Authors encouraged to publish online

Australian authors will soon be able to publish works straight onto the internet without fear of copyright infringement, says Australian Society of Authors chair, Libby Gleeson.

Gleeson's organisation recently partnered with IPR Systems, a US-based rights management ecommerce company, to devise OzAuthors, a program whereby Australian authors will be able to publish their works on the internet with fully functioning copyright laws in place.

"With writers, there has always been the issue of loss of control over copyright," she said. Using OzAuthors, writers would be able to track their work's internet audience, thus enabling them to devise suitable pricing structures for the use of the work.

Gleeson said that not only will the program enable large numbers of authors to publish their work without subscribing to existing publishing traditions, but many works that would otherwise not see wide publication will become accessible to everyone. She cited the example of universities where valuable or rare, though not commercially attractive, reference books are stored in "closed reserve", forcing students to wait long periods of time for access to the material.

"And some material has a short life span when it's in print," she added.

Gleeson said the Australian Society of Authors and IPR Systems were still in an "agreement" stage of negotiation. Trials of the OzAuthors service would commence at the end of May, and would continue throughout June, she said.

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