Welcome to the National Writers Union

The National Writers Union UAW Local 1981 is the only labor union that represents freelance writers.

Now, more than ever, with the consolidation of power into the hands of ever-larger corporate entities and with the advent of technologies that facilitate the exploitation of a writer’s work, writers need an organization with the clout and know-how to protect our interests. One that will forge new rules for a new era.

Combining the strength of more than 1,200 members in our 13 chapters with the support of the United Automobile Workers, the NWU works to advance the economic and working conditions of all writers.  Our members also directly benefit from the many valuable services the Union offers—including grievance assistance, contract advice, and much more—while actively contributing to a growing movement of professional freelancers who have banded together to assert their collective power.

Follow us on ... See about Press Passes for NWU Members

Special Announcements

05/21/2014 - 5:39pm

The case of New York Times reporter James Risen highlights the need for a federal shield law. In 2006, Risen published “State of War,” a book that described Operation Merlin, a failed CIA attempt to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. Risen used classified information given to him by confidential source(s). The Obama Administration investigated the leak and filed criminal charges against former CIA agent Jeffery Sterling under the Espionage Act. The federal prosecutor also subpoenaed Risen, who is not charged with a crime, to testify in court to reveal his source(s). He refused.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, ruled that there is no First Amendment reporter’s privilege to protect confidential sources in criminal cases in federal court. Risen has appealed to the US Supreme Court, who may decide as early as June 2, whether to hear his appeal. If the Court denies his petition, Risen could be held in contempt of court and face jail time or fines if he refuses to reveal his confidential source(s).

In September, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the Free Flow of Information Act (S. 987) on a 13-5 bipartisan vote. The bill would create a qualified reporter’s privilege, which would allow federal judges to strike a balance between protecting confidential sources and facilitating the public’s right to know and compelling a reporter to testify.  NWU and the Shield Coalition support this bill as it includes freelancers as “qualified reporters.”

The bill contains a national security exception in leak cases (Section 5), which states that the risk of future leaks by a confidential source is not enough to force a reporter to testify. A reporter would have to reveal a confidential source only if the government proves that the reporter’s testimony would help to prevent an act of terrorism or other acts that could harm national security.

Risen’s book was published years after the alleged CIA operation. Under the Free Flow of Information Act, the government would have had to prove that forcing Risen to testify would prevent some future harm to national security.

If Risen’s petition is denied by the Supreme Court, it will be up to Congress to enact concrete legal standards for when reporters can and cannot protect confidential sources. The time has come for Congress to pass the Free Flow of Information Act.


 

Read more...
05/07/2014 - 3:40pm

It's time for NWU members and other writers to submit comments to the U.S. Copyright Office once again. It was very helpful when we did it in 2012, so we need to do it again. The idea of an "orphan works" law just won't die. An orphan works law or an expanded definition of “fair use” would let anyone who claims they can't identify or find whoever they think holds the rights to your copyrighted work have the right to use, copy, or even publish your work for free without your permission.

Here are a couple of scenarios about orphan works: You published an article or poem in a magazine long out of print. If a library has a copy in its collection, but can't find the magazine publisher (out of business?), they could call it an “orphan," scan it, and publish it on the Web. Say, your book has been out of print for years, so you self-publish your own e-book. If someone can't find the publisher of the original book, they could call it an "orphan" and issue their own edition without your knowledge or permission, which would compete with your e-book and deprive you of income. Or a story posted on your blog could be plagiarized on another Web site without your knowledge, permission, or payment.

So much for your ability to resell or republish your backlist work!

You can help NWU prevent a disastrous so-called “orphan works” law by submitting comments to the Copyright Office by May 21. Fill out the form on the US Copyright Office website and attach a file of your letter. The link to the NWU sample letter is provided here, or below.

You can use our sample letter, but it will be much more effective if you tell your own story. Examples of how you are earning money from stories, articles, Web content, books, or excerpts whose original editions are listed in bibliographies and library catalogs as "out of print" will be extremely helpful.

Please spread the word to NWU members and other writers. This is our final opportunity to be heard before the Copyright Office makes its recommendations about "orphan works" to Congress.

Thank you for making NWU’s advocacy much stronger!

Orphan Works Comments: Form Letter (download as a .doc file here)

Submit electronically at www.copyright.gov/orphan/comment-submission

 

To: Maria Pallante, Register of Copyright
U.S. Copyright Office
Library of Congress

Re: Orphan Works and Mass Digitization

(FR Doc. 2014–02830; Copyright Office Docket Number 2012-12)

Dear Ms. Pallante:

I endorse comments to the Copyright Office submitted by the National Writers Union. As a working writer, I oppose any "orphan works" legislation or any interpretation of “fair use” that permits use of my work without my permission or restricts my remedies for copyright infringement because someone claims they were unable to identify or locate me or any person or entity they thought held certain rights to my work.

Proposals for "orphan works" legislation and expanded interpretations of “fair use” fail to consider ways working writers earn our living. Under the Berne Convention, an exception to copyright for “fair use” or other use of “orphan works” is permitted only if it "does not conflict with normal exploitation" of the work. But, as far as I know, the Copyright Office has never conducted research on the market for works whose original printed editions have gone out of print and might be deemed "orphaned.” Nor has it asked writers about new norms of commercial exploitation of our “out-of-print” works, especially via self-publication and digital publication.

Orphan works” legislation or “fair use” cannot properly be evaluated without understanding writers' new business models that only writers can provide. If work to which I hold some or all rights is deemed “orphaned" because it is not in publishers' or libraries' records, despite the fact that I am currently earning money from it, any so-called “orphan work” would unfairly compete with and destroy the value of my rights.

Before the Copyright Office or Congress considers any "orphan works" or “fair use” legislation, I request you hold hearings to learn from writers and other creators about how we are currently exploiting our rights to our work and how such a law would affect us. No "orphan works" legislation should be considered unless it respects the rights of creators.

Sincerely,

 

 

Read more...
04/23/2014 - 1:59pm

Wednesday April 23, 2014 is World Copyright Day, a day designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote literacy and recognize authors. Copyright law varies across the world, but the idea of copyright is that laws around creative works should benefit society at large and also protect and incentivize creators, who enrich and enliven culture with their original stories, music, poems and photographs.

But the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) say journalists and other creators are being deprived of their rights and ability to earn a living from future use of their creations. And it is happening with the stroke of the pen, with the signing of unfair contracts riddled with clauses writers might not understand when they sign their rights away.

Across the world, IFJ and EFJ say writers, photojournalists, and other creators are being asked to sign “model contracts” with clauses that cut creators out of future decisions regarding their work – and out of future profits.

The IFJ and EFJ are asking for laws that would protect creators in negotiations, “ensuring that both moral and economical rights are respected.” Moral rights refers to a special framework of recognitions and protections for the intrinsic creative bond between creators and their works. Moral rights are more broadly recognized in Europe than in the US.

The advocacy groups called for stronger laws worldwide. “One cannot expect journalists to make a living when they are systematically asked to sign away their authors’ rights”, said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

The National Writers Union Grievance and Contract Division (GCD) provides free contract advice to members. Earlier this year, the division advised writers to protect their rights to revenue from future digital publication of their own works and, when negotiating contracts, to“negotiate each type of publication right separately, and strike any reference to 'all media' in contract language.”

The EFJ and IFJ also critized contracts that contain buy-out clauses, assignment for future unknown uses and moral rights transfers.

Read more...
04/11/2014 - 4:28pm

 

“Thrive” is the title of a new book out by Arianna Huffington, and she talks about the project in an interview with Deirdre Donahue in the April, 2014 issue of AARP Bulletin. The new book focuses on work-life balance and redefining traditional notions of success. Yet Huffington's progressive blog Huffington Post was enormously succesful, at least in part thanks to the work of professional journalists who worked without compensation. She built a business model that doesn't pay freelance contributors.

In 2010, Huffington sold her blog to AOL for $350 milion dollars and took a job as AOL's head of content. National Writers Union and the Newspaper Guild led a boycott of HuffPost at the time. The boycott has ended, but we still want to see a pay scale for online writers (view a panel session we hosted on the topic here). Writers create more than content. We create value and wealth. Just ask Arianna Huffington.

Working without pay should not be the expectation of online publications – or online writers. Quality journalism must be justly compensated. National Writers Union members have started sending off their own letters to AARP. Now we are asking everyone to do the same. Please cut and paste the letter below and send it to: Bulletin@aarp.org. And keep an eye out for the "Thrive" tour coming to your town.

To: Bulletin@aarp.org :

In your April issue of the "AARP Bulletin," Deirdre Donahue interviewed Arianna Huffington about her success and her latest theme, "Thrive." The interview failed to point out that one of the reasons Arianna "thrives" is because she doesn't pay most of the writer/contributors to her flagship huffingtonpost.com. HuffPost became a large progressive blog because of the unpaid contributions of many full-time journalists that brought quality reporting, traffic, and value that allowed her to sell it to AOL for $350 million in 2010. Along with the sale price, Arianna enjoys a $4 million annual salary as AOL's head of content. She shared none of the sale price with the many working writers that created that value. Some might call that "thriving." Others might use another term.

 

Read more...
04/04/2014 - 4:19pm

The European Federation of Journalists today condemned the killing of an Associated Press (AP) photographer from Germany who was killed while working in Afghanistan ahead of elections Saturday. The photographer was killed and another was wounded when, the AP reported, an Afghan police commander approached the convoy the photojournalists were traveling with - a convoy of elections workers delivering ballots - and opened fire on the journalists.

Read more...
03/31/2014 - 9:49am

Event: Copyright in the Digital Age: Creators in a landscape of Google Books and orphan works
Hosts: National Writers Union, DC Chapter and the Special Libraries Association, Social Science Division
When: April 24th, 2014, 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm EDT - Click to add this event to your iCalendar.
Where: AFL-CIO, 815 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, President's Room

US copyright is in flux. How can our copyright system continue to strike the right balance between social good and the need for benefits and incentives to diverse creators? What can we learn from listening to creators themselves about how they are negotiating a new landscape? Join us for a panel session focusing on how writers are making a living in the digital age, the state of fair use, and authors' perspectives on book scanning services such as Scribd, Google Books, and Amazon's Look Inside The Book program.

Speakers include Edward Hasbrouck, activist, journalist, author, consumer advocate and NWU Book Division co-chair; Michael Capobianco, author, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association of America (SFWA), President 1996-1998 and 2007-2008; and Kurt Wimmer, an expert in privacy and digital media law and general counsel for the Newspaper Association of America. Larry Guthrie of the Special Libraries Association, Social Science Division's Labor Section will moderate.

Bring a brown bag lunch. The event will be webcast. For more information visit:
http://www.nwu-dc.org/content/copyright-digital-age

Contact: nwudc.news@gmail.com

Read more...
03/17/2014 - 6:11pm

Three major journalists' unions in Ukraine and Russia have agreed to work together to support safety for journalists covering events in Ukraine and Crimea, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). The Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU), the National Union of the Journalists of Ukraine (NUJU) and Russian affiliates the Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ) came together for a meeting in Brussels, Belgium where they vowed to support transparency of information and committed to upholding reporting principles outlined in the IFJ Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists.

Read more on the IFJ site:

 


 

Read more...
02/24/2014 - 7:09pm

Frequently Asked Questions about Revised Settlement of Electronic Databases Copyright Litigation
(post-Tasini case class action)


What is the settlement about?
A class action lawsuit was initiated in 2001 by the National Writers Union and two other writers’ organizations to compensate writers for uncompensated electronic uses of their work prior to the Supreme Court decision in Tasini v. New York Times. After a long and contentious legal process, a revised settlement was negotiated by all parties and was given preliminary approval by a federal court in New York on January 22, 2014. A hearing on final approval has been scheduled for June 10, 2014, but that date could change.

How is this different from the settlement proposed in 2005?  
Most writers who filed claims will get slightly more money under this revised settlement than under the original proposal, including those writers who had not registered their copyrights.

Who can file for payment?
Only those people who filed a valid claim before September 30, 2005, are eligible to receive payment. No new claims will be accepted for the revised settlement, and no additional works can be added to previously filed claims.

If I didn’t file a claim, will this settlement affect me?
Yes. You can do nothing, opt out, or object. If you do nothing, you will give up some rights if freelance articles you wrote were reproduced in publications that participated in the settlement.

What should I do if I didn't file a claim in 2005?
If you find out that any works you wrote are covered by the settlement, you should probably opt out now. There is no benefit to anyone who didn’t file a claim, but there are potential costs. If you didn't file a claim and you do nothing, you will give up some rights to all your affected works, in perpetuity, but you will get no money. If you opt out, you won't give up any rights. Opting out is simple and free. You don’t have to try to list all your works.

What should I do if I filed a claim in 2005?
If the settlement is approved, the publications that published the work for which you made claims choose to participate in the settlement, and your claim is deemed valid by the claims administrator, and you will eventually get a payment. If you feel it’s a bad deal, you can opt out now.
If you are fairly confident you are never going to do anything to generate any revenue from the works covered by the settlement, you will probably want to stay in and get paid. If you are generating other revenue from these works or think you might, you need to decide whether the compensation you will get from the settlement is enough to be worth the rights you will give up.

What rights do I give up if I stay in the settlement?  
Non-exclusive rights in perpetuity to any and all forms of digital distribution of all affected works, which are infinitely sublicensable.
Are the license and rights granted by the proposed settlement limited to the works for which I made claims?
No. The license covers all your freelance contributions to participating publications, even if you didn't make claims for them and even if you didn't make a claim at all.

What do you recommend I should do?
That’s up to you. We can’t make a decision for you. Only you know your work and what revenue you may expect from it, if any, in the future.

How long before we are paid?
That depends on the court, over which we have no control. It will be at least several more months. But we will alert members and other writers when the settlement has finally been approved and when payment is likely.

Which publications are included in the settlement?
A list of publishers can be found in Exhibit F, but the list contains only the names of corporations and not the names of individual journals or magazines. The final list of which publications choose to participate in the
settlement won't be known until after the settlement is finally approved.
I filled out a claim for the Google Book Settlement in 2010. Are the two settlements related?
No. These are two entirely separate, very different cases.

Can I object to the settlement?
Yes. Anyone who files the proper paperwork will have a chance to speak to the court before the court decides whether to give final approval to the settlement.

What if I still have questions? How do I get more info?
The full Notice of Revised Class Action Settlement is posted at www.copyrightclassaction.com. If you still need help, you may contact us at nwu@nwu.org. It may take us time to answer your question.
 


Read more...
02/15/2014 - 9:24pm

Friday, February 21, 2014

The United Auto Workers today, February 21, 2014, filed an appeal with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging outside interference in a historic Southern auto plant vote last week. A win for the UAW would have represented a major victory for the labor movement in the South.  The vote one week ago saw Volkswagen auto plant workers vote narrowly against union representation that would have led to the establishment of a works council - the first such proposed model of labor-management relations in the United States.

The UAW alleges that a firestorm of interference and threats from special interest groups influenced how workers voted over three days last week. (WATCH: Workers’ React to Outside Interference).

According to a UAW Release: Of the anti-union messaging: “It’s essentially saying, ‘If you unionize, it’s going to hurt your economy. Why? Because I’m going to make sure it does,’” said Volkswagen worker Lauren Feinauer. “I hope people see it for the underhanded threat that it is.”

The campaign also included threats by U.S. Sen. Bob Corker related to promises of a new product line awarded to the plant if workers voted against UAW representation.

The objections state, “Senator Corker’s conduct was shameful and undertaken with utter disregard for the rights of the citizens of Tennessee and surrounding states that work at Volkswagen. … The clear message of the campaign was that voting for the union would result in stagnation for the Chattanooga plant, with no new product, no job security, and withholding of state support for its expansion.”

The UAW announced after the vote:

“While we certainly would have liked a victory for workers here, we deeply respect the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, Volkswagen management and IG Metall for doing their best to create a free and open atmosphere for workers to exercise their basic human right to form a union,” said UAW President Bob King.

Read the full announcement here.  Volkswagen Chattanooga workers were brave and stood up to the tremendous pressure from outside. Send them a message of support on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #UAWVW to remind them they have allies, brothers and sisters standing with them in solidarity.


 

Read more...
02/14/2014 - 6:57pm

IFJ Release: "The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has today published its full report on the number of journalists and media staff killed across the globe in 2013.  Titled In Mortal Danger: Journalist & Media Staff Killed in 2013', the report provides information on the 105 journalists and media staff who lost their lives in targeted attacks, bomb attacks and other cross fire incidents during the year, while also raising awareness of the continued safety crisis around the globe.

There are also updates on 15 accidental deaths recorded last year.  Documenting the precarious and often brutal situation for journalists reporting in areas of conflict, war and political unrest, the IFJ report shows that the deadliest regions for journalists in 2013 were Asia Pacific, with 29% of the killings, and the Middle East and Arab World with 27%, while the most dangerous countries for media staff were Syria, the Philippines, Pakistan, Iraq and India."

Read more on the IFJ site...


 

Read more...

Union News

04/30/2010 - 11:54pm

Writers across the country are receiving letters from HarperCollinsRandom House, and other publishers asking them to sign e-book amendments to their book contracts.

  

 If you receive such a letter from any publisher, please contact the NWU's Grievance and Contract Division right away. The GCD will set you up with an NWU Contract Advisor who can examine your contract and provide you with expert advice. Contract advice is a free benefit available to NWU members. You can contact the GCD via email at advice@nwu.org. If you are not an NWU member, join today.

04/03/2010 - 9:33pm

On March 24 the National Writers Union submitted a brief to the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in response to a request for public comments about “the costs IP infringement imposes on the U.S. economy, the threat to public health and safety posed by IP infringement, and recommendations for a U.S. government strategic plan for dealing with IP infringement.” In the past, publishers have tried to speak for writers on this issue. Now it's critical that writers speak for ourselves about who the real copyright infringers are and what we think should be done about it.

03/23/2010 - 12:17am

On March 2, the US Supreme Court reversed the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and voted 8-0 (Justice Sotomayor did not participate in the case) to uphold an $18 million settlement of a copyright infringement suit between Internet publishers and freelance writers.

02/11/2010 - 1:05am

 Dan McCrory, Recording Secretary, explains this important legislation

 The U.S. Senate will soon consider a proposed federal shield law that provides the same protections to freelance journalists as to writers employed by newspapers, magazines, broadcast outlets and online publishers. The Free Flow of Information Act, S. 448, could have implications for all media workers, legislators and government officials, opinion leaders and the general public.

02/11/2010 - 12:27am

A message to NWU members from Edward Hasbrouck (co-chair Book Division):

We saw many lapsed and former NWU members at recent events about the Google Book settlement in New York and Berkeley. Here's what one of them, a member of the Authors Guild, wrote to the court after the NWU event:

http://thepublicindex.org/docs/amended_settlement/borsook. pdf

Our work on this has been for all writers, not just our members.

Please tell your friends about what we've been doing, and let them know: If you want to make a living from writing -- books, articles, blogging, technical writing, Web content, any kind of writing in any medium, genre, or format -- the NWU wants and *needs* you back!

02/06/2010 - 12:18am

 

On February 4, the U.S. Department of Justice broadened its opposition to the proposed Google Book settlement, including key objections raised by authors. Click here for the DOJ brief.
01/29/2010 - 4:42pm

Howard Zinn, historian, activist, and a member of the National Writers Union and the Boston Chapter for almost 20 years, died on January 27, 2010. But his life and writing will inspire grassroots activists for many future generations.

01/29/2010 - 4:27pm

New York City - January 28: The NWU's objections to the revised Google Books settlement proposal were filed with the U.S. District court today by our pro bono counsel from the Fordham University Law School.

01/27/2010 - 12:59pm

 At 10:00 PST/1:00 EST, Apple is unveiling its long-awaited somewhat mysterious new reader (code name: tablet). This isn’t just a new techie gadget, but a big story for writers.  In addition to the new reader, Apple is coming up with a new business model.  Unlike Amazon’s fixed low book prices, Apple is allowing publishers discretion and book prices are expected to be higher.  The split will favor publishers: Amazon splits revenue 50/50 with publishers, Apple’s model is expected to be 30/70. This sounds good, but it may not translate into higher royalties.  What else is new? 

 
Here are a couple of links about this subject.  The WSJ is a preview (they’ve recently started charging for content), but it explains the model pretty well, so if you are interested I recommend reading the full article (the comments attached to the preview are free):
 
Back to Amazon’s e-books: Publishers have been giving away some authors’ e-books as a free download on Kindle. The other day, the New York Times ran an article (With Kindle, the Best Sellers Don’t Need to Sell) about the impact on writers when their books are being given away for free as e-books. It tackles the question of whether or not writers are benefiting from their books being given away for free.  While at first blush we would disagree, it really is a lot more complex of an issue.  Some writers are seeing a bounce in sales of their newer books when their older ones are being given away as free e-books.
 
Please join us in talking about these issues.
 
12/28/2009 - 8:00pm

If you've ever written anything that might be in the collection of a major library—not just books—you might be affected by the proposed settlement of the Google Book Search ("GBS") copyright infringement lawsuit.

 
To help inform NWU members and other writers, the NWU has posted a new set of answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the revised Google Book Search settlement proposal and the choices all authors need to make by the new deadline of January 28, 2010.  This also includes a sample letter writers can use if they want to opt out of the proposed settlement.  This document (FAQ) is on the Google Settlement page of the website. 
php script encode google sıra bulucu kanun pagerank sorgulama seo ukash haber seo seo ukash google pagerank sorgulama