Friday, June 29, 2007

Texts Don't Grow On Trees

A new campaign, Texts Don’t Grow On Trees, has been launched by the European Writers’ Congress (EWC) to raise awareness of authors’ rights across the continent.

The campaign asserts five principles:

  1. Authors must never be pressured into waiving their rights to be named as the authors of their work;

  2. Authors must never be pressured into allowing their works to be treated in a derogatory manner;

  3. Authors need to be free to make a choice on licensing their works for reproduction communication, distribution, interpretation, and modification in any form and medium of their choice without pressure or interference from others;

  4. Authors must be rewarded by a conforming and timely execution of the licenses by their licensees;

  5. Authors must be remunerated in fair relation to the profits arising from the licensed exploitation of their work.

To support these principles, the campaign will:

  • Underline the eminence of authorship by promoting the uniqueness of individual creation;

  • Highlight the integrity of original works by denouncing misappropriations and derogatory treatment

  • Promote the authority of creators over their works by educating them on the powers of licensing agreements;

  • Advance the control of authors over the execution of licenses by proposing model statements for licensing contracts;

  • Require licensees to fairly remunerate the authors who create the one crucial ingredient for success.

"The idea behind this campaign is to educate and inform the reading, viewing and listening public; not criminalise them,” said EWC board member and former Chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, Graham Lester George. “Our ambition is to get them to see us as workers too, with all the same basic living problems: homes, children, bills, mortgages etc., and that taking our work without payment deprives us of income.”

The EWC is encouraging authors to sign up to support the campaign.

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