Welcome to the National Writers Union

The National Writers Union UAW Local 1981 is the only labor union that represents freelance writers.

Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era.

Combining the strength of more than 1,200 members in our 13 chapters with the support of the United Automobile Workers, the NWU works to advance the economic and working conditions of all writers.  Our members also directly benefit from the many valuable services the Union offers—including grievance assistance, contract advice, and much more—while actively contributing to a growing movement of professional freelancers who have banded together to assert their collective power.

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Special Announcements

03/19/2015 - 8:18pm

Finding Security in Unsafe Passages: United Nations Event about

Protecting Journalists’ Safety and Rights

Tickets: Free admission, RSVP required by Sunday, May 3.  Reserve your place here.

Gain an insider’s view of international efforts to promote freedom of the press and to end impunity for crimes against journalists. To mark World Press Freedom Day, this seminar will delve into the wide range of risks journalists face every day. Experts will offer safety tips, share advice for protecting sources and copyrights in all types of media, and address cybersecurity risks.

Presented by the International Federation of Journalists, the Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations, the National Writers Union, and the Metro New York Labor Communications Council.

   

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02/25/2015 - 10:00pm

By: Elizabeth A Richter

“The bottom line is that the subpoena…was a form of harassment, a brazen attempt to follow up a gag on mainstream media with threats against a citizen journalist.”

I am a working writer for the mysterious Catharine Sloper, an outspoken critic of the family court system and the proprietor of the blog Divorce in Connecticut (DiC). 

On January 2, 2015, I was on my way to New Haven, when I received a phone call that a Marshall wanted to serve me with a subpoena.  The subpoena was for a very public child custody case, Foy v. Foy. Connecticut Judge Stephen Frazzini had issued an order prohibiting the "Connecticut Law Tribune" from writing about the case and the "Tribune" responded by calling the order a first amendment violation and was supported by the Connecticut ACLU.

The DiC website had published a single article on the Foy divorce back in November 2014. That article is what stirred up all the controversy leading to my subpoena, even though my name is not on the article as the author.

In addition, the majority of the information in this article was available publically at the time it was written with content that was known to be part of the public domain. It made no sense to hold me or the website responsible for publishing news that was readily available elsewhere and that had already appeared on other websites. Judge Frazzini acknowledged this when he rescinded the restraining order against the "Connecticut Law Tribune" back on December 3, 2014.  The bottom line is that the subpoena I received was a form of harassment, a brazen attempt to follow up a gag on mainstream media with threats against a citizen journalist.

The day before the court hearing, my attorney told me that I would have to disclose my news sources or face jail.  She also said that they intended to force me to admit that I am Catharine Sloper and responsible for the content on the website.  I told her that readers and potential contributors to the blog rely on its anonymity, and that it would be unethical for me to reveal a source.  My attorney was able to engage the services of the attorney who was also representing the CT Law Tribune in their case.  Before I left her office, she advised me to bring my toothbrush to court the following day as I could end up in jail. 

I appeared in court with my toothbrush, toothpaste and other essentials. I also brought my National Writers Union membership card and press pass, identifying me as a member of the media. I passed them to my attorney, who immediately pulled out the Connecticut Statute on the media, which he had played a part in writing, and showed me how the press pass put me in a much stronger position.

My attorney submitted a motion to the court defending my rights, and gave the court the opportunity to scrutinize my NWU credentials.  At 2:00 p.m., the court said my presence was no longer required and I was free to go. The documentation I had from the NWU played a major role in keeping me out of jail.

What is really funny (or maybe not), is that my membership had actually expired.  You can be sure I’ve renewed it.

 


 

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02/12/2015 - 8:53pm

By: Ann Hoffman
 
Republicans in Congress are seeking to invoke the rarely-used Congressional Review Act to overturn a rule of the National Labor Relations Board designed to speed union representation elections.  The Review Act is one of the few elements of the 1996 Newt Gingrich "Contract with America" that is still in effect.  It permits Congress to overturn federal agency regulations that they don't like.  Reversal of a rule is subject to special expedited procedures and requires passage by a simple majority of both House and Senate - but also the signature of the President.
 
An indication of the anti-union, anti-worker motivations of those invoking the Review Act is the fact that the only previous effort that passed both Houses (and was signed by President George W. Bush) was the overturning of a rule to protect workers from ergonomic injuries on the job.  Any move to overturn the NLRB election rule is likely to be vetoed by President Obama.
 
Public sector unions have been attacked head-on this week by the newly-elected Republican Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner.  The Governor, a former private equity manager, issued an Executive Order barring state workers from having to pay "fair share" fees to support collective bargaining if they choose not to join the unions that negotiate and enforce their contracts.
 
The Illinois effort, which could be rejected by the Democratic-controlled state legislature, is in line with other anti-union, anti-worker moves in the upper Midwest, formerly a heavily unionized part of the U.S.  Such moves are designed to weaken unions permanently and strengthen unfettered capitalism.
 
 

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02/05/2015 - 6:57pm

Member Lizette Wanzer was awarded two writing residencies last year: one at
Playa Summer Lake (OR), and the other at the Horned Dorset Colony (NY).  On
tap for 2015 is Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow (Arkansas), and she has
received a generous fellowship to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts for
Spring 2015. 

She was a 2014 San Francisco Foundation Literary Award
Nominee.  Her essay, "Twisted," was accepted at the upcoming Far West
Popular Culture Association
Conference.  She will present the paper in
February 2015 in Las Vegas.  Lizette is a member of the SF Writers' Grotto
and serves as Parliamentarian for the Bay Area chapter of the National
Writers' Union.  She will complete both a sudden fiction and an essay
collection this year.

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02/04/2015 - 8:59pm

By: Pamela Johnson

Researching her latest novel, The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant poured over fashion photographs from the early 1900’s: She surveyed image after image of women in trippingly long dresses, cinched tightly at the waist. They helped the author understand the restrictive world of her protagonist, Addie Baum, who grew up in an era when women were expected to marry, become mothers, and then putter around the house. But Addie was part of a world of change; it included looser, shorter dresses (and even pants!), enabling her to take bigger strides into the world.

At the book’s open, Addie is 85 and telling the story of her girlhood in Boston to a 22-year-old granddaughter. The voice feels like a breezy oral history.

Diamant’s foundational stone for the novel came from a place roughly 40 miles northeast of Boston along the coast.

“I discovered a placed called Rockport Lodge, which is in Rockport, Massachusetts, where I vacation,” she says. “It was founded in 1906—a kind of Fresh Air fund vacation place for girls with very limited resources. It was part of the progressive movement era programming for girls who were young, not married and working.”

‘Slowly Addie became the voice of the book, the throughline, and I gave the book to her.’

For a week every summer, girls enjoyed days away from family and arduous work lives to bask in each other’s company, stay up late, or hike a trail.

“I created characters who went to the lodge,” says Diamant, “and as is my wont, a group of friends emerges. The bunch Addie falls in with is interdenominational, historically accurate to the North End of the time, with Italians and Jews and some Irish girls. Slowly Addie became the voice of the book, the through-line and I gave the book to her.”

And to Boston, as well.

To meet The Boston Girl is to meet the city she grew up in, peering just over her shoulder. Milestones of her tale are set in and around Beantown, from Paul Revere Pottery, to the famous Swan Boats in the Garden, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. As Addie comes of age, the women’s movement gathers force, spilling out of brownstones and tenements and into the work world, from the garment industry to libraries to secretarial jobs, and into post-secondary education at Simmons College and the Portia Law School for Women.

‘Addie spends a short chapter of her life there, and it opens up the world to her.’

Boston, it should be noted, is Diamant’s adopted city. Her earliest roots were set down in Newark, New Jersey, and then at 12, her family migrated west to Denver. But her undergraduate and graduate years took her east again, first to St. Louis, and then to Binghamton, New York, and finally Boston, where she took a job as a journalist 40 years ago.

“The early Boston newspaper scene was incredibly vibrant,” Diamant says, referring to her research. “The Boston Transcript was one such place. Addie spends a short chapter of her life there, and it opens up the world to her.

“My first real job [at the Boston Phoenix] was answering the phone for an editor, writing stories and handing them in over the transom… but the differences between Addie’s experience in a newsroom and mine are vast. I didn’t have to put up with the danger posed by her colleagues; the world changed so profoundly between 1921 and 1980,” Diamant says.

About 35 years ago, she sought a new challenge and added long-form, non-fiction work to journalism, and eventually wrote six guides to contemporary Jewish life, from birth to death and mourning.  In the mid-90s, however, she decided to try writing fiction and wrote the novel that has become her most popular work, so far: The Red Tent (1997), a first-person story told by the Bible’s Dinah, daughter of Jacob and sister of Joseph, who is mentioned only briefly in Genesis, but becomes fully fleshed out in Diamant’s work. The title refers to the place where women of Jacob's tribe go while menstruating or giving birth; it’s also where they find mutual support and encouragement from their mothers, sisters and aunts—a theme of Diamant’s books.

“When people say, ‘I read your book,’ I know which one they mean. But I let them know, I’ve written some other fiction, too.”

“I was very lucky,” Diamant recalls of her New York Times bestselling first novel. Its reception and residuals made it such that, “I could continue to write fiction.” Optioned on and off for years, Red Tent was finally made into a Lifetime TV movie and shown in December 2014.

“When people say, ‘I read your book,’ I know which one they mean,” she says, adding, “I will always be grateful for the success of it.” But she lets fans know, “I’ve written some other fiction, too.” To date, she’s the author of more than a dozen books.

Recently Diamant was set to travel to support The Boston Girl, with trips to Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Dallas, Florida and Phoenix on tap. She also scheduled some breaks in between to go home and recharge.

“People come to readings and apologize for asking me to sign five books, but I’m so grateful to them.  A book doesn’t come to life until there are readers,” she says, adding, “That means everything to me.”

‘Both of my parents were union members:  It’s in my DNA to be in a union.’

Diamant says that rewriting helps her refine the voices and smooth out a novel’s plot; feedback from her writing group also helps toggle the words into place. “The three of us have been together for a long time,” she says. “We meet on occasion … when we need each other. These are people I trust completely; I take what they say very close to heart.”

The author joined the NWU 10 or 15 year ago. “Both of my parents were union members,” she remembers. “My father was a typographer, and my mother was in the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). It’s sort of in my DNA to be a union member. Writers need to do whatever we can to work together to better our lot. No one else is going to do it for us.”

Anita Diamant photo courtesy: Gretje Fergeson


 

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02/04/2015 - 8:36pm

By NWU President Larry Goldbetter

NEB Follow-up

As discussed during our last NEB meeting, we’re establishing an education committee. Fernando Gapasin (chair - OR) and Helena Worthen and Joe Berry (Bay Area) will begin this effort. Fernando, Helena and Joe have all previously worked together in labor education. They’ll explore an internal education plan for chapter chairs and members, which will include organizing, NWU history, policies and issues. We’ll soon call a meeting of the broader committee of volunteers; please let me know if you’re interested.

Fund Raising and NWUSO

Recently I met with Esther Cohen and Terry Schwadron about NWUSO, our 501(c)(3). Over the past year we’ve had some success gaining small grants to assist in the Workers Write project, but haven’t had luck raising funds for other educational projects. For one thing, it’s difficult to get backing for such union projects as the webinars or updating the Freelancers’ Guide

Calvin Ramsey, one of our NY members, is a children’s book author; he’s holding an April luncheon and awards presentation for 4th-6th graders in our conference room. Calvin is currently seeking commercial sponsors to underwrite the event. We’ve agreed to have any donations made to the NWUSO, which thereby makes them tax deductible. NWUSO will receive a portion of these funds as an administrative fee.

Over the next six months, Esther and I will approach the NY State Legislature, the NY City Council, the NY Council on the Arts, and other potential funding sources. We’re also considering bringing younger leadership on board to play a role in this effort. I contacted our Level 4 and 5 members to ask for contributions to the webinar project. To date, we’ve received $200. Out of this, we’ll create a fundraising committee. If you’re interested in serving on it, please contact me.


 

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02/04/2015 - 7:45pm

By Barbara Mende

Copyrights are important to a writer’s success, but so is money. Sometimes work for hire (WFH) is a great way to earn money.

Freelancers can make good incomes writing promotional materials, product manuals, grants, or books in series (think Dummies). Without owning the copyrights they can’t sell the movie or smartphone app rights, but how much are the rights to Assembling Your EZ-Burn Oven worth?

The key is to get paid enough so that you won’t miss those movie rights. And commercial clients, who are likely to be more profitable than conventional publishers, often pay better. If a magazine commissions a work-for-hire article, or a contract clause states that the work doesn’t qualify as work for hire under the Copyright Act—there are legal limitations, but they’re easily circumvented—and the writer has to surrender all rights, that is a red flag.

Work-for-hire writers have other concerns. If you want to use portions of your work on your website, you need to write that into your contract. If the contract contains a harsh indemnification clause you can’t remove, be sure that it applies only to the work as submitted, so you won’t be sued if the employer makes changes.

Above all, watch for confidentiality and non-competition clauses that can interfere with your livelihood. Change any restrictions on your dog-training booklets from “writing on the topic for two years” to “writing booklets on training Dachshunds in Greenwich Village apartments.” Anything over a year is oppressive, too. Your GCD contract advisor, whom you can find at advice@nwu.org, will help you with these changes.

Barbara Mende is the grievance and contract division coordinator.


 

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02/04/2015 - 7:43pm

The New York Labor History Association is pleased to announce a call for entries for the First Annual Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize. The deadline is Tuesday, September 1, 2015. The $500 prize will be awarded to the author of an article or series of articles, which is published between January 2014 and August 30, 2015, and which furthers the understanding of the history of working people. The work needs to have been published—in print or online—in a union or workers’ center publication or by an independent journalist.

In sponsoring this award, the association hopes to inspire more great writing for a general audience about the history of work, workers, and their organizations. The award is co-sponsored by LaborArts; Metro New York Labor Communications Council; the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU’s Tamiment Library. The winner will be announced October 7, 2015. The late Debra E. Bernhardt worked in many different realms to share the hidden histories of working people. Entries should include a cover sheet with name of the author, place and date of publication and the article(s); six copies should be submitted to:  New York Labor History Association, Tamiment Library, 10th Floor Bobst Library NYU, 70 Washington Square South, New York NY 10012. (For additional information: info@LaborArts.org or 212-998-2637)

Photo courtesy: Creative Commons


 

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02/04/2015 - 7:42pm

By Kathleen Foster

A police officer killed Shantel Davis, a young African-American woman, through the open window of her car in June 2012. It happened in Flatbush, a Brooklyn neighborhood near where I live. Distraught residents described hearing the fatal shots and watching officers drag Davis’ bleeding body onto the street, where they left her to die.

As I listened, I remembered similar emotional responses of women whose innocent family members perished in NATO attacks in Afghanistan & Pakistan, where I made my last two films: Afghan Women and a History of Struggle, as well as 10 Years On: Afghanistan & Pakistan. I decided it was time to turn my lens on a subject closer to home.

In my new documentary Profiled, police brutality and racial profiling are explored through the stories of Black and Latino mothers of unarmed victims of fatal police shootings. With the widely circulated video of Eric Garner on Staten Island, killed in a police officer’s choke-hold, followed just days later by the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the issues and concerns raised by the women resonate across the nation. The ranks of demonstrators have swelled into the thousands.

We experience the grief the families suffer in the face of such tragedies, the struggles women confront when raising children in segregated neighborhoods that present few options for young people, and their anger at a justice system that often seems pitted against them. And we witness the women's transition from grieving parents to activists. I have completed the filming and have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise $25,000 to edit and finish the film. A short 3-minute trailer and more information about the film can be seen at:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/profiled--4/x/9440765

Photo Courtesy: the author


 

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02/04/2015 - 7:41pm

From left to right: Scott Sommer, UAW-NY regional sub-director; Raymond Nat Turner; Larry Goldbetter, NWU president; Toby Emmer, NY UAW education fund director and NWU member; Barry Hock MA CAP gaming director and NWU member; Peter Fullerton, UAW Local 365 President; Dennis Williams, UAW president; Chris Rhomberg, NWUSO board member and NWU member; Kathleen Flarhety, NWU Connecticut CAP rep and Zigi LowensteIn, NWU MENBER. Not shown: Calvin Ramsey (NY) and Chris Donavan (CT).

The 22nd Annual Region 9A Civil Rights Dinner on in late January in Hartford, Connecticut, proved a big UAW and NWU success. More than 300 participants from all over New England and New York, including nine NWU members, heard inspiring talks from the three award recipients: International UAW President Dennis Williams spoke about stepped up organizing in Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, and how “labor rights are Civil Rights.” Casey Green, a spokeswoman for the bargaining committee of the University of Connecticut Graduate Research and Teaching Assistants, UAW Local 6950, reflected on the school’s struggle for its first contract and how, in only six weeks, more than 70 percent of the bargaining unit had signed union cards to gain recognition. Heather McGhee, president of DEMOS, an emerging leader in the progressive movement, asserted that changing US demographics are setting the stage for a bright future, if labor and its allies team up for the fight in the days ahead.  

Photo Courtesy: NWU


 

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Union News

07/27/2011 - 6:24pm

By Wendy Werris
Jul 27, 2011

In a move as significant for its breadth as its implications for the future of book coverage, the Los Angeles Times book review laid off all of its freelance book reviewers and columnists on July 21.

Susan Salter Reynolds was with the Times for 23 years as both a staffer and freelancer and wrote the “Discoveries” column that appeared each week in the Sunday book review. She was told that her column was cancelled and will not be replaced by another writer. “I don’t know where these layoffs fit into the long-storied failure at the Times,” she said yesterday, “but these are not smart business decisions. This is shabby treatment.”

Jon Thurber, editor of the book review, explained to Reynolds last Thursday that all books-related stories will now be done in-house, and that the decision to cease eliminate non-staffers was based on his freelance budget being cut. Richard Raynard’s popular “Paperback Writers” has also been eliminated. As children’s books editor at the Times for the last several years Sonja Bolle, who most recently wrote the monthly “WordPlay” column, said, “This indicates an even deeper contraction of the business, a continuation of a process at the Times that doesn’t stop here.” Bolle is most concerned about the shrinking coverage of children’s books. “This is a great loss for readers,” she said of the elimination of her column.

Four staffers remain in the book review section: David Ulin, Carolyn Kellogg, Nick Owchar, and Thurber. In December 2009 the Times laid off 40 features writers, including Reynolds and Bolle, but brought many of them back to work part-time. “We were paid about one-third of what we had been making, and lost our health insurance,” Reynolds says. "Then two months ago we were shifted to freelance status, which meant none of us were allowed to enter the Times building.” Thurber did make an exception for Reynolds so she could come to the office to pick up the multiple review copies she received daily in order to produce her column.

When contacted, Thurber deferred to Nancy Sullivan, the Times’s v-p of communications. “This was a cost-saving move,” she said, “strictly related to our budget.” Sullivan would not provide details on the number of freelancers who were eliminated last week. “Staff writers from outside the book department will take over for those who left. We have not changed our commitment to book coverage or the amount of space the Times will devote to it.”

07/22/2011 - 4:39pm

There was a "status conference" July 19th in New York in the ongoing Federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Google for scanning millions of books without the permission of the copyright holders.

The parties to the lawsuit asked for more time to try to negotiate a new settlement proposal. Judge Chin scheduled another hearing for September 15th, but suggested that if the parties had not reached at least an agreement in principle by then, he would set a schedule for the case to move forward toward discovery, briefing, argument, and decision of the legal issues without an agreed-upon settlement.

Law Prof. James Grimmelmann, who spoke at the NWU's forum on the case last year, has more about the hearing in his blog:
http://laboratorium.net/archive/2011/07/19/gbs_status_conference_opt-in_settlement_in_the_wor

Earlier this year, Judge Chin agreed with the NWU and numerous other writers' organizations from around the world that the previous settlement proposal was not "fair and adequate".  But Google, the Association of American Publishers, and the Authors Guild (whose membership is limited to authors of books published by major publishers with substantial advances, unlike the NWU which is open to all writers) have continued to exclude the NWU and all other interested parties from their ongoing negotiations.

The NWU is continuing to monitor the case, and will advise our members on future developments.  Backgorund information incluidng the NWU's submissions to the court is available from the NWU Book Division at: http://www.nwubook.org

07/15/2011 - 5:07pm

BBC journalists in one-day strike

BBC Television Centre The BBC has apologised to viewers and listeners
for any disruption
Continue reading the main story
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-14152795?print=true#story_continues_1>

Journalists at the BBC have begun a 24-hour strike in a row over
compulsory redundancies.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voted in favour of
industrial action last month because a number of World Service
journalists are facing compulsory redundancy.

The NUJ has warned that the strike will cause "widespread disruption" to
radio and TV programmes.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation was "disappointed" by the action.

Viewers and listeners saw some changes to BBC output on Friday morning
as a result of the strike.


BBC journalists in one-day strike
BBC          Television CentreThe BBC has apologised to viewers and listeners for any disruption
Continue reading the main story
Journalists at the BBC have begun a 24-hour strike in a row over compulsory redundancies.
Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) voted in favour of industrial action last month because a number of World Service journalists are facing compulsory redundancy.
The NUJ has warned that the strike will cause "widespread disruption" to radio and TV programmes.
A BBC spokesman said the corporation was "disappointed" by the action.
Viewers and listeners saw some changes to BBC output on Friday morning as a result of the strike.

07/14/2011 - 4:09pm

Forty years after it was first published, the book Occupied America: The History of Chicanos has been banned, and its author, Rudolfo Acuña, widely published professor and prominent immigrant-rights activist thinks he knows why.

To Acuña, a member of the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981, it boils down to two things: numbers and control. He says that banning his book and shutting down an ethnic studies program that has been widely successful in Arizona are part of an effort to undermine social inclusion and financial uplift for Chicanos, or people of Mexican descent. Not only has his work come under fire, but Acuña has received numerous death threats from unidentifiable individuals who are at odds with his commitment to improving the system of education and living conditions for Chicanos. 

This work is very much tied to the immigration issue, which Acuña, who was born in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrants, says, "puts panic in people [and makes them think] 'We're losing our country.'"

This might be why so many politicians have rallied against his groundbreaking work in Chicano Studies - an academic program he helped develop in the late 1960s at California State University, Northridge. While this initiative remains the longest running and largest such program, many others have since been established at universities across the country, and even some middle and high schools. 

Not everyone is so keen on seeing Chicano studies expand. Among the program's most vocal critics is Arizona's attorney general, Tom Horne, who has called it a sort of "ethnic chauvinism." He has also claimed that the program is "an officially recognized, resentment-based program," even though the National Education Association has shown that such curriculum instead increases interracial understanding and significantly enhances students' interest in academic pursuits. 

07/14/2011 - 4:01pm

On June 21, 2011, just before heading on to the Delegate Assembly in Detroit, 1st V.P. Ann Hoffman and I met at the Executive Office Building in Washington, next door to the White House, with President Obama's lead advisor on intellectual property enforcement and policy issues.

This meeting was a follow-up to comments on writers' difficulties enforcing our rights that we submitted in 2010, shortly after the creation of the office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator: http://www.nwubook.org/NWU-ip-enforcement.pdf

The office of the IPEC doesn't carry out enforcement actions itself, but exists to coordinate the Administration's executive actions -- including copyright and other IP-related law enforcement -- and legislative recommendations such as those on future copyright "reforms": http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/intellectualproperty/

We received no response to our initial written submission, and writers' interests (especially vis-a-vis publishers and distributors) were not reflected in IPEC reports and strategic recommendations.

Accordingly, we requested a face-to-face meeting with the IPEC office. Somewhat to our surprise, we found the door wide open. (Not literally, of course -- admission to the building required not only an appointment and "screening" at the entrance to the White House compound but detailed submissions of personal information, in advance, to the Secret Service.)

We met for the better part of an hour with the head of the office, the "IP Enforcement Czar" herself, Ms. Victoria Espinel, along with four of her staff advisors she had invited to provide expertise on specific aspects of IP enforcement ranging from copyrights to international law. All had read our comments in preparation for the meeting, although they still seemed to be surprised when we began our presentation by identifying publishers and distributors as the most significant infringers of writers' copyrights.

06/03/2011 - 5:49pm

New York City June 1 - At a brief status conference this afternoon, Google, the Authors Guild and the American Association of Publishers asked
Judge Denny Chin for additional time to explore settlement possibilities. Judge Chin scheduled the next status conference for July 19.

There's more on the google Books hearing from Publishers Weekly:
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/digital/copyright/article/47490-no-progress-on-google-book-settlement-talks-tone-changing-.html

05/26/2011 - 11:08am

The Executive Committee of the Union of Cyprus Journalists is greatly concerned and expresses its abhorrence over incidents of violence against Turkish Cypriot journalists by the so-called “police” in the occupied part of Cyprus.

Following a second bomb attack against the car and the life of a Turkish Cypriot colleague and the shooting attack against the offices of a newspaper, an assault against journalists by “policemen” of the occupation regime comes to clearly confirm that freedom of the press is under undisguised persecution in the occupied part of Cyprus.

The latest incidents of violence against journalists came about when Turkish Cypriots colleagues, covering a protest march by employees of the so-called “Turkish Cypriot Airlines” made redundant by its closure, were beaten and had their cameras damaged by “policemen” trying to prevent them from carrying out their work.

The Union of Cyprus Journalists strongly deplores raw violence and stresses that it will report on the above mentioned actions against freedom of the press to all European and world journalists organizations.



The Executive Committee
of the Union of Cyprus Journalists

05/16/2011 - 5:19pm

When:  Sunday, May 29, 2011

What:  The first  "Net Needs News Day." 

Who:  Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Has invited members to simultaneously publish a cartoon about how the web is mostly useless without original reporting generated by newspapers.  (Note: Cartoonists are participating on their own.)  Society of Professional Journalists President  Hagit Limor will blog on this topic at www.spj.org.

Why:  Increase public's awareness and appreciation of journalism and its vital role to information on the worldwide web (95% of all original content online.)   

2nd reason: SPJ recently favorited a motion graphics video on the same topic for its new channel for journalists. ("The Fat Lady Has Not Sung: Why the Internet Needs the News" is also airing at Stanford University graduate classes) : http://www.youtube.com/user/spjournalists#p/a/f/0/PRdUTWn-Zvo     

Where:  As many newspapers as possible.

Contact:  Sharon Geltner, Froogle PR, geltner@netneedsnews.net.  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/reqs.php#!/pages/The-Fat-Lady-Has-Not-Sung/168436819844750

05/06/2011 - 12:09pm

Situation of NWU member highlights benefit of Union Plus disaster help program

The case of At-large co-chair James Sandefur, whose family suffered losses in the recent tornadoes, highlights the benefits available to NWU members through Union Plus, a wide-ranging program for members of the UAW and AFL-CIO.

One program offers a $500 grant to any member suffering a documented financial loss as the result of a FEMA-certified natural disaster or emergency.  That program is available only to members who have participated for 12 months or more in the Union Plus credit card, mortgage or insurance program.

For more information on the disaster relief program, go to http://www.unionplus.org/money-credit/natural-disaster-relief-fund.

Remember too that Union Plus has a free prescription drug discount card for NWU members and their family members.  Go to unionplus.org and log in as a member of the UAW, then go to health benefits and download your cards.

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