Every book writer, whatever his or her nationality, should have this pinned to his or her wall
After consulting dozens of authors, the Writers' Union of Canada composed a 12-point Bill of Rights for writers.
1. Copyright legislation shall ensure the protection of intellectual property and appropriate compensation for rights holders
2. Exceptions to copyright should be minimalized
3. The publisher shall split the net proceeds of eBook sales equally with the author
4. The author shall retain all electronic rights not specifically granted to the publisher or producer and shall have approval of any modifications made to the work
5. The publisher shall not exercise or sublicense eBook publishing rights without the express authorization of the author
6. When a book is out of print in print form, continuing sales in electronic form shall not prevent a rights reversion to the author
7. For eBooks, the publisher in its contract shall replace the tradional "out of print" clause that triggers a rights reversion with a sales volume clause (eg. less than a specified quantity of eBooks sold in a specified number of royalty periods and/or a finite term of licence, eg. five years)
8. When rights revert, the publisher shall provide the author with the digital file of the book
9. The Public Lending Right Commission shall provide author payments for electronic books and allot additional monies to this end
10. Libraries shall acquire digital copies of works in their collections only from rights holders or their licensing agencies
11. Ebook retailers shall require the rights holder's permission for any free preview or download of an electronic work, and the rights holder shall specify the maximum amount to be made available
12. Agents, publishers, aggregators, retailers and libraries shall ensure that works in digital form will be well protected and will not be shared, traded or sold outside the boundaries authorized by the contract.
From New Zealand Author Feb/March 2012
The Canadian Bill of Rights is also available on the Advocacy page of the New Zealand Society of Authors website.