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.

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Special Announcements

07/10/2014 - 11:10am

The Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate, an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) union in which NWU is also an affiliate, reported that a driver for Media 24 agency was killed by an Israeli rocket while driving in his car in the Gaza Strip on the night of Wednesday, July 9. The IFJ strongly condemned the killing and called for justice for Hamid Shibab.

“We join our affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in condemning the appalling killing of Hamid Shihab and we send our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “We demand that Israeli authorities carry out a thorough investigation into this attack to ensure that justice prevails.”

IFJ urged journalists working in conflict zones to read its safety handbook, which was designed for journalists working in the Arab World, Front Line Journalism Handbook.

The condemnation of Hamid Shibab's tragic death comes just weeks after IFJ and the Federation of Arab Journalists (FAJ) issued a joint declaration of support for all Palestinian journalists and for their advocacy group, IFJ member the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate. The declaration came out of a joint meeting of the IFJ and the FAJ in Ramallah on June 21-22.

The Declaration in Support of Palestinian Journalists states:

  1. Their full solidarity with the Palestinian journalists who are continuously subjected to frequent violations at the hands of the Israeli authorities in breach of International laws.
  2. Their support for the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate's efforts to defend journalists, their professionalism, and to enhance their financial and moral rights and their commitment to independence from commercial or political interests.
  3. Their strong condemnation of the Israeli government's systematic policies aimed at preventing journalists from working in parts of Palestine, in particular in Jerusalem, and its full support for the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate's international campaign for journalists' freedom of movement.
  4. That Palestinian journalists who face daily dangers to their lives should be fully protected so they can work in safe conditions and that the Israeli government takes full responsibility for their attacks of Palestinian journalists in breach of international charters and covenants.
  5. Their vigorous condemnation of the continuous imprisonment of 14 journalists, including three in administrative detention without justification and demand their release.
  6. All violations against Palestinian journalists by the Palestinian security apparatus shall stop and that these violations are investigated so that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice.
  7. Their welcome for President Mahmoud Abbas’ declared commitment that his government will respect freedom of journalists and investigate violations that take place against Palestinian journalists and ensure they come to an end.
  8. Their continuous cooperation between the two federations to support the Palestinian journalists and their Syndicate in line with signed agreement

Signed,

Jim Boumelha                                                       Ahmed Behbehani

President, IFJ                                                          President, FAJ

          

 

 


 

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06/27/2014 - 11:35am

Three journalists from Al Jazeera English have been detained in Egypt while doing their jobs. They were sentenced to 7-10 years in prison on June 23rd. The NWU stands with the International Federation of Journalists in calling for their immediate release.

“The verdict of the court, despite the lack of evidence and bizarre court proceedings over more than a dozen hearings, is an appalling attack on press freedom and carries an implicit threat to all media working in Egypt,” said IFJ Senior Vice President, Younes Mjahed in a press release. 

Read more on the IFJ website.


 

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06/27/2014 - 11:15am

By: Brigid O’Farrell, Bay Area Chapter

On Monday, June 23, the White House convened a summit in Washington, DC, to start an important conversation about issues affecting working families:  accessing good jobs, raising the minimum wage, creating flexible schedules, securing paid family leave, providing quality affordable child care. Labor was in the house.  I was honored to join over 250 union members and women from worker organizations.  First we met on Sunday at the AFL-CIO building where sisters and brothers shared their stories.  

I worked with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 617 in San Mateo, California, to identify union members who benefited from California’s Paid Family Leave Act.  California is one of only three states to have a law that enables workers to take paid time off from work to care for a new baby or an ill family member. Unions worked to pass this law and now members are using it.  Krista Brooks and Johnathan Brooks are IBEW apprentice electricians and both of them used the California Paid Family Leave Act to take time of the job when their daughter was born. They were able to care for their child, maintain their economic stability, and return to their jobs.  They told their story at the AFL-CIO Working Families Speak Up Event on Sunday and then joined the White House Summit on Monday.

Connie Leak, President of the Coalition of Labor Union Women and a member of UAW, said this wasn’t just about boots on the ground, but about “heels, flats, and sneakers heading to the streets” and to the White House Summit to talk about working family issues and the importance of unions, collective bargaining, and public policy to create 21st century workplaces that nourish working families.  

The next day over 1,000 people joined the conversation with President Obama and the First Lady, Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Democratic Congressional Leader Nancy Pelosi, and a host of corporate, media, and advocacy leaders.  Labor’s voice was heard through Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO,  Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees Union, and Kay Thompson, Local 1-S Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW.  A mother of four and an employee at Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, Kay Thompson told the audience that “the fair work schedule secured by my collective bargaining agreement is one of the main reasons I’ve stayed at Macy’s for nearly 20 years.”

Kay Thompson, Krista and Johnathan Brooks, and many other powerful stories told over the two days were about the possibility of change.  Now attention is turning to how to translate the ideas and energy in that room into action.  As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “We can’t just talk.  We have got to act.”

 


 

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06/13/2014 - 3:33pm

The Free Flow of Information Act (S. 987) is a federal shield bill that would protect the public’s right to know by protecting the identities of journalists’ confidential sources. The bill is expected to be brought to the Senate floor this summer. The legislation has strong bipartisan support. On September 12, 2013 the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 987 by a 13-5 vote. The bill’s original co-sponsors are Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and it has a total of 24 co-sponsors from both parties.

On June 12, 2014, the Shield Coalition, made up of dozens of media groups and journalists organizations,  sent this letter (PDF) to every US Senator, seeking their support for this much needed and long overdue legislation.  It has taken on even more urgency given that the Supreme Court recently declined to hear the appeal of journalist and book author James Risen of the New York Times after the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected his motion to quash a subpoena, issued in a leak prosecution, seeking the name of his confidential source. If potential sources, including government whistleblowers, fear that journalists will be forced to reveal their identities, these sources will not come forward, and the public will lose the ability to hold the government accountable.
 
The National Writers Union is a member of the Shield Coalition and a signer of the letter. We urge the Senate to pass the Free Flow of Information Act this summer.
 
 

 

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06/02/2014 - 1:34pm

The Supreme Court this morning raised the stakes for all reporters and increased the need for a federal shield bill.  The Court denied certiorari (refused to hear the case) of James Risen, a New York Times reporter.  Risen has been ordered to testify in the criminal trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, accused of leaking information about a failed CIA effort to interfere with Iran's nuclear program during the Clinton Administration.  According to the AP report posted on Huffington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder has suggested that Risen might not be jailed if he refuses to testify.
 
The Supreme Court cited its 1972 case holding that nothing in the First Amendment protects reporters against being called to testify before grand juries.
 
Read the complete story from the AP via Huffington Post here.
 
If you are interested in helping NWU fight for a reporter's shield bill, please email nwu@nwu.org and let us know.


 

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05/22/2014 - 3:38pm


 
The 2014 Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, April 8 -10, which celebrated passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, featured the voices of veterans of the civil rights struggle, including former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Georgia Congressman John Lewis and former President Jimmy Carter, to political recipients of the Act’s passage like former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. The LBJ Library has posted photos and videos from each day of the event.
 
Dispatches from the Civil Rights Summit 2014, Austin, Texas
 
By: NWU Member James Patterson: Diplomat, Writer, Speaker, Educator

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin in public accommodations including restaurants, hotels, theaters and retail businesses. The Act created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to ban workplace discrimination. Before the Act employers could legally exclude blacks from job openings with a simple “no Negroes.” Congressman John Lewis, who was brutally beaten at Selma in 1965, told participants “times have changed” but work needed to be done on civil rights, such as restoring important provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (The GOP-dominated Supreme Court struck down key provisions in 2013.)

 
Lewis said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was “a living document” and the struggle goes on for equality and justice. Public furor over Johnson’s disastrous handling of Vietnam has somewhat abated, many say, and historians are looking at more positive aspects of his administration, especially his work on civil rights legislation. Summit planners said they hoped the event would help people see beyond Johnson’s failed Vietnam policy. That may not happen, however, as Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award winning author Robert Caro is currently at work on his fifth and final volume on Johnson and it may bring attention back to the president’s role in escalating the Vietnam War.
 
The Civil Rights Summit, though, was essentially a Vietnam Free Zone where there was nothing but praise for the late Texas president. Caro was absent from the Summit reportedly due to differences with planners over Johnson’s civil rights legacy. Also absent were members of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family. Reportedly, they are in legal disputes with each other and with some of the panelists over some of King’s personal items. Further, one family member claims Johnson was involved in the assassination of Dr. King. University of Texas Austin students were upset with planners. Reportedly, there were few Summit seats for students. An estimated 9,035 students applied for tickets and only 640 received them. The Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium at the LBJ Presidential Library seats only 967 people.
 
There were 46 panelists who spoke at the event. Summit planes invited controversial Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry but did not invite him to speak. As a result, Perry had “a schedule conflict” and could not attend. According to LBJ Library spokesperson Anne Wheeler, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Texas, John Cornyn, Texas, Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, and Harry Reid, Nevada, were invited but could not attend. Similarly, GOP House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi did not attend. In my view, Cruz, McConnell and Boehner would have likely drawn angry protesters, especially over their views on immigration reform. According to the Daily Texas, a UT-Austin newspaper, Social work freshman Addis Gezahegn said, “I would gladly miss class to be in the same room as the first black president of the United States. The only black person on the UT campus like 50 years ago carried a mop and a broom.”
 
On the last day of the Summit, President Obama spoke and Summit planners panicked when they realized the audience was, well, very light for his speech. They opened doors for students and even herded press from the Media Center into the auditorium. Summit planners had, they said, worked on this event for three years. Still, problems arose. One of the most embarrassing problems was the total exclusion of civil rights for the disabled from the agenda.
 
The landmark American with Disabilities Act of 1990, signed by former President George H.W. Bush, who did not attend the event, celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. At the very last minute, Summit planners added distinguished educator and disability rights advocate Lex Freidan to a panel on Civil Rights in the 21st Century. He had an important message and it is sad few heard it. Friedan’s name did not appear in the official Summit program. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, during his first twenty years in Congress, adamantly and wholeheartedly opposed all civil rights legislation. His Texas constituents opposed it and so did he. President Kennedy’s tragic assassination in Dallas in November 1963, the televised brutality and violence against blacks in the Deep South, Klan murders of white civil rights workers in Mississippi, and Dr. King’s compassioned plea for help in ending segregation, changed Lyndon Johnson and the course of our nation’s history. 
 
Johnson was not perfect but when history called, he listened and acted to help end bigotry and discrimination. Few other Southern politicians heard history’s call at that time. As a youth in Alabama in 1964, LBJ was a hated man. Arizona’s Republican Senator Barry Goldwater, who said the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was unconstitutional, was the white man’s savior. Fortunately, Goldwater lost in a landslide. He won Alabama by a Klanslide. Johnson famously predicted his signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would cost his party the South. Solidly Republican today, Alabama, like much of the South, is still resistant to civil rights for gays and marriage equality.
 
As Congressman John Lewis and other Civil Rights veterans said at the Summit, the Civil Rights struggle goes on for equality and justice. Like Johnson, the Civil Rights Summit was not a perfect event. It was, though, historic and its messages provided participants with the energy, enthusiasm and promise for the ongoing fight for a better and more just America.

About the Author:

James Patterson, who attended Alabama’s segregated schools in the 1970s, received a family education in civil rights. His father, a member of the Alabama National Guard, was federalized by President Kennedy for the integration of the University of Alabama in June 1963 and by President Johnson for service at Selma in March of 1965 to prevent violence by “domestic terrorists,” the Ku Klux Klan. Patterson is now a San Francisco-based writer and speaker.
 

 

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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.


 

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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,

 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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Union News

12/25/2009 - 12:05am

Award Winning Author Supports National Writers Union.  Award-winning author Ursula Le Guin, a member of the National Writers Union since 1990, has resigned from the Authors Guild after 37 years of membership.  Her Dec. 18 letter to the Authors Guild follows:

To Whom it may concern at the Authors Guild:

I have been a member of the Authors Guild since 1972.

At no time during those thirty-seven years was I able to attend the functions, parties, and so forth offered by the Guild to members who happen to live on the other side of the continent. I have naturally resented this geographical discrimination, reflected also in the officership of the Guild, always almost all Easterners. But it was a petty gripe when I compared it to my gratitude to the Guild for the work you were doing in defending writers’ rights. I went on paying top dues and thought it worth it.

And now you have sold us down the river.

11/16/2009 - 7:51pm
           On Nov. 14, 2009, NWU released the following statement:   “The proposed revised settlement of the Google Books copyright infringement lawsuit fails to address the concerns of several writers’ organizations and many American writers, and allows Google to get away with violating writers’ constitutionally protected rights,” said Larry Goldbetter, president of the National Writers Union.
            “While the new proposal might appear to answer some objections, it still offers American writers a pittance for their already-scanned books, still requires writers to ‘opt out’ of the Google Books program, and still interferes with author-publisher contractual relationships,” Goldbetter said.
11/01/2009 - 12:23am

Sarah E. Wright, a novelist, poet, teacher, writer, social and political activist and founding member of the National Writers Union died from cancer on September 13, 2009.  A memorial service will be held for Sarah on Saturday, November 14, at the Ethical Culture Center on 64th St. and Central Park West, at 2:00 p.m.

10/24/2009 - 7:55pm

On October 12, 2009, NWU President Larry Goldbetter wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Times in response to an OpEd written by Google co-founder Sergey Brin ("The Library That Lasts Forever," October 9). Brin praised the Google Book Settlement (GBS) and boasted of having copied "10 million [books] and counting." He forgot to mention he never got the authors' permission or that the settlement has been opposed by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Copyright Office.

10/07/2009 - 5:54pm

On Oct. 7, 2009, the National Writers Union issued the following press release:

At a status hearing today in federal court in New York City, the Authors Guild, speaking on behalf of Google and the Association of American Publishers, told U.S. District Court Judge Denny Chin that a new agreement to a four-year old copyright infringement case could be worked out in a matter of weeks, that the parties involved should be kept to a minimum, and that notification of the new agreement for authors to opt out should be kept to a minimum.

 Also, regarding the Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick case that was argued today before the Supreme Court of the United States, Larry Goldbetter, president of the National Writers Union said: “On October 29, 2007, two members of a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decided that writers who had not registered their works with the U.S. Copyright Office are denied any access to federal court for copyright protection and cannot make claims for damages for infringement of their work. The Appeals Court also claimed the U.S. District Court had been wrong to accept Re Literary Works in Electronic Databases Copyright Litigation and approve the settlement."

09/25/2009 - 1:15pm

On September 25, 2009 the National Writers Union issued a statement in response to the Department of Justice filing in the Google Book Settlement.  NWU President Larry Goldbetter stated, “We support the Department of Justice recommendation and call on the Authors Guild to withdraw from the current settlement, so that they can join in new negotiations with the many voices that have up to now been excluded.”

09/09/2009 - 1:11pm

NEW YORK, NY -- On September 8, the National Writers Union filed legal objections to the proposed settlement of the Google Books copyright infringement lawsuit.  In the brief filed today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the NWU joins as a “friend of the court” in support of objections also being made by the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and 58 individual authors.

09/09/2009 - 1:00pm

On September 1, the National Writers Union called on former Vice President Al Gore to use his considerable influence to urge Google Inc. to seek a delay in the proceedings of the Google Book Settlement. 

09/09/2009 - 12:54pm

Submissions are being accepted between September 1 and October 2, 2009, for this year's Bellwether Prize for Fiction. The Bellwether Prize is awarded in even-numbered years, and consists of a $25,000 cash payment to the author of the winning manuscript in addition to guaranteed publication by a major publisher.

08/31/2009 - 12:45am
National Writers Union Opposes Settlement of Class-Action Lawsuit Against Google for Copyright Infringement  (Press release dated Aug. 13, 2009)
 
 The National Writers Union today announced its opposition to the proposed $125 million settlement of a class-action copyright infringement lawsuit brought by writers and publishers against Google because its massive book-scanning project violated their copyrights.