Authors’ earnings

What are the challenges to authors’ earnings?

While authors contribute to the richness and diversity of culture around the world, too often we can see that authors’ earnings are in decline or in some countries have remained far from sufficient to reward and encourage creation. In many countries earnings are declining despite growth in the creative industries that are driven by the work of authors.

There are a variety of causes for this, varying from country to country but many themes are recurring, these can include:

  • Unfair contracts
  • Expectations for authors to work unpaid “for exposure”
  • Buy-out contracts negating authors royalties
  • A lack of remuneration systems such as PLR and ARR
  • Copyright exceptions
  • Smaller advances paid

The status of authors

Authors face a variety of challenges around the world and our members are at the forefront of tackling them. One of the most important things we can do is help to inform about the issues in authors’ earnings. Please see below a range of authors’ earnings studies from around the world.

If you have any further studies or publications to contribute on this subject, please contact us.








New Zealand



United Kingdom

United States of America


  • Audiovisual Authors’ Right to equitable remuneration for the explotation of their works. Commisioned by CISAC written by Prof. Raquel Xalabarder
  • CISAC: Summary and Full study
  • Cultural Times, a study carried out by EY gives an overview of cultural sectors around the world that may be illustrative to understanding authors’ earnings around the world.
  • EY: Cultural Times 2015