Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Last Time

I think this will probably be my last post on The Authors Guild v. Wiley. The Guild won. Any postings after this would likely be excess icing on the celebratory cake.

Yesterday, The Authors Guild [TAG] responded to Wiley's press release:
From the start, informed consent has been our primary concern regarding Wiley's proposed amendments to the Bloomberg authors' contracts ...
Wiley's press release here indicated the Guild had suggested that, at the close of a royalty period under the new terms, an auditor should review and report on the results. Wiley rejected this suggestion for their more "timely" decision to contact each of the Bloomberg authors now to discuss the proposed new terms.

TAG also wanted "Wiley [to] voluntarily agree to industry-standard reversion of rights sales thresholds for its Bloomberg authors." I mentioned this in a previous post. Throughout the industry, most print contracts establish a minimum sales threshold that a publisher must reach in order to retain rights to an author's work. If the publisher fails to reach that minimum number of sales, the author may request in writing that the right revert back to him/her.

Wiley trumpeted their new print-on-demand technology for Bloomberg authors as a way "to keep our authors' works in print when it is no longer feasible to maintain inventory ... [r]ather than putting our books out of print ...."

The Guild pointed out "if their books didn't sell enough to justify replenishing stock with a traditional print run, then the rights in the books [should] be revertible."

Wiley did not address this issue in their press release.

The Authors Guild then offers something to the Bloomberg authors, which I believe is exactly the sort of thing that a writers' trade organization should do:
Informed consent/informed rejection can still be yours! ... We'll be offering a free service to all Bloomberg authors that will provide you with a side-by-side comparison of your original Bloomberg contract and Wiley's proposed amendments.
I may just have to apply for membership in The Authors Guild ... in solidarity.

Go here to read their entire post from yesterday.

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