The Authors Guild Foundation is the educational and charitable arm of the 9,000-member Authors Guild, America’s oldest and largest society of published authors. Founded over 40 years ago out of the Guild’s concern for the welfare of writers and to protect the value of their contributions to the reading public, the Foundation is a tax-exempt organization based in New York. Its founding members—including Saul Bellow, John Hersey, Madeleine L’Engle, Sidney Offit, James A. Michener, Toni Morrison, Elizabeth Janeway, and Barbara Tuchman—were committed to the Foundation’s basic goals:
- Protecting authors’ intellectual property rights, and recognizing that the exclusive rights under copyright are essential to the creation of literature.
- Defending free expression and acknowledging that any restrictions on authors’ speech deprive readers and authors of civilization’s critical exchange of knowledge and ideas.
- Supporting the profession of writing as the cornerstone of the literary work that educates, entertains, and defines us as a culture.
- Educating and supporting authors in the business of authorship in order to assist them in their professional lives.
This is a difficult time to be a professional writer. As more and more independent publishers are swallowed up by conglomerates, writers’ works and economic interests are subsumed and threatened. The Authors Guild’s recent member survey showed that, since 2009, incomes from writing have been in decline. In an era of increasing access to digitized information, fresh threats to authors’ livelihoods emerge from every quarter.
Certain corners of the Internet, for example, frequently assume that literary property should be available without compensation to its creators. The recent decision by the Second District Court of Appeals in New York rejecting the Guild’s appeal and permitting Google to scan books without seeking copyright permission is further proof. That’s why we’re asking the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.
The Authors Guild Foundation is the sole group of its kind dedicated to empowering U.S. authors—in the courts, in Congress, and in publishers’ boardrooms—by advocating for their interests and educating them with the business knowledge and skills to survive in the writing profession.
Your gift to the Authors Guild Foundation will support our advocacy for authors and our efforts to maintain a sustainable publishing ecosystem at a time when authors’ rights, copyrights, free expression, and creative content are being challenged on many fronts. Please pitch in what you can, and we’ll put it to good use. We appreciate your much needed support. To donate to the Authors Guild Foundation, please select Authors Guild Foundation on the Donate form.
For more information, please contact the Authors Guild Foundation at (212) 594-7931.