[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

copyright collectives

Lesley Ellen Harris recently posted a notice about an interesting
website article based on interviews with representatives of
four copyright collectives. I asked Dan Carlinsky, vice president of
the American Society of Journalists & Authors, if the interview
responses were accurate, as he has been involved in discussions
with the CCC in the past. Here is his response:

----Forwarded Message(s)----

In the interviews with representatives of the four collectives, the
representative of CCC says:

< CCC was created at the suggestion of the U.S. Congress in
thecourse of the adoption of the 1976 Copyright Act. Acting on
thatsuggestion, representatives of the communities of authors,
publishers and users of copyrighted material established CCC.
Representatives of all three communities continue to sit on
CCC's Board of Directors. >>

< CCC has no members. It acts solely on a contractual basis as an
agent for authors, photographers, other creators, publishers
and other rights holders. >>

What's left unsaid by the representative of the Copyright Clearance Center
is that despite the pleasant collaborative talk, in the world of the CCC
authors are a very, very junior partner. Unlike RROs elsewhere, the CCC is
thoroughly publisher-dominated, with authors making up only a small
minority of seats on its board of directors. Publishers have repeatedly
blocked efforts to redress the imbalance, and to set the CCC on a track
that would allow authors to recover a fair portion of revenue that now
overwhelmingly stops in publishers' bank accounts--often in violation of
publisher-author contracts. Of late, perhaps recognizing its precarious
position thanks to an increasingly restless author community, CCC has been
making noises about improving "author relations." But from the authors'
perspective, so far it's only noises. CCC remains what it was when it was
created: predominantly by and for publishers, which explains why authors
had to set up their own Authors Registry


which has to date paid authors more than $800,000 in photocopy and
electronic database royalties.

----End Forwarded Message(s)----

That is my impression, too.

   Pat McNees
   A member of ASJA's board of directors
   and a participant in recent CONFU (fair use)