From October 2016 to March 2017 the team is joined by Guest Kats Rosie Burbidge and Eibhlin Vardy, and by InternKats Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo, Tian Lu and Hayleigh Bosher.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Save Les Misérables!

The Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale (that's the International Literary and Artistic Association for those of you who, like my friend the IPKat, can't speak a word of French), is an international organization devoted to the promotion of authors’ rights. According to its website:
Not much fun
if there's no fund ...
Founded in 1878 [that's 19 years before the AIPPI and the same year as the INTA's precursor, the USTA] by the great French writer Victor Hugo [author of Les Misérables, among other works] to promote the international recognition of the legal protection of authors for their intellectual work, the Association fulfils its purpose by fostering the wider international dissemination of works so as to enrich the heritage of humanity. This objective was initially achieved at the end of the 19th century with the adoption of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. ALAI, since then, continues to play a key role in the preparation of international legal instruments related to copyright and performers' rights, specifically by organizing congresses and study days dedicated to the in-depth analysis of every aspect of copyright.

ALAI promotes creativity by endeavouring to assure the protection of the moral and economic rights of creators in general, a goal that Article 27(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also affirms. ALAI does not represent or promote any individual author in particular, nor does it assist businesses or industrial groups. ALAI is a broad-based, independent organization, receptive to the views held by its numerous national groups and individual members from every corner of the globe. Its members have a wide range of backgrounds and activities, from academic scholars and practising lawyers specializing in the field of copyright to professionals in the media sector and national and international officials.
There's just one problem. Being independently-minded, ALAI does not attract many sponsors. There doesn't even seem to be anywhere on its website for sponsorships and donations.

Unable to afford the air fare,
Claudine had to rely on
her own resources ...
It appears to be the common practice at ALAI conferences for participants not only to fork out for their travel and hotel expenses but they even have to pay the full registration fee --  a fee which is barely enough to cover all the overheads, let alone the expenses of the speakers. This is a dreadful state of affairs.  ALAI does a huge amount of hard work on behalf of us creatives (you can get a good idea of the activities of its Congresses and Study Days here), but any organisation is only as good as the people who contribute to it, and if authors, artists, academics and other people beginning with 'a' can't afford to attend these events and share their ideas we will all be the losers.

I'm taking this opportunity to ask readers to make a generation to ALAI, out of the goodness of their hearts and, where applicable, the depth of their pockets.  Let's bring a smile to the faces of this august body as it does its noble work.  Let ALAI be Les Misérables no longer!

To find out if, and if so how, you can sponsor an event or make a generation, just contact ALAI here.

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