Publishers, sellers, authors create a creative economic cohesion

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizations representing book publishers, booksellers and authors have formed a coalition to protect copyright and oppose legislation across the country that they fear could lower e-book prices and hurt writers’ ability to support themselves.

The Association of American Publishers, the Authors Guild, and the American Booksellers Association are members of the Coalition to Protect the Creative Economy. Their current focus is proposed legislation in Connecticut, Kentucky and elsewhere that would set limits on what publishers can ask for in negotiations with a particular state’s library system.

Libraries and publishers have long battled over terms for e-books, which are in principle much easier than print books for libraries to reissue. Publishers often charge libraries double or more the average retail price for e-book rights and limit how often they can be made available to patrons.

Supporters of the state laws say they want books to be more accessible to libraries and, by extension, consumers.

“Writing incomes have become very low, forcing talented writers to leave the profession; as a culture, we are losing their books and their important ideas,” Mary Rosenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild, said Wednesday. “By imposing pricing and other restrictions not only on publishers, but also on thousands of self-published authors, the bills show a complete disregard for the fact that authors in the commercial market need to make enough money to stay in the profession.”

Last year, a federal judge in Maryland struck down a law that required publishers to make e-books available on “reasonable terms” to libraries if they were also offered to the general public. The Association of American Publishers argued that the bill violated the US Copyright Act by allowing states to regulate publishing operations.

Maria Pallante, president and CEO of the Publishers Association, said in a statement Wednesday that the current bills under consideration “would subject authors and publishers of all sizes to serious liabilities and financial penalties for exercising the very rights that the Act so clearly provides.” copyright. them”.

The new coalition also includes the National Association of Music Publishers, the News Media Alliance and the Copyright Alliance.

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