In the previous post, I set out the results from studies all around the English-speaking world showing author incomes are in dramatic decline. But why is the falls? Here, I set out some of the myriad factors that might explain it. Unfair contracts and copyright law In substantial part, global writers' organisations blame the crisis … Continue reading Why are author incomes declining?
Next week I'll be hosting an event at the Wheeler Centre (with Cory Doctorow and others) discussing how writers can get paid. The vital backdrop to that event is figures out of Australia, Canada, the US and the UK showing that writers' incomes have plummeted over the past two decades. This post is intended to bring … Continue reading What’s happening to authors’ earnings? Surveying the surveys
Copyrights are awarded automatically. But authors can suffer from significant inequality of bargaining power and asymmetry of information in their dealings with cultural investors (such as publishers). That can mean they end up transferring all or most of their rights as condition of distribution or investment. What authors transfer can be disproportionate to what they … Continue reading Author-protective copyright: How’s it done by other countries?
On October 6 2017, Columbia Law School's Kernochan Center held a Colloquium tied in to the launch of the Author's Interest project. Professor Sam Ricketson and I delivered the keynotes. Sam's address explored the 'wriggle room' left to us within the international copyright treaties for achieving meaningful reform. Mine described the possibilities for an alternative copyright … Continue reading Columbia Law School Colloquium: Improving copyright for creators
I came across a remarkable document this week when doing some historical research around reversion of rights to authors. It's a draft Bill, advanced in England in 1737 - and it's seeking to address some of the very same issues that motivate the Authors' Interest project. Courtesy of the excellent Primary Sources on Copyright, we can … Continue reading What’s old is new again: authors’ problems in 1737 and today
I will be delivering a public lecture at CREATe in Glasgow on 15 November 2017, entitled 'Taking seriously the author’s interest in copyright'. Here's the spiel: Copyright is fundamentally a system of incentives and rewards. It is intended to incentivise initial production and continued investment in works in order to achieve the broader benefits that … Continue reading ‘Taking seriously the author’s interest in copyright’: Public lecture in Glasgow, Nov 15
When I was a kid, I was constantly starving for something to read. I grew up in a house without books, and was always scrabbling to find the next one. I can still see myself, 7 years old, earnestly negotiating with the volunteers at the Salvo’s to buy dog-eared donations for one cent each (5 … Continue reading Why do we need to focus on authors?