In countries like Australia and the UK, authors' rights are governed almost entirely by publishing contracts. But what do those contracts actually say? As part of the Author's Interest Project, Joshua Yuvaraj and I have gone through the Australian Society of Authors' archive, spanning almost 60 years of publishing contracts. In this keynote for the … Continue reading #notallpublishers
[Article by Rebecca Giblin, originally published on Overland] Authors are always put at the centre of Australia’s copyright debates, grounding claims for more rights or fewer exceptions. Despite that, our law has no explicit rights to protect authors in the case of unfair, unclear or outdated contacts. I criticised this state of affairs in the last … Continue reading Does Australia really need author rights? A response to industry pushback
When we got together last year to talk about the author's interest in copyright, Cory Doctorow had some hugely insightful observations about the impact of book industry consolidation that we couldn't fit into the main video. So here's a little extra: 8 minutes about capitalism! monopolies! the failures of antitrust law! Cross-collaterisation of books! Crucially too … Continue reading Giblin & Doctorow on book industry consolidation: ’40 years of capitalism with the gloves off’
Cory and I looking for the train station after our interview, inadvertently setting up the cover for our first album. Photo credit: James Pattison. Last year when leading science-fiction author and activist Cory Doctorow was touring Australia with his new book Walkaway, we sat down to talk about the author's interest in copyright. We get … Continue reading Cory Doctorow on declining writer incomes, breaking Amazon’s dominance, and getting a bigger share for authors
One of the main reasons we grant copyright is an incentive: we want to encourage people to make things, and companies to invest in making them available. But it's not just about incentives (which is why my colleague Kim Weatherall and I told the Productivity Commission that it would be wrong to treat copyright as being purely economic … Continue reading The difference between copyright’s rewards and incentives (and what it means for getting creators paid)
‘One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit’ – so begins moral philosopher Harry Frankfurt’s treatise on bullshit and its function. Bullshit comes, he argues, from one who ‘does not care whether the things he says describe reality correctly’, but says them regardless, in pursuit of their … Continue reading Fat horses & starving sparrows: On bullshit in copyright debates
I was recently interviewed by Brian Frye of the University of Kentucky School of Law about my recent work as part of the Author's Interest project. If you enjoy podcasts and want something a bit different to jump into during your commute or while you're folding your laundry, you can stream it here (or here if … Continue reading Rebecca Giblin on Ipse dixit: A new copyright bargain?
Rebecca Giblin, Monash University Last Tuesday Bryan Adams entered the copyright debate. That’s Bryan Adams the singer and songwriter, the composer of “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, and “Summer of ’69”. Authors, artists and composers often have little bargaining power, and are often pressured to sign away their rights to their publisher … Continue reading Everything he does, he does it for us. Why Bryan Adams is on to something important about copyright
When I'm not working on the Author's Interest project, I'm leading a team of data science, communication and law researchers to investigate e-lending in public libraries. Here's some of us, beavering away at data collection last year Libraries have always been able to buy and lend physical books without needing anyone's permission. For e-books it's … Continue reading E-lending in public libraries: implications for authors
A few weeks ago I visited the Société des gens de lettres (Society of People of Letters), a writers' society founded 180 years ago by Balzac, Hugo, Dumas and Sand. It is one of some eighteen societies with the mission of protecting authors' interests in France. I was particularly interested in finding out what the SDGL … Continue reading New rights for French authors: what’s working and what’s still to get done?