Kretschmer and Harwick (2007)
|Kretschmer and Harwick (2007)|
|Title:||Authors’ Earnings from Copyright and Non-Copyright Sources: A Survey of 25,000 British and German Writers|
|Author(s):||Martin Kretschmer, Philip Hardwick|
|Citation:||Kretschmer, M. and Hardwick, P., 2007. Authors’ earnings from copyright and non-copyright sources. A survey of, 25.|
|Link(s):||Definitive Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|Linked by:||Gibson, Johnson and Dimita (2015), Kretschmer, Gavaldon, Miettinen and Singh (2019)|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study uses data from the responses to survey issued to 25,000 writers.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||Yes|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
The 2001 Information Society Directive (2001/29/EC) is introduced thus: “If authors or performers are to continue their creative and artistic work, they have to receive appropriate reward for the use of their work…” (Recital 10). “A rigorous, effective system for the protection of copyright and related rights is one of the main ways of ensuring that European cultural creativity and production receive the necessary resources and of safeguarding the independence and dignity of artistic creators and performers” (Recital 11).
This study shows quite conclusively that current copyright law has empirically failed to meet these aims. The rewards to best-selling writers are indeed high but as a profession, writing has remained resolutely unprosperous.
For less than half of the 25,000 surveyed authors in Germany and the UK, writing is the main source of income. Typical earnings of professional authors are less than half of the national median wage in Germany, and one third below the national median wage in the UK. 60% of professional writers hold a second job of some kind.
Throughout the study, we have attempted to differentiate between copyright and non-copyright earnings. We also have analysed for the first time systematically the distribution of income in a creative profession, calculating the Gini Coefficient for all earnings data collected (Gini=0: every writer earns the same/perfect equality; Gini=1: one earner earns everything/perfect inequality).
After this study, copyright policy cannot remain the same. Still, for the purposes of this report, we have resisted drawing policy implications. Instead we have attempted to shape the raw data into a form that will allow multiple analyses. Emphasis has been given to providing context from statistical data held by governments, and from a comprehensive review of previous studies.