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Byte Experts: The Morality Clause and 21st Century Publishing



Bullen C (2022) Byte Experts: The Morality Clause and 21st Century Publishing. Byte the Book: Where the Publishing Industry Meets [Blog Post] 17.01.2022.

First paragraph: Over the past few years, there has been increased media attention towards book deals that publishers have terminated due to author behaviour. From Simon and Schuster breaking ties with Senator Josh Hawley in the US to Little Brown and Julie Burchill in the UK, it would appear that publishers and readers increasingly hold authors to account when they behave unacceptably. One way publishers can terminate an agreement with an author is by using a morality clause. This contractual clause allows a publisher to terminate contracts based on an author’s behaviour and, usually, the reputational harm they may bring to their publisher by association. Discussions about author behaviour and the morality clause have been frequent in recent years, especially in the wake of the #MeToo movement in 2017 as noted by Publishers’ Weekly and The Bookseller. However, a degree of confusion exists surrounding the morality clause across the industry, particularly concerning its origins and the likelihood of publishers using it.

Type of mediaBlog Post
Publication date online17/01/2022
PublisherByte The Book
Publisher URL…y-chiara-bullen/

People (1)


Ms Chiara Bullen
Ms Chiara Bullen

PhD Researcher, Literature and Languages - Division