Authors Alliance and KnowledgeRights21 are pleased to announce the launch of a new project, “Giving Voice to Authors,” through which Authors Alliance and KR21 will focus efforts over the next year on building up support for European authors who write for the public benefit.
Since its founding, Authors Alliance has welcomed members from all over the world, including many of its founding members and advisory board. Over the last several years, we’ve heard increasing calls for support from European authors who care about the public interest and who write primarily to spread knowledge and ideas. They are concerned that their voices are not being heard in some of the most important information policy debates of our age. For example, as the EU has enacted a series of laws such as the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, the debate has been dominated by many of the largest corporate rights holders and others to create the perception that authors uniformly support more expansive copyright and draconian enforcement mechanisms, and that authors care little for the rights of users, libraries, or the public. These positions do a disservice to authors who prioritize seeing their creations and the knowledge they advance to reach as many readers as possible.
Many other civil society organizations across Europe have ably countered these policy positions and have sought to advance access to knowledge in the public interest. But without a countervailing voice on behalf of authors, policy makers can all too easily conclude that most or even all authors favor these maximalist copyright positions. Authors Alliance aims to help give voice to European authors who have a countervailing view.
How you can participate
We’re already hearing from European authors and others asking how they contribute to ensuring that their voices are heard in these important debates. To start:
Join Authors Alliance. Joining as a member of Authors Alliance is a simple but important way to help us speak out on behalf of those authors who share our mission of promoting policies that would make creative works accessible and discoverable. Membership numbers help us better magnify your voices and lend weight to our input in policy debates. You can join for free online at www.authorsalliance.org/join.
Contribute your expertise. Authors Alliance is committed to promoting policy positions based on sound research and expertise. We’ve been fortunate to collaborate in the past with some of the world’s leading experts on copyright, technology, and the creative economy. Likewise, we want to collaborate with leading experts on European policy. This includes direct collaboration on research projects, or in highlighting the results of those projects to a wider audience of authors through blogs, op-eds or other publications, or bringing that research to the forefront in discussions with policymakers.
Collaborate and convene. In the Fall of 2023 and Spring 2024 Authors Alliance plans to host several in-person convenings with European authors, law and policy experts, and members of the broader community of civil society organizations across Europe that support more equitable and open access to information. If you are interested in attending or hosting such a meeting, we would love to hear from you. The easiest way to get in touch is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.