at The Wheeler Centre

How Do Writers Get Paid?

The past decade or so has seen incredible changes in how we read. New devices, platforms and marketplaces for books have risen and fallen, while traditional publishing houses and booksellers have adapted to suit readers’ changing habits and preferences. But how have things changed for authors? In the midst of all the upheaval, who’s looking out for them – and what role does copyright play?

Spoiler alert: broadly, authors’ incomes have plummeted. In this free discussion at the Wheeler Centre, we’ll go in search of fair and secure writerly income from different angles – considering the work of publishers, lawyers, copyright agencies, royalty collection societies and of course, writers themselves. How have standards of copyright and authorship been changing, and what’s the impact? How about new ways to access, borrow and buy books? When do the interests of different players diverge or intersect?

Hosted by Professor Rebecca Giblin, Canadian American activist and author Cory Doctorow will speak with literary agent Alex Adsett and copyright expert Zoe Rodriguez to help us get to the bottom of who advocates for what, and who actually benefits.

Presented in partnership with Monash University Faculty of Law.

Embiggen Books will be our bookseller at this event.


Portrait of Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow

Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger – the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of Walkaway, a novel for adults, a YA graphic novel called In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.

Portrait of Rebecca Giblin

Rebecca Giblin

Dr Rebecca Giblin is a law academic based at Monash University and an ARC Future Fellow. She has held visiting appointments at Columbia and Berkeley and spoken publicly about copyright and access to knowledge at events on five continents. Her work includes the books Code Wars (Edward Elgar, 2011) and What if we could reimagine copyright? (with Kim Weatherall and others, ANU Press, 2017). 



Portrait of Zoë Rodriguez

Zoë Rodriguez

Zoë is a lawyer at the Arts Law Centre of Australia, a community law centre serving individual artists and arts organisations. She works in policy development, drafting submissions to government; provides legal advice to individual creators working in all art forms, and assists in the development of licensing arrangements for the ethical trade in artists' IP.

Before this, Zoë was a lawyer at Copyright Agency, a not-for-profit that manages the collective copyright interests of Australia's authors, artists and publishers. She regularly writes articles and gives presentations on copyright and developments in publishing around Australia, and is active in responding to policy issues of relevance to Australian creators. 

Portrait of Alex Adsett

Alex Adsett

Alex Adsett is a literary agent representing authors across all ages and most genres, and also a freelance publishing consultant offering commercial contract advice to authors and publishers. She has 20 years’ experience working in the publishing and bookselling industry, and has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008.

As a literary agent, she is focused on finding exceptional manuscripts, with a focus on SFF, romance and crime.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

Presented in partnership with