NWU Report to AREG Meeting 2 June 2017

(Book Division Co-Chair Edward Hasbrouck is in Helsinki, Finland, representing the NWU and the International Federation of Journalists on the Board of IFRRO. On Friday, June 2, he will meet with the Authors’ Rights Expert Group of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). The following is his report to AREG.) The focus of discussion of […]

Do Writers Have “Moral Rights”?

The idea that writers have “moral” rights with respect to our written work may seem strange to those who think of copyright in purely propertarian terms. They might wonder: What does morality have to do with property ownership? But our writing is more than intellectual property, and our rights to our work are more than […]

Writers Call for Reform of Copyright Registration

In Comments and a Petition for Rulemaking submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office on January 30, 2017, the National Writers Union and three other national organizations of writers — the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Horror Writers Association — have reiterated our longstanding belief […]

NWU Priorities for the Copyright Office

In response to invitations from the Librarian of Congress and the House Judiciary Committee, the NWU has filed recommendations for the selection of the next Register of Copyright (the official who serves under the Librarian of Congress as the head of the Copyright Office) and for Congress and the Copyright Office in reforming U.S. copyright […]

Lawmakers Endorse Copyright Small Claims Court

Currently the only way to obtain damages for copyright infringement is a full-fledged lawsuit in Federal court, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars at best, and more often hundreds of thousands in a worst-case scenario. Hence there’s a reason for the phrase: “Make a Federal case out of it.”  That’s why key members […]

GSU Infringes on Writers’ Copyrights

In a “friend of the court” brief filed earlier this month, the NWU joined a diverse coalition of writers and photographers to oppose the wholesale scanning of books and journals that are being used for university classes without payment to the original authors or publishers. Instead of having students buy the books for their classes, […]

International Solidarity, International Advocacy

In addition  to our international connections through the UAW, the NWU is affiliated with three international organizations specifically related to our work as writers. In November, I traveled to Europe to meet with them, representing the NWU at meetings of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the International Authors Forum (IAF), and the International Federation […]

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 […]