Around the world, despite their contribution to the rich diversity of culture, authors face a variety of challenges that can often, unfortunately, lead to the work of the creators not being fully rewarded. To this end, the IAF was formed by a collaboration of author’s organizations in 2013 to ensure that authors can work together across the world to support authors dealing with the challenges they face professionally around the world. The organization is made up of member organizations representing over a half a million authors from all disciplines and from all continents. The IAF is shaped by its members, being central to the messages it promotes and clearly at the center of its events.
The IAF speaks up on behalf of all authors whether they are writers or visual artists, and it speaks up on the things that matter to them. This includes protecting authors’ rights, promoting the importance of an effective copyright system and payment for use for authors, as well as broader issues ensuring that cultural policy values the work of all authors worldwide. The work of the IAF takes many forms across the world, it can include taking experiences from the existing public lending rights systems to help support other countries develop their own versions of these systems.
The IAF attends meetings of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) at the United Nations to ensure that the key issues to authors are on the cultural policy agenda at the UN. The IAF holds permanent observer status as an international non-governmental organization at WIPO. The IAF speaks at the Standing Committee on Copyright and related rights to influence the debate and put their perspective to the committee members, offering the expertise of the IAF both on the floor and to support any delegates interested in the rights of authors. The goal of the IAF at WIPO is to exchange information between the membership of WIPO and the IAF, contributing members’ perspectives about the issues being discussed.
The IAF also hosts events alongside the IFRRO world conferences where it provides a platform for local authors and authors organizations to discuss their work with a wider audience. The IAF hosts meetings and events across the globe to further promote authors rights and their contribution to culture while creating a platform for authors so that they can speak their personal experience to decision makers.
Recent campaigns have included the 10 Principles of Fair Contracts for Authors, in which the IAF made clear what authors should expect to see and what they should avoid when negotiating a contract. Another IAF campaign on 5 myths about copyright was aimed at dispelling damaging myths about copyright policy. Among many initiatives focused on promoting the value of copyright, the IAF has published Copyright Works featuring author testimonials on how important the protection of intellectual property has been to ensure they can work as creators. The IAF is also strongly involved ensuring countries have proper systems in place to pay authors for the use of their work, this has included working with PLR International to support the growth of Public Lending Right systems around the world, as well as supporting visual arts organizations in campaigning for an international Artists Resale Right. The IAF strongly promotes the role that these kinds of remuneration systems can provide in supporting and rewarding the development of local authors while also ensuring they share in any success their work has at an international level.
If you would be interested in learning more about the International Authors Forum please see our website https://internationalauthors.