Action alliance for fair publishers

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Usually with additional supporters of the action alliance

The international action alliance for fair publishers (abbreviated Fair lag) is an initiative of over 60 authors' associations and literary institutions from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The alliance campaigns against the practices of so-called cost or pseudo-publishing .

The main initiator associations of the alliance established for World Book Day in April 2008 are the Association of German Writers (VS) in ver.di , the Federal Association of Young Authors (BVjA), the IG Authors Authors (IGAA) from Austria and the Association of Authors Authors of Switzerland (AdS).

Mission and goals

The action alliance came together to achieve more fairness in the publishing business. It draws attention to perceived grievances in parts of the publishing industry, which - in the opinion of the initiators - are unilaterally at the expense of the authors. It clears up potential victims of profiteers and offers comprehensive documents (contractual provisions etc.) for publishers.

The core of the action alliance is the Fairlag declaration "And everything is paid for yourself! Dangers of publication in so-called printing cost subsidy publishers / self-payer publishers and pseudo-publishers", which was signed by a large number of other literary institutions, including all three German-speaking PEN centers from German-speaking countries.

The alliance is committed to fair treatment of authors by publishers. It is against those publishers who reverse the publishing principle and unilaterally pass the entrepreneurial publishing risk on to the authors and are thus viewed by the initiators as "dubious". The amounts to be paid by the authors are often presented as “publishing work customary in the industry”, so it is criticized. “They should not only be able to dream of quick success in the book market, but at the same time they will be asked to pay a lot of money for an extremely questionable product,” says the “ Fair lag declaration”.

In addition to various media support and further educational work, the action alliance also appears at the European Writers Congress (EWC) and with political decision-makers. In an open letter, Fair lag called for pseudo-publishers to stop advertising in daily and weekly newspapers ("Verlag sucht Autor"). The four-point paper also demands that the term “publishing house” be regulated by law to actual publishers and that the pseudo-publishers should not be allowed to attend trade fairs, for example at the major book fairs or membership in publishers' associations.

Support and criticism

In addition to the leading authors' associations from the three countries, the alliance is also supported by a large number of literary houses, literary organizations and funding institutions. With the Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association (SBVV), the first publishers association has been supporting the goals of the alliance since December 2008. In addition, on World Book Day 2009, a total of 25 well-known authors such as Elfriede Jelinek , Günter Grass , Ralph Giordano and Elke Heidenreich announced their support for the action alliance and invite everyone interested to co-sign. Also Tanja Kinkel , Hellmuth Karasek and Rafik Shami are among the signatories. The goals of the action alliance are also supported by the CDU / CSU parliamentary group and the SPD parliamentary group of the German Bundestag .

Criticism of the action alliance comes from the ranks of the operators of pseudo and grant publishers themselves. Even before the declaration was published, signatories of the Fairlag Declaration received injunctions and threats of legal action . Markus Hänsel-Hohenhausen, who describes himself as an “old publisher” and was CEO of the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe until 2003 , published an “eleven-page memorandum” in which he accused the alliance of “discrimination against new authors” and its demands for “exclusion and censorship ”Placed in the“ intellectual stream of the persecution of authors during the time of National Socialism and Communism ”.

The support organizations protested against such criticism. The Association of German Writers (VS) rejected such a type of "pre-censorship" under the motto "For the culture of the word - against intimidation": »Not only public expression of opinion, internal free formation of opinion should be legally prohibited. The trade union ver.di criticized this approach had absolutely nothing to do with a culture of the word and would be a slap in the face of all conscientious and serious publishers «. IG authors described the threats of legal action as an "attempt at censorship of the purest water". The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung judged Hansel-Hohenhausen: "Anyone who belittles the crimes of totalitarianism with such comparisons should not be surprised if warned against them.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ( Memento from March 30, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Gerald Jatzek / WZ Online: Wikipedia wins against grant publisher . May 31, 2008. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  3. Fairlag Declaration “ And everything paid for yourself! ( Memento from March 30, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) "
  4. [] (link not available)
  5. ^ Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe Cornelia Goethe Holding AG . YouTube. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  6. FAZ: Verdi warns of pseudo-publishers | FAZ about Dr. Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen . Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  7. ^ Action alliance for fair publishers (Ak Fairlag) at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2008 . Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  8. Open letter: Clear limits to pseudo-publishers (PDF; 73 kB) Accessed on September 11, 2010.
  9. Press release (PDF; 50 kB) Retrieved on September 11, 2010.
  10. Fairlag press release (PDF; 93 kB) Retrieved on September 11, 2010.
  11. Fairlag - Support List . Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  12. Literatur-Café
    [ Main-Franken Zeitung from April 23, 2009] (link not available)
  13. CDU / CSU parliamentary group Börnsen / Eisel: fairness towards new authors . October 14, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  14. ^ SPD parliamentary group press release from April 22, 2008 . Retrieved on September 11, 2010.  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  15. ^ In the name of Goethe: Verlag threatens writers with lawsuits ( Memento of September 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), Linkszeitung of April 16, 2008
  16. Markus von Hänsel-Hohenhausen: Memorandum: Persecution and Incitement in the Current Literature Industry ( Memento from April 29, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) from April 18, 2008 on a website of the Brentano-Gesellschaft Frankfurt / M, which belongs to the Frankfurter Verlagsgruppe. mbH, at the time online at .
  17. ver.di: VS: For freedom of expression - against intimidation . Archived from the original on April 25, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  18. ^ IG authors could face legal action . April 16, 2008. Retrieved September 11, 2010.
  19. Fair comes first . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of April 24, 2008.