Last year, MTV really screwed over its freelancers, delaying their paychecks and even hoarding charity stipends. This year, we hear, it's firing some so as not to pay benefits, and making them train replacements.

In February, MTV told "permalancers," who it has historically screwed over in a slavey caste system, they'd have to leave at the end of nine months so MTV wouldn't have to provide them costly benefits like health insurance, a tipster told us. Supposedly they could get rehired three months later.

But it doesn't look like that's going to happen, thanks to the economy; staffing levels, especially on the dot-com side, are being sliced, often (we hear) by half.

The freelancers just laid off by the cable network — if you know how many, we'd love to hear from you — have another month to go and have been asked to train their replacements, a tipster informs us. MTV presumably won't have to pay benefits to those replacements, since they're new hires (yes, MTV is hiring while it's firing).

The sloughed off temps might not be able to come back in three months, due to the reduction in positions, but something tells us they might have some luck in nine. Mark your calendars, permalancers.