Protecting Authors’ Rights: A Dutch Perspective, a Global Lookout

Luke AlcottAuthors earnings, Netherlands, News

At the 2016 IFRRO Conference in Amsterdam the International Authors Forum hosted an open meeting with panel discussions focusing on the Dutch perspective on authors’ rights, followed by a meeting for IAF members to update on the work of the IAF and members.

In the first part of our open meeting, Jeroen Thijssen talked to Nicolette Hoekmeijer and Kees Schaepman about the Dutch perspective on authors’ rights, giving insight from their experiences as translators and writers respectively. The panel discussed how it has become increasingly hard to earn a living as a writer, and how far grants for novels and translations deemed important to Dutch literature have gone to resolve this, how this has supported the earnings of many authors but also having the drawbacks that authors can become reliant on the grants or see their pay reduce as the grants are used as a reason to pay authors less. Discussing the author community, Kees spoke about how young writers are becoming increasingly entrepreneurial to find new revenue streams and develop a following through social media, while Nicolette explored how translators have made use of professional networks to support each other with translations and contractual challenges.


In the second part of our open meeting we had Anouk Siegelaar interviewing Lois van Baarle about her experiences as a Dutch visual artist. The conversation focused on how she has worked as a digital artist making the most of social media and online platforms to have control of her work. Lois discussed the benefits and challenges of having her work available for free online, making it easier for fans to share and see her work, but also having to deal with unlicensed uses of her artwork. On publishing her work Lois discussed how online platforms such as Kickstarter gave her new routes to fund her work, but also how Lois had engaged with specialist publishers that suited her work rather than self-publishing, so that she could focus her energy on continuing to create art.


A summary of the IAF members meeting that followed this event is available in the IAF members section.