Industry & Advocacy News
April 29, 2022
In this week’s edition: First Amendment advocates worry that Elon Musk’s idea of “free speech” on Twitter may only apply to those who share his views; authors reflect on how to find hope amidst climate change; 2021 marked the first time that more than 800 million print books were sold in the U.S.; Disney may lose copyright protection for some of its oldest creations; two blind writers on writing books in a sighted world; and more.
What Is it Like to Be a Blind Writer Writing for Sighted Readers?Lit HubTwo authors who are blind describe their writing process and use of “imagery” in their work.
Texas Residents Sue County for Removing Books, Firing LibrarianThe Washington PostA group of residents in Llano County, Texas, has filed a lawsuit claiming that county government officials violated their First Amendment rights by removing award-winning books from public libraries and ending access to 17,000 digital books, which they say affected the elderly or disabled in particular. The suit also argues that county commissioners denied citizens equal protection under the law when they voted to close library board meetings to the public.
With Elon Musk in Charge, It’s the Beginning of the End for #BlackTwitterLos Angeles TimesElon Musk claims he bought Twitter because he wants to encourage even more free speech. But many worry about whose free speech he’s looking to protect, as he has a history of silencing those who disagree with him. The state of California is currently suing Musk for allegedly silencing thousands of Black employees who complained about racism at Tesla Motors.
‘Threats and Bullets’: Wave of Killings Highlights Perils of Journalism in MexicoThe GuardianEight journalists have been murdered in Mexico this year, and many say Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s propensity to bash the media has stoked the violence.
What Passes for Hope: 19 Writers on Finding Meaning in the Face of the Climate CrisisLitHubIn honor of Earth Day 2022, authors who write regularly about the natural world and the environment talk about the impact of climate change and how they keep going despite the dire consequences already affecting millions around the globe.
Book Sales Are Stronger Than EverPublishers WeeklyAccording to NPD BookScan, which tracks books sold through both physical and digital book vendors in the United States, 2021 marked the first time that industry sales exceeded more than 800 million units since NPD began tracking them in 2004. Interestingly, just one in three books sold are newly released, with new interest due in part to social media attention causing many readers to turn to backlist titles.
Republicans Seek to End Disney’s Copyrights Under Mickey Mouse Protection ActWashington Post Book ClubRepublicans in Congress, seeking to punish the Disney Company for protesting Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, are calling to end the special copyright extensions the mega-entertainment company first secured in the 1970s and renewed in 1998 under the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act.” If not renewed, some of the oldest Disney creations will enter the public domain in January 2024.