Authors Alliance 10th Anniversary Event: Authorship in an Age of Monopoly and Moral Panics

Register here for this IN-PERSON event
hosted in San Francisco at the Internet Archive on May 17

Moral panics about technology are nothing new for creators. Copyright, in particular, has been a favorite tool to excite outrage. We were told that the motion picture industry would “bleed and bleed and hemorrhage” if the law didn’t prohibit VCRs. Because of the photocopier, industry experts warned that “the day may not be far off when no one need purchase book.” MP3 players, we were told, would leave us with no professional musicians, but only amateurs. 

Today, we are told that librarians lending books online will undo the publishing industry, and that AI will destroy entire creative industries as we know them.  At the same time, authors face real and unprecedented challenges in reaching readers, working within an increasingly consolidated publishing marketplace, a concentrated technology stack that seems aimed at optimizing ad revenue over all else, and a labyrinth of private agreements over which authors have almost no say. 

So what’s real and what’s hyperbole? Join us on May 17th to celebrate Authors Alliance’s 10th anniversary and be part of an engaging discussion with leading experts to cut through the hype and hear about the real challenges and opportunities facing authors who want to be read. 

The event will include a keynote address from author, activist, and journalist Cory Doctorow, as well as a series of panel discussions with leading experts on authorship, law, technology, and publishing.

Register here
Hosted in person in San Francisco at the Internet Archive
May 17, 2024
4:00pm to 7:00pm
Reception to Follow

4:00 Welcome & Introduction:  Dave Hansen, Executive Director of Authors Alliance

4:15 to 5:15 Technology, the Law, and Authorship

Moderator: Marta Belcher, President and Chair of the Filecoin Foundation as well as the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web

  • Pamela Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law and Information at the University of California, Berkeley
  • David Bamman, Associate Professor, School of Information, University of California, Berkeley
  • Sasha Stiles, award-winning poet,  language artist and AI researcher

5:15 to 6:00 Platforms, the Publishing Industry, and the Public Interest

Moderator: Corynne McSherry, Legal Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

  • Daphne Keller, Director of the Program on Platform Regulation at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center 
  • Alison Mudditt, CEO of the Public Library of Science (PLOS)
  • Brewster Kahle, Digital Librarian and founder of the Internet Archive

6:00 to 6:45 Keynote:  Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, activist and journalist 

6:45 Closing remarks

7:00 Reception to follow

For those of you who can’t join us in person, the event will be recorded and video shared out to Authors Alliance members (so if you aren’t a member, join (for free) today!)