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How Do Writers Get Paid?


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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.


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 Ho... Read more

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) a... Read more

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 o... Read more

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 Adse... Read more


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