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 […]

Getting Help With Grievances

If you haven’t been paid for your work, your publisher said one thing and did another, or your story was turned into a video game and you haven’t seen a dime, the Grievance and Contracts Division is here to help. We’ve won over $1.5 million for members since we started keeping records. But before you […]

Freelance Isn’t Free Becomes Law in NYC!

On October 27, the NY City Council passed the landmark Freelance Isn’t Free bill into law. With a vote of 51-0, the City Council made New York City the first in the U.S. to make non-payment to freelancers and independent contract workers a crime. NWU is a cosponsor of the bill and well aware of […]

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 […]

GCD Semi-Annual Report Available

The Grievance and Contract Division’s semi-annual report, covering the first half of 2016, is available here. We hope you’ll take the time to read it and learn more about what we do. One of our chief functions is reviewing traditional publishers’ contracts, as well as those of firms that help you self-publish. We offer guidance […]

Hill Attends Journalism Conference in New Orleans

David Hill, first vice president of the National Writers Union, attended the 6th annual Excellence In Journalism (EIJ) conference September 16-20 in New Orleans. The EIJ, which is a collaboration of the Society for Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association, brought together roughly 1000 attendees. Freelancers, newsroom managers, editors and educators from around […]

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 […]

Meeting with the U.S. Copyright Office

On July 28, representatives from National Writers Union (NWU), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the Science Fiction Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) met with a six-person delegation from the US Copyright Office in their offices at their invitation. Our delegation consisted of Salley Shannon, past president of ASJA; Michael Capobianco, past […]

Self-Publishing? Think Self-Protection

Most of us, I hope, wouldn’t think of signing a contract with Random House or St. Martin’s Press without having the contract reviewed by either an NWU contract advisor or a lawyer. Yet authors who sign up for self-publishing often don’t even get a hard copy of their contracts. First, as we’ve discussed before, many […]

Hitting the Streets at the Harlem Book Fair

New Yorkers attending this year’s Harlem Book Fair, one of the largest writers’ events in the city, reflected the diversity of the NWU’s members.  On Saturday, July 16, 10 members displayed their recent works along with information about the union, including our new membership brochures,  buttons, and  “Workers of the WORD, Unite” T-shirts, some of […]