Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New authors' group to campaign against copyright threats

22.02.10 | Benedicte Page in The Bookseller

Authors concerned by the Google Book Settlement and the Digital Economy Bill have set up a grassroots campaign group, Action on Authors' Rights, to protect writers' interests.

Gillian Spraggs, Diana Kimpton and Nick Harkaway are among the founder members of the new group, as is literary agent Meg Davis. Authors Juliet E McKenna, Gwyneth Jones and Diane Coyle have expressed support.

A statement on the group's site said Google was "asking the court to approve a massive appropriation of rights from authors" and criticised the government for having "declared itself comfortable with the prospect that...rights in the intellectual property of UK citizens would
be surrendered to a foreign corporation without the consent of owners, and even without their knowledge."

Action on Authors' Rights also criticises the Society of Authors, the Writers Guild of Great Britain and the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) for having "lined up to promote the Settlement alongside the multinational publishing corporations and the Authors Guild", saying they
have done so "almost alone among the authors' organizations of the world."

The organisation is calling on other UK authors and literary agents to join its mailing list or Facebook group, with details available on the site

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