Author and teacher - Italia
I spent seven years writing my Italian Literature Secondary School course. I didn’t work alone on it as I had around a dozen contributors helping me. We like to think we did the best we could, without any thought of financial gain: you don’t do these things for money.
It is only fair though that we should see some reward, however small.
Writing a book, especially when it turns out to be a series of books numbering several thousand pages, demands enormous effort, and requires time, intelligence and dedication. It is like designing a new car, building a house, or launching a new type of computer. Only those who are already comfortably off can allow themselves the luxury of following such a project for free.
In the “Public Interest” doesn’t necessarily mean everything should be free; we need quality books, well-written, and sensibly priced. Denying authors and contributors the opportunity to earn a living from their work would result in these books becoming impossible to write, and this would indeed go against the “Public Interest”.
Nobody would seriously ever think of not paying a designer, architect or IT developer for their work, because they earn their living from it. And yet the same is true for those who write school textbooks. So where do we go from here?