Welcome to the homepage for Writers Against Piracy (WAP).  Established in 1970, WAP has been fighting for writers' rights for over thirty years.  We currently have local chapters in all fifty states and in thirteen nations.  There are over twenty thousand dues paying WAP members in America today.

Who We Are
WAP is committed to ensuring that every writer gets the proper royalty for every word (s)he writes.  We in the writing business are not wealthy people.  It is a long and difficult road from developing an idea to getting it published.  Writers who have successfully reached their goal, i.e. have been published, deserve to be compensated for their hard work.  WAP serves as a watchdog agency to make sure this happens.  Our organization is made up of writers, publishers, literary agents, and concerned private citizens.

What We Want
What WAP is demanding is actually very simple.  Every time an individual reads a published copyrighted work, the author of that work must be compensated via a royalty.  This happens in other forms of media; why doesn't it happen for books?  Jerry Seinfeld is compensated every time his television program is aired in syndication.  Musicians are paid royalties every time a CD is sold or a single is played over the airwaves.  Filmmakers get a cut every time their film is rented at a video outlet.  Why aren't writers given the same compensation?

Government Funded Piracy
Right now, your tax dollars are supporting piracy.  Your hard earned money is going to institutions that rape writers of their wages.  What are these vicious places we speak of?  Your local libraries.  Every day the public library system 'loans' out books to patrons across the nation.  In exchange for their private personal data, patrons may obtain a 'library card' that gives them full access to an astronomical amount of fiction, non-fiction, poetry-- essentially the entire canon of the written word.  This is all 'loaned' to the patron free of charge on the condition that the books are returned so that others may read them.  Throughout the history of the public library, billions of these transactions have occurred; writers have been compensated for none of them.  Apart from the initial purchase of the book, libraries do not pay the writers whose work they so freely give away.

Copyright Law
It is illegal to make copies of copyrighted material.  Our government established laws to protect writers from piracy long ago.  Does that mean piracy does not happen?  Of course not.  In addition to the type of 'loaning piracry' already discussed, most public libraries have 'photocopier' technology in-house.  That is to say, they provide their patrons, for a small service charge, the ability to make replicas of books.  While libraries profit greatly from the money generated by these 'photocopy' (also know by the slang term 'xerox') machines, writers see no compensation.  Granted, most libraries have the Copyright Infringement Act posted above the machines, but the enforcement of the law is laughable.

An Analogy
Last Spring the high courts of our country put an end to the piracy of music over the Internet.  The file sharing software giant Napster was shut down.  Using Napster, computer users across the globe were loaning songs and entire albums to one another.  Once the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) got wind of the loaning (or, 'sharing') they became outraged.  The artists behind the music were not getting compensated for their art.  It was piracy, pure and simple.  The U.S. Government recognized the need to protect the intellectual property of musicians and did the right thing by shutting Napster down, and yet it still allows the public library system to do to writers the exact same thing Napster did to musicians.  It's absolutely ludicrous.

Libraries = Napster for books

How to Help
Local WAP chapters are organizing protests of local libraries and photocopy institutions (i.e. 'Kinko's').  Joining a WAP chapter is the perfect way to get involved and show your support of our nation's writers.  WAP chapters elect officers, hold regular meetings, and often host social events such as picnics and pot-luck dinners.  To find out how to join your local WAP chapter, send an email to wapnyc@yahoo.com.


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