We’ve been investigating how rights flow between authors and publishers via publishing contracts. Publishers take broad rights, usually for the entire period of copyright. While you can find some provisions for returning rights to authors in contracts (think out of print clauses), they’re not always satisfactorily drafted, can’t evolve to reflect industry changes (like the … Continue reading Reversion laws: what’s happening elsewhere in the world?
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 Despite that, our law has no explicit rights to protect authors in the case of unfair, unclear or outdated contacts.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
By changing our approach to author rights, we can help writers earn more. shutterstock Rebecca Giblin, Monash University and Joshua Yuvaraj, Monash University Who makes the money in publishing? Nobody. This often repeated dark joke highlights a serious issue. The most recent figures show that Australian authors earn just $12,900 a year from writing work … Continue reading Five ways to boost Australian writers’ earnings
In February 2018 we wrote about surveys of authors' incomes in the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Overall the picture these studies painted was one of sharp declines in how much authors made. A new study from the US Authors Guild is showing that things continue to get worse, not better, for authors. … Continue reading New US Authors Guild Survey Shows Declining Incomes
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?