IPA Blog

Self-publishing in Iran; a tale of dare and dilemma

The first time I encountered a self-published book in Iran was about 10 years ago. My blogger friend tried to publish his first collection of short stories and faced a dead end with the book office censors. The whole book had a dark comedy theme and, as I remember, one of the protagonists was a rather stupid army commander. The authorities had told him that it is an insult to our “sacred military forces”. 

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China’s publishing industry: a path for international cooperation

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From 21-24 August I had the chance to attend the Beijing International Book Fair on behalf of IPA.

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To Detect The Footprints Of A Censor

Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was invited to Iran by one of his Iranian publishers Qoqnus to attend the Tehran International Book Fair in May. He was supposed to speak in one of the literary centres in Iran, in a night of celebration of his work. He reached Iran but both events were cancelled for reasons like the venues “not being ready” and “avoiding congestion in the book fair”. The only program he could attend was a press conference on the other side of the city far from the book fair venue in Niavaran Cultural Historical Palace stopping his readers from seeing or speaking to him.

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Google “Thumbs its Nose” at New Zealand’s Courts: Kiwis Should Look to Canada for a Precedent

Google is at it again. According to press reports in the New Zealand Herald, Google refused to comply with a New Zealand court order to suppress details and remove content related to a local murder trial because, according to a representative of Google NZ, “Google LLC, was a separate legal entity incorporated in the US, meaning New Zealand’s courts and laws held no power over it.” Tell that to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2018

Days 1 and 2

Sometimes it happens that when you hear a lot of positive comments about an event. Your expectations rise, and you get disappointed once you see the reality.

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Making educational materials copyright free will harm education – here’s why

At last week’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation, many delegates asked for educational materials to be made copyright free. 

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WIPO Diary (SCCR 36) Day 5: And that’s a wrAP

It’s over. There were a few last-minute huddles of regional groups and Member States to thrash out possible compromises on agreed wording, but the 36th meeting of the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) came to a close this afternoon.

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WIPO Diary (SCCR 36) Day 4: Working the corridors

Day 4 of SCCR is the second day focussing on the Draft Action Plans (DAPs) and Exceptions and Limitations (Es and Ls, check out our jargon buster). The day started out with another round of comments from groups, Member States and observers and featured the same the mix of opinions as yesterday.

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WIPO Diary (SCCR 36) Day 3: Frustration in the chamber

After almost a complete day yesterday with the plenary chamber empty because of ‘informals’ on the Broadcasting Treaty, there was more action this morning. Chairman Daren Tang recognised yesterday’s positive momentum on the Broadcasting Treaty before moving discussions on to exceptions and limitations and the proposed draft action plans (DAPs).

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WIPO Diary (SCCR 36) Day 2: Keeping things Informals

Day 2 of this 36th session of the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights started with an almost empty plenary room, save a handful of NGOs, as the Members States continued their ‘informals’ from last night, with the NGOs following the discussions from the plenary room, without being able to relay them to anyone.

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3 things to look out for at WIPO SCCR 36

The WIPO SCCR meets twice a year. But what is WIPO? Who is Darren Tang? IPA will be posting daily blogs from the marathon five-day meeting. Acronyms will be flying.

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WIPO Diary (SCCR 36) Day 1: Lights. Camera. Action Plans!

The 36th session of World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (check our jargon buster here) kicked off today in Geneva. As well as the 191 Members States who can attend, there are about 60 NGOs registered and participating (including the IPA, STM, IFRRO and others from the Creative Sector Organisations group that IPA coordinates).

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Words always find a way!

The uncensored book fair of Iranian independent publishers

Every year, early in May, Iranian publishers have the busiest time of the year with the Tehran International Book Fair being held for a period of ten days in the capital. All publishers - except those who have been banned due to previous violations - gather from across the country.

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Freedom to Publish discussion at heart of Leipzig Book Fair

At this year’s Leipzig Book Fair, IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee chairman, Kristenn Einarsson, joined Hungarian publisher and IPA 2018 Prix Voltaire nominee, Tamas Miklos, as well as German publisher Christoph Links to discuss Europe and Freedom of Expression. Freedom to Publish was a visible issue at the Congress with the Börsenverein promoting its “Für das Wort und die Freiheit” campaign and putting a giant #FreeGuiMinhai hashtag on the central staircase.

Freedom to Publish discussion at heart of Leipzig Book Fair

While the conversation didn’t stop at the borders of Europe it was interesting to hear that some freedom to publish challenges are closer to home than many Europeans think.

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The International Publishers Congress - Day 3

The final day of the Congress started with a detailed look at 'Book Markets in India'. Emma House, Deputy CEO of the PA UK, spoke about the size and importance of each publishing sector and the variety of languages (India has 22 official languages but Hindi and English make up 90% of publications). André Breedt of Nielsen noted, educational publishing dominates the Indian market. Local publisher Himanshu Gupta (S Chand) claimed that Indian publishers are embracing digital as an enabler for hybrid learning. He was supported by Vikas Gupta of Wiley, who called on publishers to become platforms for smart digital content.

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IPA Congress 2018 - Creating Readers of the Future

I had the honour to chair a session on the second day of the Congress entitled : " Creating readers of the future". My panelists came from diverse backgrounds and represented almost half of the global publishing industry. All of them experts in the children's book market, I was curious to know whether children in Brazil had better access to books than children in China or India or vice versa.

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IPA Congress 2018 - Social Responsibility of Publishers

Why should publishers care? A group of outstanding speakers tried to answer this question during the session I had the honour to chair on “Social Responsibility of Publishers”.

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5 Things I Learned in The First Day of IPC 2018

Today was the first day of the 32nd edition of the International Publishers Congress, and this year it is hosted in New Delhi, India.

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International Publishers Congress Blog - Day 2

After yesterday's intense high-level discussions about the future of publishing, copyright and freedom to publish, the second day began with a series of panels about the nitty gritty of publishing and finished with an emotional roller coaster and two standing ovations.

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International Publishers Congress 2018 - Day 1

A full 26 years after the previous IPA Congress in New Delhi, we're back with a great programme. This will be the first of our daily blogs over the next 3 days.

The day started with a traditional candle lighting ceremony, before the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Harsh Vardhan, arrived to launch the day's proceedings. IPA President Michiel Kolman gave a keynote address where he called on the publishing industry to stop being defensive and to shout about the industry's many successes, sentiments that were echoed by FIP President, NK Mehra.

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