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Best-selling author Scott Turow and former President of the Author’s Guild of America was recently interviewed by Mary Laura Philpott of Musing. He has this to say about the difficulties facing authors into today’s market.
“I love e-books, because of their utter portability. But digitization has set off a free-for-all in which authors seem to come out the consistent losers. Publishers have reduced royalties on ebooks.
“Scholars are less invested in copyright, largely because they make so little money from their own books, and thus want to reduce copyright protections for other writers. Libraries want to engage in remote lending, erasing the traditional barrier to free use that exists when people have to go in to borrow a book.
“Google wants to freely sample copyrighted books and sell ads while it does that.
“Amazon dominates the book-selling business, with the clear agenda of putting other booksellers and publishers out of business, and thus raising the specter that in order to keep reducing prices, they will ultimately put even greater economic pressure on authors.
“Courts continue to expand the doctrine of fair use, seemingly allowing more and more uncompensated use of copyrighted work.
“None of this, frankly, is to the great disadvantage of bestselling authors, who have benefitted enormously from many of the changes in publishing in the last 30 years. The problem is for authors with smaller audiences, who find their livelihoods more and more in danger.
“The constitutions’s framers enabled copyright as a way to establish a professional class of authors, who would not depend on patrons or the government to write. The thought was that an independent artistic class was the best thing for the democracy. I still think the richness of our cultural life depends on ensuring that writing, and other arts, remain a livelihood for more than a lucky few.”
For the complete interview, click HERE.
Keep creating, no matter what.