Save our Books: Campaign update

24 August 2021

Over 800 emails have been sent to 350 MPs as part of our contribution to the Save our Books campaign. However, this means that half of MPs still haven’t been contacted about this vital campaign, which aims to protect the copyright laws which ensure authors retain control over selling their work around the world.

Update 1/09/2021: Please note the period for formal submissions to the IPO for this consultation is closed. We are continuing to monitor the Government’s work on this and are still raising the concerns of authors on this consultation through its next stages.
The UK Government is currently reviewing the law around ‘copyright exhaustion’, which gives writers the right to issue copies of their work to the public. A change to this system could have a detrimental impact on the ability of writers to make a living and control the distribution of their work abroad. This is why we are asking the Government to avoid a radical shift to the exhaustion regime – which would result in a significant negative impact on authors’ earnings – and to maintain the current model.

Join other ALCS members and take action as soon as possible by using our website writerswrite.uk, where you can input your details and contact your MP using the suggested template.

MPs receive a lot of correspondence, especially during this difficult time, so we suggest personalising the template provided in order to make it as impactful as possible.

Thank you to those ALCS members who have already written to their MPs as part of this campaign.

The Intellectual Property Office has a consultation on this which will close at 23:45 on 31 August 2021. You can read our briefing note on the subject.

About Save our Books

We’ve joined up with the Association of Authors’ Agents, the Publishers Association and the Society of Authors for a Save our Books campaign, which aims to raise this issue with the Government and encourage them to protect copyright for the sake of UK authors.

As part of the overall campaign, 2,661 authors and illustrators have signed an open letter to the Government, calling for MPs to support copyright for authors and publishers. This was featured in The Times, with signatories including Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler, Val McDermid, William Boyd, Paula Hawkins, Alice Oseman, India Knight, Hallie Rubenhold, Tim Peake, Naomi Ishiguro, Prue Leith, Carol Ann Duffy, Peter James and Nikesh Shukla.

Find out more information about the campaign at saveourbooks.org.uk.

Get involved on social media

We would also encourage ALCS members to share their support of the campaign and spread awareness of the issue on social media. Here are a few suggested posts to get you started:

  • If the Government changes the way copyright works in the UK, authors will be the first to lose out. In the book industry, authors have been hardest hit by the pandemic and could lose out even more. Join the campaign to #SaveOurBooks here: saveourbooks.org.uk
  • National copyright exhaustion rewards authors for publishing their books and makes it possible for them to make international book deals. If the Government changes the way it works, authors’ incomes will suffer. Join the campaign to #SaveOurBooks: saveourbooks.org.uk
  • Reading in lockdown has kept so many of us going. Can you imagine a world with fewer books for fewer readers? That could happen if the Government changes the copyright regime in a forthcoming consultation. Join the campaign to #SaveOurBooks: saveourbooks.org.uk
  • If the UK government changes the way copyright works, giant online retailers will benefit while authors and independent booksellers will lose out. Join the campaign to #SaveOurBooks: saveourbooks.org.uk