TWUC releases Writer’s Bill of Rights for the Digital Age

Via The Writers’ Union of Canada

The Writers’ Union of Canada has released “A Writer’s Bill of Rights for the Digital Age 2.0.”

The first version of the Bill of Rights was released in 2011. This version, the result of extensive input from writers and consultation within the industry, was released during The Writers’ Union’s annual OnWords Conference and Annual General Meeting, which took place in Vancouver from May 24 to 27.

In recent years, conversations about the digital evolution in books have focused on publishing and distribution mechanisms and on hardware and software. Ereaders, tablets, ebook bestsellers, and companies such as Google and Amazon have dominated the headlines.

But Greg Hollingshead, chair of the Writer’s Union, reminds us that the entire enterprise begins with the work of writers, who create the content that others produce and distribute. At a time when business models are evolving and digital copying is easier than ever, writers’ ability to manage their rights and earn their share of the revenues generated by their work must be central to their “Bill of Rights.”

The Bill calls on government, publishers, libraries, agents, and authors to work together to protect digital works and to ensure their lawful use, in sum, to do right electronically by writers. It asks government to ensure that copyright legislation protects writers’ intellectual property in the electronic realm. It articulates contract terms for rights reversion and an equitable sharing of net proceeds from the sale of ebooks, and it calls on publishers to honour such terms. It asks that libraries acquire digital copies of works only from rightsholders or their licensing agencies.

For more information or for the full text of “A Writer’s Bill of Rights for the Digital Age 2.0,” please visit

Leave a Comment