Did Less Than 10% Of Access Copyright's Income Go To Authors Last Year?

from the for-the-authors! dept

Access Copyright, the copyright collection society that collects money from universities for people copying written works, has been somewhat controversial. Even putting aside its silly attempt to claim a trademark on the © symbol, it's also been looking to increase its fees massively (over 1,000% in some cases). Michael Geist has been digging in on some of the numbers behind Access Copyright (something the non-profit does not make easy, since it appears to obfuscate the money flow), and appears to have worked out that less than 10% of the money it brings in goes to authors. You can read his methodology at the link, where there are some important caveats, including some money that's being held back until the results of a lawsuit are worked out. However, it does seem quite eye opening to find out that the group brought in $33.7 million last year, and only about $3.1 million of that went to authors directly, while $8.7 million went to administrative expenses. Kinda makes you wonder who Access Copyright is really representing.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  • icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 7:22am

    "$8.7 million went to administrative expenses"

    Is this one of those deals where groups hide money under general headings like "administrative expenses"? For instance, are lobbying efforts covered by that designation?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DannyB (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 7:24am

    Sure sounds profitable for a non profit

    But think of the starving administrators!

    Administrative overhead!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    The view from on top is:

    Authors do less than 10% of the work. The rest of their success can only be attributable to marketing, middle management and endcap placement. Innate talent is negligible and it is hoped that with further effort by marketing and middle management (especially middle management), it should be eliminated altogether within 5-10 years.

    Besides, don't ebooks write themselves? That's what I've been hearing from the Real Authors, who still use good old fashioned typewriters, whiteout and absinthe to craft their literary gems.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Modplan (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 7:53am

    Well, I know I can sleep tonight knowing that that whatever it is they do for authors, they're administrating the Hell out of it.

    There's nothing better than receiving 75p in the mail and knowing it's been checked, cleaned, checked again, cleaned in preparation for checking, checked in preparation for cleaning, cleaned and checked again for proper conformance with cleaning regulations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2011 @ 8:46am

    Obligatory trolling

    It's way more than you freetard pirates ever gave to the artists. Because this is a piracy blog and Mike is the pirate king and thinks that everything should be free...or something.

    Oh, and, you are anti-choice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      That Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2011 @ 9:10am

      Re: Obligatory trolling

      King you say?

      King Arthur: I am your king.
      Peasant Woman: Well, I didn't vote for you.
      King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
      Peasant Woman: Well, how'd you become king, then?
      [Angelic music plays... ]
      King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
      Dennis the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
      Arthur: Be quiet!
      Dennis the Peasant: You can't expect to wield supreme power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    The real question

    What is happening to the other $22 million? Not to admin, not to authors...must be publishers and middle men who are becoming less and less relevant by the day. So again, who does Access Copyright really represent?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bob, May 27th, 2011 @ 10:57am

    Since we're already there...

    ...it's only a model...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    hmm (profile), May 27th, 2011 @ 1:21pm


    they're called "Access COPYRIGHT" not "Access Cash"! so its all you're own fault in the end...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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