Greetings to all you delegates gathered in Detroit from your friends in ASJA, the American Society of Journalists and Authors. We commend you for your continued willingness to stand with us against The Google Book Search settlement. Like us, you see that it is folly to allow any erosion in writers' most most precious, most basic right: to be able to control our own works.
The goal of a world-wide, digital library, established with the consent of individual authors and governed by representatives from many categories of writers, librarians and the reading public, is a worthy project. We hope that this year, we will see changes in attitude and practice that will make having such a library possible.
But if we have to keep fighting, if the parties in the Google law suit continue in their ill-judged attempt to coopt our books and millions of "orphan" books, we know the NWU will be right there with us in the trenches.
Yours in solidarity,
ASJA President, with the endorsement and good wishes of the ASJA board
Greetings! I want to take this opportunity to thank Larry Goldbetter and the NWU for opposing the Google Books Settlement, which was recently rejected by the court. The NWU collaborated with the American Society of Journalists and Authors and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in filing a joint brief asking the judge to reject the settlement; Judge Chin stated that the opposition of writers to the settlement was an important factor in his decision. I hope that our groups can work together on other projects in the future to defend and advocate for writers’ rights.
Past President, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
Thank you NWU for inviting us to present a message to your delegates. NWU and The Newspaper Guild are working together to develop a system that affords fair pay for all writers, photographers and others in our community, regardless of their employment relationship. We see the NWU as an ally in a joint fight for fairness.
We embarked on the HuffPo campaign because we believe freelance media workers need someone to fight for them to continue producing the work that is so critical to a democracy. You, the writers, deserve it. And the public deserves it. That is why we urge all Huffington Post contributors to honor the writers’ boycott. So that message is heard.
It is only by working together in solidarity that we will be able to end such exploitive business practices. We need to let the public and publishers know that they cannot build a sustainable business model on the backs of unpaid labor.
Arianna has said we don’t understand the new model of journalism. We disagree. We understand that without fair compensation to those who practice it, journalism will be relegated to an existence of digital cut-and-paste at the price of an informed citizenry.
Our goal is to build a support system for those who remain committed to journalism without the assurance of a steady paycheck. We are calling on Arianna to demonstrate her commitment to journalism by sitting down at the table with us. We want to create a model of journalism that benefits all participants, not just those sitting at the top.
Thank you. Wishing you a good meeting.
Bernie Lunzer, Newspaper Guild-CWA President