Johnson, Gibson, and Dimita (2012)

From Copyright EVIDENCE

Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Johnson, Gibson, and Dimita (2012)
Title: What Are Words Worth Now: A survey of Authors’ Earnings
Author(s): Johnson, P., Gibson, J., Dimita, G.:
Year: 2013
Citation: P. Johnson, J. Gibson, G. Dimita, What Are Words Worth Now: A survey of Authors’ Earnings, London: ALCS (2014).
Link(s): Definitive , Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: 2454, of all types of writers invited to take part. This data was refers to financial year 2014/2015.

56% of respondents were mend and 44% women. 17% are 44 or under, 54% were 45-64, and 29% were over 65.

Among the respondents of the survey there were two groups. Professional authors who dedicate a majority of their time to writing and “all Writers” who are a wide range of writers where time spent is not taken into account, includes part and full time authors.

The 2007 ALCS data, from “What are Words Worth” used was from the 2004/2005 financial year.

Research carried out and published in 2000 by the Society of Authors is also used.

Data Type: Primary and Secondary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 2000,2005, and 2013
Funder(s):
  • Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS)

Abstract

Writers exist in a great many guises and the common perception of the ‘typical’ author is often far from the everyday realities of the profession. This research aimed to seek the truth about authors’ earnings and update our previous research What are Words Worth? published in 2007. We asked all types of ‘writer’ to fill in this survey, including members of ALCS, the Society of Authors, the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the National Union of Journalists. Some of the participants are full-time writers, some are part-time and others have another profession. All their views were valuable to us and taken into account in painting an accurate picture of the ways in which authors earn their money from writing today.

Main Results of the Study

In 2005 40% of authors earned a living writing, this has dropped to 11.5% in 2013. Digital publishing has increased to the third most important source of income for writers in 2013 overall full- and part-time authors income has fallen,.

Professional authors income has dropped by 29% from £15450 in real terms in 2005 to £11000 in 2013. This £11000 compares to an average income of £16850 in 2013 in the UK.

The typical median income (in real terms) for all writers has dropped from £8810 in 2000 to £5012 in 2005 and to £4000 in 2013.

Over 69% of respondents said their contract allowed them to retain copyright which allows them more control over how their creation is used. Where this was most prevalent was in adult fiction (91%0 and the least prevalent in audio/visual and academic writing.

57% of respondents signed a “rights reversion” clause, of these 57%, 38% had used or relied on the reversion clause and 70% of them went on to earn more money from the work in question.

Over 25% of writers have self-published with a typical return of 40% on their investment and 86% of the self-publishers said they would do it again. .The authors warn that the drop in full time writers could decrease the overall contribution of writers to the UK economy.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

If authors are not protected it could have an effect on the overall amount they contribute toward the economy in the UK.

Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Green-tick.png
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Green-tick.png
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Green-tick.png
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Green-tick.png
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Green-tick.png
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets

Sample size: 2454
Level of aggregation: Individual
Period of material under study: 2013