Big changes to copyright laws set standard

National news

Amelia Lush to head up SWF Children’s & YA
Sydney Writers’ Festival has appointed Amelia Lush as the new head of Children’s & YA Programs. She was manager of Newtown’s Better Read Than Dead for the past five years, a children’s specialist at Mosman’s Pages & Pages, and a Stella Prize judge.

Upcoming Writers Festivals
There’s never a dull line-up on the literary scene. Coming up is:
Sep 27-30: The National Young Writers Festival in Newcastle.
Sep 29-30: Oz Comic-Con in Sydney.
Sep 29-Oct 1: Conflux in Canberra.
Oct 12-14: Burdekin Readers and Writers Festival in Queenlsand.

Mini-series adaptation
Kiwi/Aussie Heather Rose’s The Tattooist of Auschwitz will be adapted as a television drama mini-series Synchronicity films. Some of our readers may remember the book was recommended by guest Graeme Simsion earlier this year. It is expected to air in January 2020 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

International news

Man Booker Prize shortlist

Ann Burns, Esi Edugyan, Daisy Johnson, Rachel Kushner, Richard Powers and Robin Robertson have made the final cut for the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist. The Man Book Prize is open to writers of any nationality writing in English and published in the UK and Ireland. Unfortunately no Aussies made the list this year.

EU Parliament approves digital copyright reforms

France: In the first major update to copyright laws in 20 years, the European Parliament has voted in favour of copyright reforms for the digital age. The Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market strengthens news publishers and authors’ copyright and has global ramifications.

The most significant change applies to news infringements and will come as a blow to giant international sharing platforms and aggregators such as YouTube, Facebook and Google.

Under the laws, online platforms and aggregators will be liable for copyright infringements if they display even a small part of a news publisher’s text. It will still be legal to share hyperlinks to articles with a brief description.

In terms of authors, the law strengthens their rights to revoke or terminate the exclusivity of a licence for their work. The International Publishers Association welcomed the reforms.

Lucky ticket wins bookshop

On a lighter note, a man has won a bookshop in a raffle. Bookends, in the Welsh town of Cardigan, was valued at roughly 30,000 British pounds. It is now in the hands of a local reader after the owner, suffering osteoarthritis, decided to provide an opportunity to its readers. The winner only bought a ticket because he there when a television crew was in the shop covering the story.