IAF AGM 2019

Athanasios VenitsanopoulosIAF, News

Authors on both sides of the pond: New York 2019

In April, the International Authors Forum (IAF) held its AGM in New York. This was followed by a panel discussion on issues pertinent to authors, as well as IAF’s report on Views from Across the Pond. The event was organised together with US members of the Authors Guild, the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), the Graphic Artists Guild (GAG), the National Writers Union (NWU), the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), and the Textbook and Academic Authors Association (TAA) who we thank for helping to arrange a successful event.

This event featured the following panels:

Views from Across the Pond: The New EU Copyright Directives and Brexit

Speakers: Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive, Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, Secretariat, International Authors Forum; Luke Alcott, Secretariat, International Authors Forum; Arlette Bekink, Manager, Collective Rights at Pictoright (Netherlands); Florence-Marie Piriou, La Sofia (France)

The Public Lending Right in its Various Manifestations and Why Can’t We Have One in the US?

Moderator: Cheryl Davis, General Counsel, The Authors Guild

Speakers: Dr Jim Parker, Co-ordinator, PLR International; Arjen Polman, Managing Director, Stichting Leenrecht/PLR The Netherlands

Views from the US: Small Claims, Controlled Digital Lending, Piracy and DMCA Takedowns

Speakers: Tom Kennedy, Executive Director, ASMP; Mary Rasenberger, Executive Director, The Authors Guild; Rebecca Blake, Advocacy Liaison, GAG

Open forum: What Tech Sector Companies Might Do to Engage and Support Creators

Moderator: Mary Rasenberger, Executive Director, The Authors Guild

A write up of the AGM can be found here.

The event was also covered in Publishers Weekly and can be found here.

IAF meeting with the US Copyright Office

That same week in Washington DC, IAF met with Karyn Temple, Register of Copyrights and Director of the U.S. Copyright Office and her team. IAF was joined by representatives from its members the Authors Guild, GAG, the Artists Rights Society (ARS) as well as colleagues from PLR International (PLRI) and the American Society for Collective Rights Licensing (ASCRL).

This opportunity was taken to discuss Public Lending Right (PLR) and Artist’s Resale Right (ARR), both of which are close to authors’ hearts. Jim Parker from PLRI was able to give examples of how PLR schemes have worked around the world, as a simple way to strengthen authors connection with their works made available through libraries, and to promote literature nationally. Janet Hicks from ARS discussed how ARR is important as a means of equity, ensuring artists are rewarded for the continued enjoyment of their work in the same way other creators are, and in ensuring that authors have a share in the profits from their work when it finds further success beyond their immediate environment.

IAF discussed how authors across Europe had campaigned for the copyright directive, particularly the step forward it took in encouraging online service providers to engage in preventing infringing uses of creators’ works. Rebecca Blake from GAG contrasted this to the situation in America where the process for requesting a takedown is weighted against creators, and still requires creators to pursue every individual upload of their work. Discussing these subjects and others, including the upcoming Small Claims Enforcement Act and the modernization initiative the Copyright Office is undertaking, the Register of Copyrights and her team were positive and keen to engage with authors to work on many of these issues.