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Henry Louis Gates Jr's reading list of African-American literature

here's a reading list of African-American literature from How Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Helped Remake the Literary Canon (David Remnick, New Yorker, 2-19-22). Remnick asks, "If I were to ask you to recommend ten works of fiction and ten works of nonfiction to a citizen wanting to get a handle on the canon that you’ve worked so hard to refine and supplement, what would those works be?" Gates provided these three lists plus a wonderful quote:

1. “The Conjure Woman,” by Charles W. Chesnutt
2. “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man,” by James Weldon Johnson
3. “Cane,” by Jean Toomer
4. “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” by Zora Neale Hurston
5. “Native Son,” by Richard Wright
6. “Invisible Man,” by Ralph Ellison
7. “Mumbo Jumbo,” by Ishmael Reed
8. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker
9. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison (or “Sula,” “Song of Solomon,” or “Jazz”)
10. “At the Bottom of the River,” by Jamaica Kincaid

1. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself,” by Frederick Douglass
2. “A Voice from the South,” by Anna Julia Cooper
3. “The Souls of Black Folk,” by W. E. B. Du Bois
4. “Black Skin, White Masks,” by Frantz Fanon
5. “Notes of a Native Son,” by James Baldwin
6. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
7. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou
8. “Angela Davis: An Autobiography,” by Angela Y. Davis
9. “Playing in the Dark,” by Toni Morrison
10. “In My Father’s House,” by Kwame Anthony Appiah

For reference:
1. “From Slavery to Freedom” (ninth edition or later), by John Hope Franklin and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
2. “The Betrayal of the Negro: From Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson,” by Rayford W. Logan
3. “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877,” by Eric Foner
4. “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” by Annette Gordon-Reed

In one of the most beautiful—of so many—passages that he wrote, W. E. B. DuBois captured the wonder of the Black experience in the New World. He said, 

      “The most magnificent drama in the last thousand years of human history is the transportation of ten million human beings out of the dark beauty of their mother continent into the new-found Eldorado of the West. They descended into Hell; and in the third century they arose from the dead, in the finest effort to achieve democracy for the working millions which this world had ever seen. It was a tragedy that beggared the Greek; it was an upheaval of humanity like the Reformation and the French Revolution.”

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From Section 230 to The EARN IT Act and still controversial

gathered and edited by Pat McNees  (updated 1-5-23)


Section 230: The 26 Words That Created the Internet


The Earn It Act


National Defense Authorization Act, with Submarine Attack on Section 30

Section 230

The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet

The law that made the Internet what it is today (Susan Benkelman, Opinion, WaPo, 4-28-19) A review of The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet by Jeff Kosseff.

(The 26 words: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."

      In other words, it lets them off the hook.

 • The obscure law that explains why Google backs climate deniers (Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian, 10-11-19) "Google wants to curry favour with conservatives to protect its ‘section 230’ legal immunity. For Google, providing financial backing to groups such as CEI and the Cato Institute – staunch free marketeers – has nothing to do with climate science, and everything to do with its effort to curry favour with conservatives on its most pressing issue in Washington: protecting an obscure section of the US law that is worth billions of dollars to the company. The law – known as section 230 of the Communications Decency Act – was established in the 1990s, at a time when the internet was in its infancy, and helped to give rise to internet giants, from Google to Facebook, by offering legal immunity to the companies for third party comments, in effect treating them as distributors of content and not publishers. Section 230, in effect, allowed Google and Facebook to be shielded from the kinds of libel laws that can ensnare other companies, such as newspapers."

      Few anticipated the consequences of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Ron 'Wyden acknowledged to Kosseff that although he knew that Section 230 was going to be important, he “never thought that its reach would be this dramatic.” Nor could he possibly have foreseen platforms whose algorithms would help surface and amplify conspiracies, fake images and news stories, and even depictions of violence online, creating the distorted-mirror effect that is so prevalent and troubling today.

       'Now something needs to change, whether it is the law or the companies' behavior. Section 230 may have created the mirror of society that the Internet represents. But the tech companies now hold it in their hands, which means they may want to move more aggressively to remove its distortions — before the government tries to do it for them.' 

Everything you need to know about Section 230 (Casey Newton, The Verge, 12-29-20) A guide to Section 230: what it is, what it isn't, why it's controversial, and how it might be changed. To be updated as events warrant.

Fact-Checking the Critiques of Section 230: What Are the Real Problems? (Ashley Johnson Daniel Castro, Information Technology Innovation & Foundation, 2-22-21) Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has become a key battleground in the larger debate over free speech and content moderation. There are legitimate and illegitimate critiques about it—but they don’t negate the law’s many benefits. Key takeaways:
---Section 230’s liability protections were intended to be broad. But they are not limitless. Courts continue to identify exceptions to the liability shield.
---Contrary to critics’ claims, Section 230 is not a gift for Big Tech. Many different types of organizations—large and small, tech and non-tech, companies and individuals—benefit from Section 230 protections.
---The First Amendment, not Section 230, gives online services the right to remove content they find objectionable—and it protects individuals from government censorship, not from removal by online platforms.
---Most online services that benefit from Section 230 are legitimate, but since some bad actors take advantage of the law it makes sense to consider ways to reduce these harms without overburdening online services.
---Limiting or removing Section 230 protections would be harmful to innovation, free speech, and competition, so policymakers should carefully consider the consequences of any proposed reforms.

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Trump escalates war on Twitter, social media protections (AP, 5-28-2020) "Trump, who personally relies heavily on Twitter to verbally flog his foes, has long accused the tech giants in liberal-leaning Silicon Valley of targeting conservatives by fact-checking them or removing their posts....Companies like Twitter and Facebook are granted liability protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act because they are treated as “platforms,” rather than “publishers,” which can face lawsuits over content."

Section 230 — Nurturing Innovation or Fostering Unaccountability? (U.S. Dept of Justice, Key Takeaways and Recommendations, June 2020) Antitrust law prohibits dominant firms from engaging in anticompetitive conduct that harms competition. In some cases, online platforms have argued that Section 230 creates an immunity from antitrust claims. Immunity against antitrust claims, however, was not part of the core objective of Section 230. In an antitrust case, the key question is whether a defendant is engaging in conduct that harms competition. Such claims are not based on third-party speech, nor do they focus on whether the platform is a publisher or speaker.

     Given this, and the existing market dynamics, it is important to ensure that Section 230 is not used as a tool to block antitrust claims aimed at promoting and preserving competition. The Department believes it would be useful to create an explicit legislative carve-out from Section 230 for claims under the federal antitrust laws.

     Until then, there is a risk that defendants will continue to try to use Section 230 creatively to block antitrust actions. Suggested reforms to promote open discourse and greater transparency:

   1. Replace Vague Language to Address Moderation Beyond Section 230

   2. Provide Definition of Good Faith

   3. Continue to Overrule Stratton Oakmont to Avoid the Moderator’s Dilemma ("forcing a platform to choose between moderating content (and therefore exposing itself to liability for all other user-generated content), or not moderating at all (and therefore hosting whatever content, however repugnant, that users post).

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Trump vs. Big Tech: Everything you need to know about Section 230 and why everyone hates it (Jessica Guynn, USA Today, 10-15-20) Section 230 "helped fuel the rise of the modern internet. Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google-owned YouTube say they could not exist in their current form without its protections."... 

        "There are exceptions to the law, such as federal crimes and intellectual property claims. Also, lawmakers in 2018 chipped away at Section 230 protections by passing a law that makes it easier to sue internet platforms that knowingly aid sex trafficking."
    "Nowhere, perhaps, is that backlash bigger or more consequential than in Washington, DC. In Congress, both parties have singled Section 230 out for attack, with some Democrats saying it allows tech companies to get away with not moderating content enough, while some Republicans say it enables them to moderate too much."

The Fight Over Section 230—and the Internet as We Know It (Matt Laslo, Business, Wired, 8-13-19) Mass shootings and executive orders have dragged the web's most consequential law back into the spotlight.
       "Something tech companies have really gotten wrong—they've proceeded for years basically treating Section 230 like it's a right that's enshrined in the Constitution, and I think, frankly, some of the large platforms in particular have gotten incredibly arrogant," says Jeff Kosseff, who wrote a book about Section 230 called Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet. "And now what you're seeing is a backlash to that arrogance."


Dear Reader: Have I missed any important arguments or points or material to link to??

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The Earn It Act

"Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act"

STOP the Earn It Act (The Woodhull Foundation's petition) The EARN IT Act, a bill being pushed by faith-based anti-porn and anti-sex work groups, makes online platforms and services liable for any potential abuse of their platform. Using the distribution of child sex abuse material (CSAM) as its cover, EARN IT strips away Section 230 protections, allowing no safe harbor for any site, even those that work aggressively and admirably to block and report potential bad actors.
A resurrected bill troubles digital rights advocates and journalists (Mathew Ingram, The Media Today, Columbia Journalism Review, 2-17-22) In 2020, members of Congress introduced the EARN IT Act—an abbreviation for the full name (the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act). The act proposed a national commission for developing best practices for the elimination of child sex-abuse material (CSAM). It also stated that any online platforms hosting such material would lose the protection of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives electronic service providers immunity from prosecution for most of the content that is posted by their users.

     Some groups criticized the bill, saying "that Section 230 doesn’t actually protect electronic platforms from liability for illegal content such as CSAM, so passing a law exempting them from that protection is redundant and unnecessary. Critics of the bill also said it might pressure online services to stop offering end-to-end encryption, used by activists and journalists around the world, because using encryption is a potential red flag for those investigating CSAM."

     The bill was dropped, has now been resurrected. Article19, an international nonprofit that supports freedom of expression, warned "that the act makes it more likely platforms will 'engage in overbroad censorship of online speech, especially content created by diverse communities, including LGBTQ individuals, whose posts are disproportionately labeled as sexually explicit.' By opening the door to potential liability for encrypted content, Article19 says the act 'would strongly disincentivise providers from providing strong encryption.' ”

      When the original version of the bill came out, Runa Sandvik, who has worked on security for journalists at the New York Times and the Freedom of the Press Foundation, noted at TechCrunch that the bill, while intended to combat “a horrific crime,” nevertheless “introduces significant harm to journalists’ ability to protect their sources.” “Make no mistake,” Riana Pfefferkorn, a research fellow at the Stanford Internet Observatory, wrote at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society. “This was a dangerous bill two years ago, and because it’s doubled down on its anti-encryption stance, it’s even more dangerous now.” By threatening tech companies with litigation for not doing enough to fight CSAM on their services, Pfefferkorn wrote, EARN IT “would do a lot of damage to innocent internet users who have broken no law”; if passed, she wrote, the act will result in companies “overzealously censoring lots of perfectly legal user speech just in case anything that could potentially be deemed CSAM might be lurking in there.”
EARN IT Act (Wikipedia's useful overview and history) .


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Anti-exploitation bill advances in Senate despite free speech concerns (Russell Brandom, The Verge, 2-10-22) Critics say the EARN IT Act would ‘make it far riskier for platforms to host user-generated content’ H/T to Technology and Press Freedom, which adds that " critics say the bill would undermine all users’ security by discouraging platforms from adopting end-to-end encryption."

A controversial bill to protect kids online just advanced in the Senate, worrying privacy and human rights advocacy groups because of its implications for free speech and encryption services. Here's what you should know (Brian Fung, CNN, 2-11-22) "By narrowing Section 230's scope, the latest bill seeks to create more legal exposure for companies that fail to do enough to remove child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Tech platforms can already face criminal prosecution at the federal level for knowingly facilitating the spread of child pornography, but the legislation goes further, making it possible for states to bring civil and criminal suits on the matter, too.
       The bill also seeks to establish a commission, led by federal law enforcement, charged with publishing voluntary best practices for tech platforms on how to combat child pornography. It's a carrot-and-stick approach that effectively tells websites how they may, as the bill's name implies, earn their liability protections.




National Defense Authorization Act,

with Submarine Attack on Section 30

Judicial privacy bill in the National Defense Authorization Act
Bad News In The NDAA: Unconstitutional ‘Judge Safety’ Bill, With Submarine Attack On Section 230, Is Included (Mike Masnick, TechDirt,12-8-22) Many "of the terrible anti-internet bills we were worried about being slipped into the “must pass” National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) bill were, thankfully, left on the cutting room floor. However, within the 4,400 pages, there was still plenty of other nonsense added, including a variation on a bill that we had worried about almost exactly a year ago: the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act.
      "The bill came about after a mentally unwell lawyer, who had practiced in front of US District Judge Esther Salas, showed up at her home dressed as a FedEx delivery person, and proceeded to shoot and kill the Judge’s son, Daniel Aderl, and shoot and injure her husband. The shooter then took his own life as well."
Last-Minute Addition To Sweeping Defense Bill Will Shield Judges’ Families’ Information — Including Ginni Thomas’ Activism (Alison Durkee, Forbes, 12-9-22) The House is set to pass a new set of protections for federal judges’ families Thursday that were added at the last-minute to the sweeping defense bill, including shielding the public from knowing where they work — drawing scrutiny from critics amid questions about Ginni Thomas, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, and her right-wing activism.
Senate Letter Urging Removal of NDAA Internet Censorship Provision For Judicial Ethics Info (Demand Progress, 12-8-22) "The language we identified in Section 5934 has not been fully vetted by public stakeholders, who expressed their dismay with this provision even as it was voted upon by the House of Representatives. Indeed, the NDAA text considered by the House had not been previously made publicly available. Nonetheless, we ask only that section 5934 be excised from the NDAA and not the remaining provisions of Subtitle D, the Judicial Privacy and Security Act.

       "As written, this legislation is a strike against the public interest, ensuring that federal judges who have conflicts of interest will remain undiscovered. Surely the right of the public to know and have faith in an uncorrupted judiciary is a principle that deserves significant respect."
Latest Version of Judicial Privacy Bill Is Even Worse for Free Speech (Thomas A. Berry, CATO Institute, 12-8-22) On Tuesday, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees finally released the proposed text of the National Defense Authorization Act, all 4400 pages of it. And as had been previously reported, a “judicial privacy” bill takes up 30 of those pages....this judicial privacy bill would violate the First Amendment by censoring truthful speech about public officeholders. Unfortunately, the latest text of the bill as incorporated in the NDAA is even worse than previous versions.
     The basics of the bill remain the same as prior versions, and those basics are bad enough. If passed into law, every American would risk facing mandatory takedown requests for posting standard biographical facts about federal judges online, including their birthdates, the jobs of their spouses, and the colleges attended by their children. The bill also arbitrarily limits its restrictions to the internet but not other media, and it allows speech to be suppressed even if it poses no possible security threat.
      [UPDATE December 9, 2022: "On Thursday afternoon, the House passed a further revised version of the NDAA that omitted the language about Section 230 discussed in the next four paragraphs. But even without this language, the plain text of the bill still applies to the “display” of information, not just to posting. ...that requirement will still apply to social media networks and other sites that host third‐party speech."

     The "Judicial Security and Privacy Act" contained in Title LIX Subtitle D of the NDAA empowers federal judges to order websites and data brokers to remove information that concern federal judges off the internet and out of their databases, backed by the threat of a penalty and damages for noncompliance. While the entirety of Subtitle D is intended to protect federal judges, Section 5934 seriously infringes upon the First Amendment and impinges upon public oversight of ethics matters concerning the federal judiciary.'


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Thinking of recording your own audio book?

Guest post by Melanie Chartoff


For all who are publishing, traditionally or not, read this account of one author who audio-recorded her own book, Melanie Chartoff, author of Odd Woman Out: Exposure in Essays and Stories:


It's great to touch and educate people. For those who are considering narrating their own work, here's my experience trying to get my creation inside the minds and viscera of readers:

As an actor and voice actor, I recently published and narrated my first book, after doing so for other authors and producers in the past. I seemed best suited to the task, since my memoir is personal and comedic, featuring many characters from my personal history. My book was 73,513 words long, minus the table of contents, "Previously Published" page, and dedication. It took 20 hours and cost me $2000 for eight hours and twelve minutes of finished work. The engineer/editor split the fees of $100/hour with the owner/director/composer (who wrote a recurring theme ditty for the book). I was free. You can sample the audio here.

In its first six months, despite being well reviewed, the audio book did not make much money, but listeners write that they have enjoyed its company on car rides or exercise excursions and at bedtime, so I've had other gratifications.

When I've worked for others, it's usually a 4-hour session of constant speaking at a consistent level of energy throughout. I stop and do pickups frequently for words I've slurred or sections that weren't intelligible or expressive enough because I spoke too fast. There are generally 9200 words in a finished hour. I'm paid $300 per recorded hour (post edits), in order for the audio to be cost efficient for the producer or author.

It's hard work. It was hard work for my own book, too, which I produced out of pocket. I was highly motivated to enact scenes from my own experience at peak energy, but I'd get exhausted in those 4 hours. If I recorded in my home studio, I could have taken far longer, worked fewer hours and spent many hours in the tedium of listening to my own voice and editing. But I wanted an objective ear, and getting spontaneous reactions from the the booth made the read far more pleasurable.


Before you embark on recording your own book, I'll share my experience coaching authors and later listening to their books. They start out great, but unless they have vocal training or are accustomed to speaking for many hours with full conviction, they can run out of steam and get monotonous. They stop imagining the listener struggling to grasp the gist. Endurance and focus are mandatory, and if your book is dramatic, giving different characters distinct nuances that repeat throughout the story is a challenge. (Record samples so you can refer back.)


It's less about having a good voice and more about maintaining peak interest and energy for many hours and days, discovering the text as if for the first time, so the reader will, too.

You can listen to samples from professional narrators on many sites, and perhaps find a voice as suitable as your own, of any gender, for your work. And you may favor your own performance, but practice for awhile first. You might first volunteer and read textbooks for the Braille Institute in your region, or at hospitals where folks need a good story or educational text. Record yourself and see if you are galvanized when you listen to the playback.

Whatever your decision, I wish you a great audio version of your work!

Write on,

Melanie Chartoff
Actor/Writer/Charisma Coach

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Estate Planning for Authors: Authors' wills, trusts, and estates

Updated 10-30-22


As a writer, have you spelled out who inherits the rights to and income from the work you leave behind--your intellectual property? Here are some helpful explanations, for various scenarios.

When a Writer Dies: Making Difficult Decisions About the Work Left Behind (Eric Newton on Jane Friedman's blog, 2-1-22) When an author’s death leaves a manuscript unfinished, her husband tries to put together the pieces and complete the book.
What Happens to Your Books After You Die? (Maggie Lynch, POV Author Services, 6-8-22) Excellent guidance. What does an heir need to know to manage the rights to your literary estate? How to find someone willing to be a literary executor when your books aren't making $10-$25K+. The earnings and payment problems for a literary executor's time. What Maggie has set up for herself (including a literary trust). This is an expansion on an earlier piece Maggie wrote for ALLi on Last Will and Testament: Why Indie Authors Need Literary Executors & How to Appoint One (1-11-19). Maggie is not a lawyer, but writes about what she learned for her own estate planning.

Bitter feuds, buried scandal: the contested world of literary estates (Leo Robson, New Statesman, 1-2-19) When an author dies, literary estates take over – bringing disputes, fraud and conflagrations.
Death is not the end: the lucrative world of literary estates (John Gapper, Financial Times, 7-26-19) The growth of streaming services, demand for audio books and the globalisation of publishing are a boon for a writer’s descendants. Excellent overview of flourishing estates.
Neil Gaiman on why writers tend to put off writing wills, particularly wills that spell out how their intellectual property should be handled. You can download a template (PDF) of a generic will for U.S. authors but maybe run it by a lawyer, as laws vary by state.
Important. And pass it on... (Neil Gaiman, A Simple Will,10-30-06) Download "A Simple Will" and fill it in for yourself.
Estate Planning for Authors: Tips for Your Financial and Literary Legacy (Edward M. McBoyd, YouTube video of Authors Guild webinar, 11-6-19, 1.4 hrs). Pretty thorough legal overview for providing for your author's estate. McBoyd explains wills, trusts, and other estate planning vehicles; the possibility of appointing a “literary executor” or “literary trustee” to manage the copyrights in the author’s estate; providing for the administration of “digital assets,” such as the author’s website or social media pages; and the exercise of statutory rights to terminate copyright grants, including after an author’s death. You want to be sure not only that the income goes to the right heirs and that your intellectual property is being properly managed.
Estate Planning for Your Indie Author Business (Karen Myers, Alliance of Independent Authors, 1-4-19) "We indie authors are typically one-man businesses. We don’t think in terms of key employees, since we haven’t got any, but we are ourselves the key employee, and we need to make plans for what will happen when we are no longer able to run our business. And if we’ve managed to grow large enough to have actual employees, we have the same issues as any other small business. We need a business succession plan."
Estate Planning for Self-Published Authors With Kathryn Goldman (video, 40 min, copyright attorney Goldman on The Creative Penn, 11-13-15)
When A Self-Published Author Dies What Happens To Their Books? (Derek Haines, Just Publishing Advice, 7-9-21) When a self-published author dies, there is no clear process. What to do if you have self-published with Amazon KDP, Draft2Digital (D2D), or Smashwords.

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A Primer on Estate Planning as a Writer (Leonard D. Duboff and Sarah J. Tugman on Jane Friedman's blog, 3-4-19) Explains basic terms. For example, an estate can be "either trust-based or will-based." If properly drafted and "ambulatory," a will can change to apply to property acquired after the will is written. If revocable, "it can be changed or canceled before death." A trust is a legal arrangement by which one person (the trustee) holds certain property for the benefit of another (the beneficiary). A "testamentary trust" is created by will, must be probated along with the will, and in some states probate can be lengthy and expensive. The authors explain the advantages of a"trust-based plan" over a "traditional will-based plan" (e.g., avoiding probate, ensuring privacy) and the use of a life insurance trust to "guarantee liquidity." From their book, The Law (in Plain English) for Writers.
Estate planning and estate and inheritance taxes: What you need to know (Comfortdying.com)
Estate Planning in general (Comfortdying.com) Read about a problem with Paul Newman's estate.
Estate Planning For Writers (Matt Knight, Sidebar Saturdays, 12-2-17) The advantages and disadvantages of wills and trusts, whether you need both an executor and a literary trustee, how to structure a literary estate. See also Estate Planning for Writers Part II — Transferring Intellectual Property to a Corporate Entity (10-2-21)
What Happens When An Author Dies. Estate Planning With Kathryn Goldman (Joanna Penn, Creative Penn, 11-23-15) Podcast and text.
The Death of a Writer (Allison K Williams, Brevity's nonfiction blog, 6-4-19) Who is going to deal with your literary legacy, and what do you want done with your journals, family photos, genealogical research, story notes, complete and unfinished manuscripts, published works (who inherits the copyright?), treasured mementos, social media (wipes? or legacy status?), passwords and account numbers for whoever wraps up your estate? And do you want any old letters or evidence of love affairs preserved or destroyed?
The great estate: those global literary brands roll on (Robert McCrum, The Guardian, 3-15-12) The recently deceased Dmitri Nabokov made a fortune from his father's estate, while the houses of Fleming, Tolkien et al are equally at home in the digital age.
Writers' wills: a rich legacy for readers (Claire Armitstead, The Guardian, 1-8-14) As a stock of famous authors' final testaments are posted online, we can be glad of the insights they leave to us.

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An end to bad heir days: The posthumous power of the literary estate (Gordon Bowker, Independent UK, 1-6-12) ""On the last day of 2011, the 70th anniversary year of his death, James Joyce's work finally passed out of copyright. It was the dawn of a new age for Joyce scholars, publishers and biographers who are now free to quote or publish him without the permission of the ferociously prohibitive Joyce estate."
Wills of the Rich and Famous (aka "celebrity wills," posted on Living Trust Network, an estate planning portal). Featured: Warren Burger, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), Princess Diana. Walt Disney, Doris Duke, Elizabeth Edwards, Henry Fonda, Benjamin Franklin, Clark Gable, James Gandolfini, Katherine Hepburn, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, President John F. Kennedy, John Kennedy, Jr. and more.
Famous wills 1552-1854 In 2014, the National Archives (UK) brought online this collection of documents that will delight biographers and historians. Among them, the wills of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Admiral Lord Nelson, Dr. Samuel Johnson, John Donne, Sir Francis Drake, William Congreve, Samuel Pepys, William Penn, George Frederic Handel, and William Wordsworth. (The link has changed. You'll have to search for this one.)

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• Guest-blogging on Writers in the storm, Susan Spann (author of the popular Shinobi Mystery series, published a series of pieces advising on authors' estate planning and authors' trusts, under the Publaw theme (where you can find more of these). I link to some of them here:
--- WHO WILL YOU TRUST? Wills in Author Estate Planning Susan Spann, guest blog on Writers in the Storm, 5-10-13).
---Who Inherits Your Copyrights? (4-22-13)
---Do You Own Your Copyrights? (Susan Spann, 1-10-14)
---Do You Know Your (Copy) Rights? (Susan Spann, 12-13-13)
---Who Can an Author Trust? Trusts in the Author Estate Plan (6-14-13).
---Do You Need a Literary Executor? (Susan Spann, 7-15-13)
--- How to Choose a Literary Executor (Susan Spann, 8-9-13)
---But What Does a Literary Trustee DO? (Part 1) (Susan Spann)
---Trust The Process: Literary Executors, Part 2 (Susan Spann)

Rights and Royalties Management, Licensing,

issues about and problems with authors' and artists' estates. What happens to works after authors die. (Writers and Editors, Copyright, work for hire, and other rights issues)

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• SFWA runs two helpful lists (which cover more than genre fiction writers):
---Estates Contact Information
---Estates we’re looking for
Literary estates administered by The Society of Authors (UK)
Wills, Probate and Trusts For Writers (H.S. Stavropoulos, author of crime fiction with a Greek-American flavor)

Now some stunning photographs:
15 Famous Authors’ Beautiful Estates (Emily Temple, Flavorwire, 1-24-12) Photos of the beautiful homes of Anaïs Nin, Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, Evelyn Waugh, Gore Vidal, J. K. Rowling, Kurt Vonnegut,Vladimir Nabokov, Mark Twain, Stephen King, Robert Graves, Victor Hugo, Eudora Welty, William Shakespeare, Frederick Douglass.'
18 Famous Authors’ Houses Worth Seeing (Nick Mafi, Architectural Digest, 10-4-19)

What other resources are helpful? Tell me about experiences you've had or know about that it might be helpful for others to know about -- particularly problems to avoid or minimize.

Updated from original entry Dec. 12, 2014

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