Letters: Publishers be damned

March 16, 2001

The logic of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society's decision to withhold payment of copyright royalties to members is misleading ("Royalties on hold in fee dispute", THES, March 9).

The decision implies wrongly that the Higher Education Copying Accord provides writers with a significant income source. As my study reveals, it provides another revenue stream primarily for publishers, not writers ( http:///www.ukcle. ac.uk/copyright/revenues.html ).

The ALCS also suggests universities are to blame for writers having such low incomes. The fact that many publishers have a very high rate of return on their investment, some in the 20-30 per cent range yearly, is the important causal factor.

Alan Story
Kent Law School

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