I will be presenting a seminar to students in the Macquarie University Diploma of Editing and Publishing course on October 4. The seminar will cover issues relevant to authors and professional issues related to authorship.
The Berlin Literature festival was held from the 4-16 September and I was pleased to be in the city for some of it. Despite the posters on street corners, it isn't that public an event. It doesn't seem to grab public attentiuon the same way that the Sydney Writers Festival does. In Berlin I also took the time to catch up with Katharina Hacker, the 2006 winner of the german Prize. Her book, The Lifeguard, is a terrific read.
The conference in Paris. The first sesssion featured reports from all participants.
It was very worthwhile to take part in the recent 7th International Conference on Public Lending Right (PLR) in Paris from 6 to 8 September. In Australia, we tend to take this right for granted, but in fact it is in place in only about 27 countries. The USA is not one of them. European countries lead the way, and new countries admitted to membership of the EU have an obligation to introduce PLR as part of their membership of the EU. Some of the Scandinavian countries have an issue with the EU since their PLR systems, like Australia's, aims to encourage their national literatures. The EU expects all of its members to pay PLR for all authors whose works are held in librraries. This has meant that some countries are now paying PLR to US authors, despite the fact the PLR does not exist in the USA. At the same time, Australian authors are eligible for payment as well. The ASA is looking at acting as a central source for the collection of European PLR payments for Australian authors whose works are held in European libraries. I followed up this matter with the Authors Licensed Collecting Society (ALCS) in London after the PLR conference. At present, there are no plans for Australia to pay PLR for any authors except those who are citizens of or resident in Australia.