The All Party Parliamentary Writers Group: what it does for you

As the All Party Writers Group (APWG) launches a report following its Inquiry into Authors' Earnings, find out more about the crucial lobbying work of this parliamentary group for which ALCS acts as the secretariat.

Established in 2007, the All Party Writers Group (APWG) is made up of MPs and Lords from across the political spectrum, who inform Government on policy issues that affect writers. The MPs and Lords involved with the APWG are all connected to the creative industries in some way, and several are themselves writers. By working with the APWG, ALCS, which acts as the group’s secretariat can ensure that the rights of authors are given a hearing within parliament. ALCS also works with other writers’ organisations to ensure issues of concern across the writing community are raised with the APWG.

The APWG’s aims are to:

  1. Represent the interests of all writers
  2. Safeguard their intellectual property rights
  3. Ensure they receive a fair level of recognition and reward for their contribution to the economy and society as a whole

Currently chaired by Conservative MP Rt Hon John Whittingdale OBE, the APWG is made up of 34 members of Parliament and 34 members of the House of Lords. For a full list of MPs and Lords who are part of the group, visit the APWG website.

Since its establishment, the APWG has:

  • Instigated a Ministerial review of the PLR scheme to encompass digital users
  • Lobbied for the maintenance of PLR payments at current levels
  • Encouraged the extension of the current PLR scheme to include audio-books and on-site downloads of ebooks in line with the provisions of the Digital Economy Act 2010
  • Examined the issue of illegal downloading via peer-to-peer file sharing networks
  • Provided journalists with an opportunity to raise concerns over contractual terms and practices with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport.
  • Reviewed government proposals for new copyright exceptions, notably those relating to private copying and education
  • Raised awareness of the need for fairer remuneration for audiovisual authors who are typically subject to buy-out contracts
  • Undertaken an Inquiry into author earnings.

Most recently, the APWG presented the findings of its afore-mentioned Inquiry into Authors’ Earnings, which was launched as a direct result of the ALCS-commissioned survey, “Authors’ Earnings 2018: A survey of UK writers”. Read more about the Inquiry and the key recommendations to government that arose from it here.