French Law on “Out of Commerce” Books Struck Down

Acting on a lawsuit brought by French freelance authors and supported by the NWU, the European Union’s  Court of Justice has ruled that the French law permitting  distribution of digital copies of books deemed “out of commerce,” without the consent of the authors, violates their rights and is invalid. We think the court was correct […]

NWU Statement on the Firing of Maria Pallante

On Friday, October 21, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden summarily removed Maria Pallante as Register of Copyright and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office, the position she had held since 2011. It was the first time the head of the Copyright Office had been removed in 119 years!  Ms. Pallante was reassigned as an advisor […]

Privacy vs. Copyright: Don’t Make Writers Choose

The National Writers Union (NWU) and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) filed comments October 17 with the US Copyright Office in response to pressure writers face in choosing between privacy and copyright protection. The Copyright Office recently proposed regulations by which writers—for a minimum $130 fee—could restrict some public access to the […]

NWU, Allies Educate Copyright Office on E-books

In our latest formal submission to the US Copyright Office on August 18th, the NWU and two other writers’ organizations provided an overview of the “new normal”  for writers seeking to earn a living in the digital age. We also discussed how copyright policies designed for publisher-centric  business models and old media serve to deprive […]

NWU, Allies Advocate for Writers in Washington

Representatives of the NWU, the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) met in mid-August with key Congressional and White House staff responsible for copyright policy. The delegation of writers included NWU’s Edward Hasbrouck, book division co-chair, and Ann Hoffman, former 1st VP; SFWA’s past […]

Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing (ECL)

What’s happening with “orphan works”? What is “Extended Collective Licensing” (ECL)? Why should NWU members and other writers care? These issues are complicated, but important for working writers. Many NWU members are only beginning to understand what is meant by so-called “orphan works”, and most writers have never heard of “Extended Collective Licensing”. But proposed […]

On Blogging: Making a Living Wage as an Online Writer

I used to work for a travel agency that specialized in around-the-world airline tickets. In the fall of 2001, we found out about a new TV show, The Amazing Race, which had us excited. CBS premiered its reality series about teams of people going around the world competing in challenges on Sept. 5, 2001, and […]

No Win for Readers and Writers: Commentary on Amazon v. Hachette

Readers, like writers, have been caught in the middle of a feud over e-book distribution terms and pricing between the Hachette book publishing company and Amazon.com.  On Nov. 13, the two announced they had reached a settlement. But the terms were not disclosed, and there’s been nary a word about its implications for readers and […]