Non-Luddite Alternative To The Authors Guild Launching

from the good-to-see-some-competition dept

Over the past few years, we've written more than a few times about the incredibly short-sighted and backwards looking positions of the Authors Guild, an organization that appears to (a) hate technology and (b) be almost entirely focused on protecting the business model that only allows a very, very, very small number of authors to make a living. Beyond its highly publicized fight against book scanning (which it has lost in every round so far), the Guild has lashed out at libraries, ebooks, Amazon and the internet in general. You may also remember a few years ago when the Authors Guild freaked out about an Amazon Kindle feature that would read books aloud.

The Authors Guild has shown time and time again that its main interest is in trying to hold back the tide of progress, keep out competition, and basically hope against hope that maybe, just maybe, it can bring back those days when top authors didn't have to interact with fans, and didn't have to worry about successful authors going direct. Many, many authors with more progressive views of the internet have spoken out against the Authors Guild, as they recognize that it isn't representing the interests of most authors at all.

So it's good to see that an alternative, the Authors Alliance, is about to launch, put together by law professor Pamela Samuelson and sporting a rather impressive advisory board of folks, including Larry Lessig, Jonathan Lethem, Cory Doctorow, Robert Pinsky, Brewster Kahle, Lewis Hyde, Jonathan Zittrain, Kevin Kelly, Ed Felten and many other big authors and thinkers. I'm a little disappointed that the advisory board doesn't have a Barry Eisler or Joe Konrath on the list, as it does appear to be somewhat lacking in folks who have had tremendous success outside the traditional publishing system, but it's still an impressive start.

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