On 5 January 2016, authors from a number of countries released open letters asking publishers to reconsider the contract terms they offer authors and outlining the parts of publishing contracts where, from the author’s perspective, reform is urgently needed.

The International Authors Forum (IAF (http://internationalauthors NULL.org/)) has also established 10 Principles for Fair Contracts. These Principles apply to the needs of authors in the 65 countries represented by IAF through its 49 member organisations, who have some 500,000 individual author members between them. Fair contracts are crucial to authors’ financial survival and ability to do their job at a time when their working conditions are tougher than ever.

For authors, what makes a fair contract? IAF’s Principles contain the essential ingredients any contract should follow if it is to achieve a standard which an author can reasonably expect will give them a fair chance of making a living as a professional creator. Many reputable publishers support and meet such a standard. Where this is not the case, however, it is hoped that with effort from both sides, all publishers can offer fair contract terms.

As the European council representing literary translators in Europe, CEATL gladly signed the open letter asking for fair contract terms for authors.

A list of the ten principles for fair contracts, can be found here (http://www NULL.ceatl NULL.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ten_principles_for_fair_contracts NULL.pdf).

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