and this term specifically motions to participation therein.
Fields, professions, and industries where freelancing is predominant include: music, writing, acting, computer programming, web design, graphic design, translating and illustrating, film and video production and other forms of piece work which some cultural theorists consider as central to the cognitive-cultural economy.
According to the 2012 Freelance Industry Report compiled primarily about North America freelancing, nearly half of freelancers do writing work, with 18% of freelancers listing writing as a primary skill, 10% editing/copy-editing, and 10% as copy-writing. 20% of freelancers listed their primary skills as design. Next on the list was translating (8%), web development (5.5%), and marketing (4%).
However the recent report on the freelancing culture has shown tremendous growth in terms of percentage of freelancers and the economy contribution they will be generating. According to a survey recently conducted by PayPal, 47% of freelancers have grown in terms of income drawn through the freelancing work in 12 months. The freelance field is said to grow to 20$-30$ billion in the next 5–7 years in India and the freelancers in US will comprise 40% (approx.) of the work force at the present growth rate.
Depending on the industry, freelance work practices vary and have changed over time. In some industries such as consulting, freelancers may require clients to sign written contracts. While in journalism or writing, freelancers may work for free or do work "on spec" to build their reputations or a relationship with a publication. Some freelancers may provide written estimates of work and request deposits from clients.
Payment for freelance work also depends on industry, skills, experience and location. Freelancers may charge by the day, hour, a piece rate, or on a per-project basis. Instead of a flat rate or fee, some freelancers have adopted a value-based pricing method based on the perceived value of the results to the client. By custom, payment arrangements may be upfront, percentage upfront, or upon completion. For more complex projects, a contract may set a payment schedule based on milestones or outcomes. One of the drawbacks of freelancing is that there is no guaranteed payment, and the work can be highly precarious. In order to ensure payment many freelancers use online payment platforms to protect themselves or work with local clients that can be held accountable.
As an independent contractor, when a freelancer creates creative expressions such as written or artistic works, they are automatically granted ownership of the copyright for their work. Registration of copyright is not required for ownership of these rights, however litigation against infringement may require registration, as documented in the class action lawsuit, Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Muchnick, when freelance writers sued publishers for copyright violations, though this case eventually settled for the benefit of freelance writers whether or not they had registered their copyright with the Copyright Office. Copyright is rescinded only when a freelancer signs a contract specifying that they are "working for hire," or if they are hired into employment; these rights are further specified in U.S. copyright law, Section 101 in the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC §101).
A 2018 McKinsey study found that up to 162 million people in Europe and the United States engage in some form of independent work. It represents 20-30 percent of the entire working age population. 
The total number of freelancers in USA is inexact, as of 2013, the most recent governmental report on independent contractors was published in 2005 by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. At that time, there were approximately 10.3 million United States workers (7.4% of the workforce) employed as independent contractors of all sorts. In 2011, Jeffrey Eisenach, an economist at George Mason University, estimated that number of freelancers had grown by one million. While in 2012, the Aberdeen Group, a private research company, estimated that 26% (approx. 81 million) of the United States population was a part of the contingent workforce, a category of casual labor that includes freelancing.
In 2013, the Freelancers Union estimated that 1 in 3 workers in the United States was self-employed (approximately 42 million), with more than four million (43%) of those self-employed workers as members of the creative class, a stratum of work specifically associated with freelance industries, such as knowledge workers, technologists, professional writers, artists, entertainers, and media workers.
In 2016, the Freelancers Union estimated that 35% of the workforce in the United States was self-employed (approximately 55 million). This workforce earned an estimated $1 trillion from freelancing in 2016—a significant share of the U.S. economy. In 2017, a study by MBO Partners estimated the total number of self-employed Americans aged 21 and above to be 40.9 million.
The total number of freelancers in UK is also inexact; however, figures from the Office of National Statistics show that people working mainly at or from home rose from 9.2% in 2001 to 10.7% in 2011. It has been estimated, however, that there are approximately 1.7 million freelancers in the UK.
Freelancing is a gendered form of work. The 2012 Freelance Industry Report estimates that more than 71% of freelancers are women between the ages of 30 and 50. Surveys of other specific areas of freelancing have similar trends. Demographic research on Amazon Mechanical Turk reveals that the majority of North American Mechanical Turk workers are women. Catherine McKercher's research on journalism as a profession has showcased that while media organizations are still male-dominated, the reverse is true for freelance journalists and editors, whose ranks are mainly women.
Freelancers have a variety of reasons for freelancing, the perceived benefits differ by gender, industry, and lifestyle. For instance, the 2012 Freelance Industry Report reported that men and women freelance for different reasons. Female survey respondents indicated that they prefer the scheduling freedom and flexibility that freelancing offers, while male survey respondents indicated they freelance to follow or pursue personal passions. Freelancing also enables people to obtain higher levels of employment in isolated communities.
Freelancing is also taken up by workers who have been laid-off, who cannot find full-time employment, or for those industries such as journalism which are relying increasingly on contingent labor rather than full-time staff. Freelancers also consist of students trying to make ends meet during the semester. In interviews, and on blogs about freelancing, freelancers list choice and flexibility as a benefit.
Freelancing, like other forms of casual labor, can be precarious work. Websites, books, portals and organizations for freelancers often feature advice on getting and keeping a steady work stream. Beside the lack of job security, many freelancers also report the ongoing hassle of dealing with employers who don't pay on time and the possibility of long periods without work. Additionally, freelancers do not receive employment benefits such as a pension, sick leave, paid holidays, bonuses or health insurance, which can be a serious hardship for freelancers residing in countries such as the US without universal health care.
Freelancers often earn less than their employed counterparts. While most freelancers have at least ten years of experience prior to working independently, experienced freelancers do not always earn an income equal to that of full-time employment. Feedback from members suggests that web portals such as Freelancer.com tend to attract low paying clients that, although demanding very high standards, pay ~$10 per hour or less. Low-cost suppliers frequently offer to work at rates as low as $1–$2 per hour. Because most projects require bidding, professionals will not bid because they refuse to work at such rates. This has the effect of reducing the overall quality of the services provided.
According to research conducted in 2005 by the Professional Writers Association of Canada on Canadian journalists and editors, there is a wage gap between staff and freelance journalists. While the typical Canadian full-time freelancer is female, between 35-55, holding a college diploma and often a graduate degree, she typically earns about $29,999 Canadian dollars before taxes. Meanwhile, a staff journalist of similar age and experience level working full-time at outlets such as the Ottawa Citizen or Montreal Gazette newspapers, earned at least $63,500 Canadian dollars that year, the top scale rate negotiated by the union, The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America. Given the gendered stratification of journalism, with more women working as freelancers than men, this disparity in income can be interpreted as a form of gender pay gap. The Professional Writers Association of Canada report showed no significant difference between the earnings of male and female freelancers, though part-time freelancers generally earned less than full-time freelancers.
Working from home is often cited as an attractive feature of freelancing, yet research suggests working from home introduces new sets of constraints for the process of doing work, particularly for married women with families, who continue to bear the brunt of household chores and child care despite increases in their paid work time. For instance, three years of ethnographic research about teleworkers in Australia conducted by Melissa Gregg, a Principal Engineer and Researcher in Residence for the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing at UC Irvine, raises concerns over how both physical isolation and continuous access enabled with networked digital media puts pressure on homeworkers to demonstrate their commitments through continual responses by email and to conceal their family or home life.
The Internet has opened up many freelance opportunities, expanded available markets, and has contributed to service sector growth in many economies. Offshore outsourcing, online outsourcing and crowdsourcing are heavily reliant on the Internet to provide economical access to remote workers, and frequently leverage technology to manage workflow to and from the employer. Much computer freelance work is being outsourced to developing countries outside the United States and Europe.
Freelance marketplaces provide a marketplace for freelancers and buyers. Service providers or sellers create a profile where they include a description of the services they offer, examples of their work, and, in some cases, information about their rates. Buyers register and complete a basic profile, and then post projects outlining their requirements. Buyers will then bid for these projects on a fixed price or hourly basis. Many of these websites have user review sections that affect the reputation of freelancers who list there, and which may be manipulated.
Freelance marketplaces have globalized competition for some jobs, allowing workers in high- and low-income countries to compete with one another. According to a 2016 study by the McKinsey Global Institute, 15% of independent workers used online marketplaces to find work.
Many periodicals and newspapers offer the option of ghost signing, when a freelance writer signs with an editor but their name is not listed on the byline of their article(s). This allows the writer to receive benefits while still being classified as a freelancer, and independent of any set organization. In some countries this can lead to taxation issues (e.g., so-called IR35 violations in the UK). Ghost signing has little bearing on whether a writer is a freelancer or employee in the US.
Freelancers often must handle contracts, legal issues, accounting, marketing, and other business functions by themselves. If they do choose to pay for professional services, they can sometimes turn into significant out-of-pocket expenses. Working hours can extend beyond the standard working day and working week.
The European Commission does not define "freelancers" in any legislative text. However, the European Commission defines a self-employed person as someone: "pursuing a gainful activity for their own account, under the conditions laid down by national law". In the exercise of such an activity, the personal element is of special importance and such exercise always involves a large measure of independence in the accomplishment of the professional activities. This definition comes from Directive (2010/41/EU) on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity.
The European Forum of Independent Professionals defines freelancers as: "a highly-skilled subset of self-employed workers, without employers nor employees, offering specialised services of an intellectual and knowledge-based nature". Independent professionals work on a flexible basis in a range of creative, managerial, scientific and technical occupations; they are not a homogeneous group and as such, they cannot be considered or investigated as a whole. They are generally characterised by a large portion of autonomy, a high labour productivity, knowledge intensive performance, social commitment and a large dose of entrepreneurship and specialisation.
In Europe, the perceived disadvantages of being freelance have led the European Union to research the area, producing draft papers that would, if enforced, make it illegal for companies or organizations to employ freelancers directly, unless the freelancer was entitled to benefits such as pension contributions and holiday pay. In the UK, where the terms of integration into the EU have and are being hotly debated, this would lead to a significant reshaping of the way freelance work is dealt with and have a major impact on industry; employers would be required either to give freelancers the contractual rights of employees or employ only freelancers already being employed by agencies or other organizations granting them these rights. However, the White Papers that recommend such moves have not yet been adopted in the EU, and the potential impact on UK employment laws is being opposed by key UK organizations lobbying the government to negotiate over the acceptance of EU legislation in such areas. The legal definition of a sole trader requires that he/she must have more than one client or customer which promotes the freelancing ethos.
In the U.S. in 2009, federal and state agencies began increasing their oversight of freelancers and other workers whom employers classify as independent contractors. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommended that the Secretary of Labor have its Wage and Hour Division "focus on misclassification of employees as independent contractors during targeted investigations." The increased regulation is meant to ensure workers are treated fairly and that companies are not misclassifying workers as independent contractors to avoid paying appropriate employment taxes and contributions to workers' compensation and unemployment compensation.
At the same time, this increased enforcement is affecting companies whose business models are based on using non-employee workers, as well as independent professionals who have chosen to work as independent contractors. For example, book publishing companies have traditionally outsourced certain tasks like indexing and proofreading to individuals working as independent contractors. Self-employed accountants and attorneys have traditionally hired out their services to accounting and law firms needing assistance. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service offers some guidance on what constitutes self-employment, but states have enacted stricter laws to address how independent contractors should be defined. For example, a Massachusetts law states that companies can hire independent contractors only to perform work that is "outside the usual course of business of the employer," meaning workers working on the company's core business must be classified as employees. According to this statute, a software engineering firm cannot outsource work to a software engineering consultant, without hiring the consultant as an employee. The firm could, however, hire an independent contractor working as an electrician, interior decorator, or painter. This raises questions about the common practice of consulting, because a company would typically hire a management consulting firm or self-employed consultant to address business-specific needs that are not "outside the usual course of business of the employer."
Although it is commonly attributed to Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832) in Ivanhoe (1820) to describe a "medieval mercenary warrior" or "free-lance" (indicating that the lance is not sworn to any lord's services, not that the lance is available free of charge), a previous appearance occurs in Thomas N. Brown in The Life and Times of Hugh Miller (1809)., p 185. It changed to a figurative noun around the 1860s and was recognized as a verb in 1903 by authorities in etymology such as the Oxford English Dictionary. Only in modern times has the term morphed from a noun (a freelance) into an adjective (a freelance journalist), a verb (a journalist who freelances) and an adverb (she worked freelance), as well as into the noun "freelancer".
Anthem is an upcoming online multiplayer action role-playing video game being developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. The game is slated for a worldwide release for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on February 22, 2019. Players will assume the role of a Freelancer, one of a group of people who leave their civilization to explore the surrounding landscape.Contributing editor
A contributing editor is a newspaper, magazine or online job title that varies in its responsibilities. Often, but not always, a contributing editor is a 'high-end' freelancer, consultant or expert who has proven ability and has readership draw. This contributing editor would regularly contribute articles to the publication but does not always edit articles. Here the title "editor" implies a certain level of prestige, rather than a more traditional editing role. In other instances, however, a contributing editor may oversee projects or specific aspects of a publication and have more regular editing duties. At smaller magazines, the title can imply a staff member with regular writing responsibility and some editorial duties. When a "contributing editor" is listed on the title page of a book, the term generally designates a person who has served as some kind of consultant in the book's preparation but who is not responsible for the book's final content.Digital Anvil
Digital Anvil was a computer game company. It was founded in 1996, when Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts left Origin Systems, Inc., along with Marten Davies, Erin Roberts, Eric Peterson, Tony Zurovec and many other employees. Their first game to be released was Starlancer, developed together with Warthog Games.Freelancer.com
Freelancer is a global crowdsourcing marketplace website, which allows potential employers to post jobs that freelancers can then bid to complete. Founded in 2009, its headquarters is located in Sydney, Australia, though it also has offices in Southern California, Vancouver, London, Buenos Aires, Manila, and Jakarta.Freelancer (video game)
Freelancer is a space trading and combat simulation video game developed by Digital Anvil and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It is a chronological sequel to Digital Anvil's Starlancer, a combat flight simulator released in 2000. The game was initially announced by Chris Roberts in 1999, and following many production schedule mishaps and a buyout of Digital Anvil by Microsoft, it was eventually released in March 2003.
In the game, players take on the roles of spacecraft pilots. These characters fly single-seater ships, exploring the planets and space stations of 48 known star systems. They also engage in dogfights with other pilots (player- and computer-controlled) to protect traders or engage in piracy themselves. Other player activities include bounty-hunting and commodity trading. The single-player mode puts the player in the role of Edison Trent, who goes through a series of missions to save the Sirius sector from a mysterious alien force. In multiplayer mode, players are free to take on any role and to explore anywhere from the start.La Serna High School
La Serna High School (abbreviated LSHS) is a public high school in Whittier, California that was founded in 1961 and is part of the Whittier Union High School District. The school's colors are crimson, gold and white.List of All Japan Pro Wrestling personnel
This is a list of professional wrestlers who currently wrestle for All Japan Pro Wrestling, as well as a list of notable alumni. The current roster consists of the Home Unit (those under exclusive contract), freelancers, gaijins and several stables.List of New Japan Pro-Wrestling personnel
New Japan Pro-Wrestling (新日本プロレス, Shin Nihon Puroresu) (NJPW), is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion based in Nakano, Tokyo. New Japan Pro-Wrestling personnel consists of professional wrestlers, managers, play-by-play and color commentators, ring announcers, interviewers, referees, trainers, producers, script writers, and various other positions. Executives and board members are also listed.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling contracts typically range from full-time contracts to freelancer deals. Personnel appear on live events which are televised on their streaming service, NJPW World.
Personnel is organized below by their role in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Their ring name is on the left and their real name is on the right. Anybody inactive for a considerable amount of time is acknowledged.List of Red vs. Blue characters
The following list describes each of the characters from the popular webseries Red vs. Blue, originally created by Rooster Teeth Productions.Masahiro Chono
Masahiro "Masa" Chono (蝶野正洋, Chōno Masahiro), is a retired American-born Japanese professional wrestler. He primarily wrestled for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), but has also made appearances for World Championship Wrestling (WCW), as a member of the New World Order. Chono was also known by the nickname Mister Black Jack when he first started portraying a villainous character. He is a former NWA World Heavyweight Champion and IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He has become well known for his appearances on the new year's specials of Downtown's This Is No Task for Kids! No-Laughing batsu games, where his ritual appearance always involves slapping Hōsei Tsukitei in the face.Osaka Pro Wrestling
Osaka Pro Wrestling is a Japanese professional wrestling promotion, founded in 1998 by Super Delfin. The promotion held a major flagship event called the Osaka Hurricane each year from 2003 to 2012 and also hosted the fourth edition of the Super J-Cup in 2004, which was the second edition of Osaka Hurricane. In 2010 Osaka Pro started a close working relationship with American promotion Chikara.
On March 1, 2014, Osaka Pro announced that it would fold on April 20, 2014, due to financial difficulties, after which all of its wrestlers would become freelancers. Osaka Pro later announced that the promotion would continue under new president Yuji Sakagami and wrestlers Kuishinbo Kamen and Takoyakida. The new Osaka Pro Wrestling lost many of the old one's key wrestlers as well as their home base of Nasci Hall Umeda, forcing them to employ a new tour format.Paddy Brennan
Paddy Brennan (born c. 1930) is an Irish comics artist who worked mainly in the UK, drawing adventure strips for D. C. Thomson & Co. titles. He was a freelancer, working six months of the year in Dublin and six months in London.His first published work was a strip called "Jeff Collins - Crime Reporter" in the Magno Comic, a one-shot published in 1946 by International Publications in Glasgow. More work for small publishers followed, including in Cartoon Art's Marsman Comics (1948) and Super-Duper (1949) and Martin & Reid's The Rancher and Jolly Western (both 1949) before starting his long association with DC Thomson in 1949, drawing an adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's The Lady in the Lake in the People's Journal, and "Sir Solomon Snoozer" in The Dandy.In the 1950s he drew mainly adventure strips for The Dandy, The Beano and The Topper, taking over several strips, including "Jimmy and his Magic Patch" and "The Shipwrecked Circus", from Dudley D. Watkins, although he also drew some humour strips, including The Dandy's "Rusty". He was the first artist to draw The Beano's "General Jumbo". From the later 1950s he also drew for girls' comics, including an adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin for Bunty in 1958, and "Sandra of the Secret Ballet" for Judy from 1960. His later work included "Showboat Circus" for The Beezer, "Iron Hand" for Cracker in the late 1970s, and strips for Suzy and Buddy in the 1980s.Red vs. Blue
Red vs. Blue, often abbreviated as RvB, is an American comic science fiction web television series created by Burnie Burns with his production company Rooster Teeth. The show is distributed through Rooster Teeth's website, as well as on DVD, Blu-ray, and more recently syndicated on the El Rey Network, Netflix and its own YouTube channel. The series initially centers on two opposing teams of soldiers fighting an ostensible civil war - shown in increments to actually be a live fire exercise for élite soldiers - in the middle of Blood Gulch, a desolate box canyon, in a parody of first-person shooter video games, military life, and science fiction films. Initially intended to be a short series of six to eight episodes, the project quickly and unexpectedly achieved significant popularity following its premiere on April 1, 2003. The series consists of sixteen seasons and five mini-series. Red vs. Blue is the longest running episodic web series and second longest running web series of all time, behind Homestar Runner.Red vs. Blue emerged from Burnie Burns' voice-over-enhanced gameplay videos of Bungie's FPS video game Halo: Combat Evolved. The series is primarily produced using the machinima technique of synchronizing video footage from a game to pre-recorded dialogue and other audio. Footage is mostly from the multiplayer modes of Halo: Combat Evolved and its followups on the Xbox consoles.
The series has been generally well-received. Praised for its originality, the series has won four awards at film festivals held by the Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences. It has also won the award for "Best Animated Web Series" from the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV). It also won a 2013 Webby Award for Animation, as well as nominated in 2014. It has been credited with bringing new popularity to machinima, helping it to gain more mainstream exposure, and attracting more people to the art form. Graham Leggat, former director of communications for Lincoln Center's film society, described Red vs. Blue as "truly as sophisticated as Samuel Beckett". Rooster Teeth has created episodes, some under commission from Microsoft, for special events. Red vs. Blue content was also included with the Legendary Edition of Halo 3, where the main cast had also made cameo appearances in the personalities of their Red vs. Blue characters.Sluggy Freelance
Sluggy Freelance is a long-running daily webcomic written and drawn by Pete Abrams. The comic has over 100,000 daily readers and premiered on August 25, 1997. Abrams is one of the few, and first, webcomic creators successful enough to make a living as an artist.While the strip began as a gag-based series in which the three main protagonists (Torg, Riff and Zoë) would stumble from one brief, bizarre, parody-centric adventure to the next, the characters and plotlines have gradually become longer and more serious. However, even the more dramatic and soap operatic story arcs often conform to the common gag comic strip format. While there is often sexual innuendo and cartoon violence, the comic contains little strong profanity and no explicit nudity.Structurae
Structurae is an online database containing pictures and information about structural and civil engineering works, and their associated engineers, architects, and builders. Its entries are contributed by volunteers and saved in a MySQL database.
Structurae was founded in 1998 by Nicolas Janberg, who had studied civil engineering at Princeton University. In March 2012, Structurae was acquired by Ernst & Sohn, a subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., with Janberg joining the company as Structurae's editor-in-chief. At that time, the web site received more than one million pageviews per month, and was available in English, French and German. In 2015, Janberg bought the site back to operate it as a freelancer again.The Freelancer
"The Freelancer" is the second episode of the first season of the American crime drama The Blacklist. The episode premiered in the United States on NBC on September 30, 2013.Upwork
Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. It is based in Mountain View and San Francisco, California. The full name is Upwork Global Inc.
Upwork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of $1 billion USD, making it the largest freelancer marketplace in the world.Yutaka Yoshie
Yutaka Yoshie (吉江 豊, Yoshie Yutaka, born January 5, 1974), is a Japanese professional wrestler, currently working as a freelancer in Japan, performing most notably for All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW), where he is a former World Tag Team Champion. He has previously worked for promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he is a former IWGP Tag Team Champion, Pro Wrestling Noah and Pro Wrestling Zero1, where he is currently in his second reign as one half of the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champions.Yōichi Kotabe
Yōichi Kotabe (小田部 羊一, Kotabe Yōichi, born September 15, 1936), is a Japanese animator and character designer and has worked on several anime films from the 1960s and 1970s. as well as working on the Super Mario video game series and the Pokémon television series and films. Kotabe worked as an employee on Nintendo for two decades doing illustrations, character designs and supervising those from 1985 to 2007, when he began to work as a freelancer for the anime and video game industry, including for Nintendo again, this time as a freelancer.