Enabler Publications

Books to feed the Mind and Spirit

Authors’ and creators’ intellectual property rights and copyright

Even back in his days as a publisher for the Scottish Office, Longman, Pitman and Russell House Publishing through the 1980s, 90s and beyond, Alan was also involved creatively as a writer, photographer, researcher and illustrator. It’s quite an unusual mix. In fact, come to think of it, Alan always saw ‘publishing’ as being a creative partnership, so there is no clear dividing line. This is a view at some variance with some self-professed ‘champions’ of authors’ copyright. Their view is frequently a simplistic, ‘Authors good – Publishers bad!’

Since 1994, using his imprint of Enabler Publications, Alan and friends developed a related website for books, articles and ideas. You are here! It’s an area of Alan’s interests that continues to evolve.

Books from Enabler Publications

His own view is that it is vital that creators should have more freedom to control and develop their own creative outputs. Some publishers do produce draconian contracts which are essentially unfair and a rip-off. However, the writing and creative communities are a very broad church – just think of the range. There are poets, fiction and non-fiction writers, script-writers for stage, TV, film and radio, professional, academic and education writers – the list goes on and on. The diversity is enormous. And the writers’ worlds have become far more complex than before the digital revolution. Now, anyone with access to a computer on-line can create blogs, post up stories, photos, even films. The distinction between the author/creator and publisher is no longer clear.

However, it is vital that creators’ rights are protected – intellectual property rights are essential where creators need to reap their just rewards. In particular, we need to be vigilant with regard to unscrupulous multi-nationals’ format shifting our work and putting it on-line without our permission. But, and it is here that the fog comes down – not all of us in the creative communities need, or desire, to be paid for everything we write. We may want to have a rant about politics, national or local; share some of our personal adventures with a wider audience, or, rather like this website, present a mix of material that can be freely accessed along with an invitation to buy some of our books.

Anyway, having got that out of the way, Alan would also like to offer a portal and hyperlink into some of the agencies he works with and for.

He has become increasingly involved in the world of secondary rights, copyright and debates about intellectual property. Since January 2007 Alan has been an independent elected director on the board of the Authors’ Licensing and Copyright Society (www.alcs.co.uk/), and a director of the Copyright Licensing Agency (www.cla.co.uk/). Did you realise that there are literally millions of pounds – unclaimed - waiting for authors and artists? Worth checking out if you think you might be one of them!

Here’s the CLA video, which features various authors including Alan talking about the work – it takes a couple of minutes to ‘stream’:

Alan is also a member of the Publishers Licensing Society (www.pls.org.uk) and of the Design and Artists Copyright Society (www.dacs.org.uk).

Money for some words and the rest for free!

Alan Dearling and CJ Stone

In this brief double-headed article, CJ Stone and Alan Dearling explain some of their personal experiences of the ways in which the internet presents an 'opportunity' for both new, aspiring writers and old hands. It sure is a 'threat' to income streams, but it is also a creative outlet for many, and offers immediacy, impact and a chance to reach ever-widening audiences.
read the article

You might also be interested in finding our more about, and some of the sites include podcasts, films and further links:

The Society of Authors:
www.societyofauthors.org/

The Writers Guild of Great Britain:
www.writersguild.org.uk/

International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations:
www.ifrro.org/

Publishers Association:
www.publishers.org.uk/

International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies:
www.cisac.org/

Intellectual Property Office:
www.ipo.gov.uk/

Creative Commons Licenses:
creativecommons.org/