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2651

WHAT DO Alanis Morissette, Margaret Atwood, Bryan Adams, Marie Claire Blais, Michael Bublé, Sharon Pollock, Gordon Lightfoot and William Deverell have in common? Yes, they are all Canadian (eh?)

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And so ends another SCCR marathon: hundreds of delegates locked in some 40 hours of discussion over five days; only God knows how many mini-sandwiches, cups of undrinkable coffee and MBs of data have been consumed.

The IPA put in a strong showing this time. For the first time ever the IPA delegation included its President (elect) and the Chair of the copyright committee. Add to that the Secretary General, our razor-sharp legal counsel and, well, me, and we were a distinctly visible presence in the crowd.

Having been wrapped in the copyright bubble since Monday and talked of little else between the hours of 9am and 7pm, I get a sense that there has been a definite shift in humour.

Frustration and possibly a vague embarrassment over the impasse has peaked and is spurring the chamber to action on the broadcasters treaty; the inside track is that a diplomatic conference may be announced as early as SCCR 34, from 1-5 May 2017.

Here's Carlo Scollo Lavizzari to tell you how he thinks it went:

This morning Melbourne Law School Intellectual Property Professor Sam Ricketson was beamed into the chamber to give a lengthy webcast presentation on the Artists’ Resale Right which, while not immediately linked to the IPA’s policy agenda, is nonetheless an important area of interest for creators.

Some countries, particularly from Africa Group, are pushing hard for rollout of the Resale Right. Prof. Ricketson said a growing number of countries have adopted the right into their law over the past 10 to 15 years, particularly among Berne Convention member countries.

In the afternoon session, the IPA made a written submission to the SCCR on educational exceptions and limitations, having been denied the chance to speak to the chamber. The reason for this was that the room was so preoccupied by the other agenda items, including the resale right, that it left no time for the NGOs to intervene on this matter.

Here's the full submission:

The IPA is the global association of book publishers, including those in the trade, educational and academic sectors. Our 64 member associations from 59 countries represent thousands of individual publishing houses, which together serve more than 5.5 billion people across the globe.

Educational publishing is a critical strategic resource for all countries. To be truly successful and effective, educational publishing must be genuinely relevant to the place where its outputs will be used.

In a healthy educational publishing market, this relevance requirement benefits local publishers and local authors. And such support for local content is crucial because, for economies in transition or in developing countries, local educational publishers actually form the bedrock of the national publishing industry — enabling and underpinning all the other publishing sectors in those countries.

The IPA has long stressed the importance of the ‘local’ in education publishing. We have often stated that the best curricula are pointedly local, as are learning environments and cultural contexts. Great education embraces local content and context.

Unfortunately, overbroad educational exceptions jeopardize this virtuous circle.

If a government neglects the economic framework around local publishing, then healthy domestic educational publishing markets are undermined.

‘Neglect’ can take the form of overbroad exceptions, which lead to unintended consequences. Take, for example, the 2012 copyright amendments in Canada, which have had ongoing and long-term deleterious effects on not only the local publishing industry and Canadian authors, but also, we would argue, on the availability of high-quality educational resources for teachers and students alike.

The impact of these Canadian amendments on publishers has been immediate and severe, with a number of publishing houses scaling back their operations and at least one global player, Oxford University Press, packing up and leaving the country, citing the copyright amendments as a prime reason.

But these amendments have also increasingly forced Canadian authors to publish for US or other foreign markets. Publications produced for foreign markets will, however, always be a poor substitute for the ideal, which, as we’ve argued, would be locally sourced and locally produced. Such foreign-sourced publications will be detrimental to the general coherence and objectives of a sound national educational policy.

In education, so much depends on the quality of the resources being utilized by teachers in the classroom for the benefit of the particular mix of students before them. In Canada, it is not just the provenance of the materials that has been compromised by the 2012 amendments, but also their quality.

High-quality educational publishing requires intensive, long-term investment. Publishers are now telling us that they are pulling out of the Canadian educational market precisely because the medium- to long-term prospects are so grim. This will mean fewer local authors, writing less local content, for fewer local publishers to produce fewer high-quality Canadian resources. This will not be good for Canadian students.

rsz dsc 0177A consequence of the local nature of education publishing is that one-size-fits-all exceptions are unnecessary and inappropriate. As Professor Seng’s work demonstrates, Member States have largely succeeded in formulating their own state-specific education exceptions suited to their unique local conditions. An inflexible international instrument that does not respect local conditions will harm, not help, efforts to achieve the worthy goals of educational exceptions.

The IPA respectfully requests that SCCR take into account the need for balance and respect for local interests and not foreclose local markets and licensing solutions. Otherwise exceptions are bound to have a negative effect, especially where multiple copying is concerned.

 
Well, that's pretty much it from the WIPO Diary for SCCR33, although I'll post the chairman's summary when it becomes available, likely next week. Have a great weekend!

 

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Professor Daniel Seng returned to the chamber briefly this morning to field more questions and comments about his mega-study. A night’s sleep had clearly worked wonders on everyone, and the questions came thick and fast from all corners of the room.

Some delegates wanted clarifications; others suggested ways to improve the report. And it seemed that my prayers in Wednesday’s post had been answered when the Brazilian delegate spoke. In previous SCCRs Brazil has made a series of utterances indicating a distinctly ‘copyleft’ bent. But perhaps the wind of change blowing through Brazilian politics has arrived on this side of the Atlantic, as the delegate said: ‘In Brazil, this report will provide us with much food for thought in our ongoing internal debates about copyright law reform.’

Once Prof. Seng had departed (probably for a well-earned rest), the discussion moved onto exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives. One of the first interventions of the session was by the Nigerian spokeswoman on behalf of the African Group.

She said: ‘We believe it is simply time to determine a functional path forward, for the committee's work in this area. We strongly believe that the absence of a clear result-oriented timeframe for the committee — for the committee's discussion of the limitations and exceptions agenda — is more harmful than helpful to the work programme of the SCCR and the overall objective of the exercise.’

IPA’s legal counsel Carlo Scollo Lavizzari, a Swiss polyglot who’s well versed in diplo-speak, suggested that this statement could be read in two ways. Either the African Group wants to strike exceptions and limitations from the agenda altogether, since it is acting as a brake, or, more likely, they want to impose a strict timeframe in order to force a more urgent resolution.

A little later, André Myburgh, a lawyer on Carlo’s team, intervened on behalf of STM publishers to draw the committee’s attention to the liability of librarians and orphan works, and the benefits of licensing as a solution.

He said: ‘STM’s position on copyright-protected uses of orphan works ... (is) that users who have not been able to identify, locate and contact the copyright owner to obtain permission, despite a diligent search, must not be penalised if the rightsholder comes forward later. An STM signatory statement offers exactly this safe harbour in respect of the uses of works considered to be orphan works which are then discovered to be works in which the signatories – comprising the largest STM publishers and many more - own the copyright. STM continues to advocate this principle, both in public fora and in the publishing industry.

Licensing has in our experience supported library document delivery services, resulting in the liability of libraries not even coming into the question. With the main interest of publishers being in the broadest possible dissemination of the works they publish, STM believes that there is much scope for licensing services in solving this problem.’

However, the Statement of the Day Award goes to Mike Holderness, who chairs the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Authors’ Rights Expert Group. I make no apology for reproducing it here wholesale since the extremely topical ideas it encapsulates and expresses so eloquently deserve all the exposure they can get. Enjoy:

‘I have a confession. I am a journalist – an author. And now – more clearly than at any recent time – the world needs ethical journalism. Despite the failings of newspapers in some countries recently, the work of individual, independent journalists remains the best bulwark against arbitrary power and the gaining of that power through a mixture of falsehood and rumour amplified by the echo chambers of electronic gossip. rsz img 5831

I write and edit reports on science and technology in London. My ability to make a living – like that of every independent, professional author – depends on the strength of authors’ rights laws, the future of which we are once more here to discuss. I want to stress the need for professional authorship. The promise held out by some that the internet era would usher in a golden era of democracy has proved hollow. A vast exchange of prejudices and lies through anti-social media is not, I suggest, true or useful “free expression”.

Citizens of all our countries need to have the chance to be informed through the work of people who commit themselves to building the skills and experience to evaluate claims and unmask falsehood. Those people – those journalists in particular – need to have the economic security that enables them to stand up to power (including that of newspaper and broadcasting owners when necessary).

That publishing has been hurt badly by the internet revolution is well-known – not least because publishers have some influence and capability to tell us so. It has been hurt in particular by internet corporations that eke out a fortune selling advertising alongside other people’s creative work. How to get those corporations to pay for their use of this, their prime raw material, is a challenge that is causing head-scratching in the European Union, as it must here, soon.

I therefore appeal to this Committee not to be swayed by the promise held out by some that opening up creative works to use without remuneration offers some kind of golden era of free information. The risk is that free information ends up being worth every penny.

Yes, let us have international norms that give libraries, archives and educational institutions the legal certainty they need to play their utterly essential part in ensuring an informed citizenry.

And let us insist that, throughout the world, those vital institutions are adequately funded and that the use they make of authors’ work is compensated. Because as libraries move online, and as libraries form partnerships with those internet corporations, some of their activities increasingly resemble publishing and these parts of their activities affect the incomes of authors like me.

Let us insist that that remuneration be delivered to authors through collecting societies. Let this Committee commit to encouraging the formation of transparent, democratic collecting societies everywhere.

Useful information depends on authors having adequate primary income. The proposed new EU directive securing more transparency in the way authors’ work are exploited by their publishers, producers and broadcasters is a step in the right direction. WIPO should by inspired by it.

Let this Committee re-dedicate itself to enabling “innovation and creativity for the benefit of all” through defending the rights and incomes of individual authors. After all, without the work of skilled authors and performers libraries have nothing to share; schools nothing to teach; and this Committee nothing to discuss. This Committee needs to re-focus on supporting creativity. Please do.’

Very well said, Mr Holderness.

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The IPA team joined a US delegation breakfast briefing this morning, high up on the 13th floor. A superstitious person may have hesitated to attend, but this was a golden chance of valuable face time with some key SCCR influencers. At the table were stakeholders from all sides of the copyright debate: policy makers, consumer groups, librarians, lawyers and NGOs.

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The morning began with a strategy huddle among the IPA-coordinated Creative Sector Organizations (CSO) group − a coalition of audio-visual, music and publishing industry representatives with a common goal: to protect creators, creations and creativity from attempts to weaken copyright.

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As the world of international diplomacy hastily manoeuvres ahead of the looming Trump Era, delegates congregated at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva this morning for the 33rd meeting of its Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR 33).

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Oh Google! You’ve done it again! You have taken a good idea—one that could help creativity–and once again blotted your copybook by antagonizing the creative community you profess to serve. Yet again you have turned a blind eye to the rights of writers and creators to serve your own ends, all in the name of “progress”.

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The Geneva-based World Intellectual Property (WIPO) has now closed its 56th Assemblies of the Member States, which took an interim look at various areas of strategic interest to publishers.

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Writing for the Kluwer Copyright Blog, Tatiana Synodinou, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Cyprus, looks at the implications of Brexit on European copyright law, and wonders if, with the UK's common law model out of the equation, could this be an opportunity for deeper integration and a step towards an EU copyright code?

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Over the next few months, guest writer Matt Goolding will produce a series of articles shining a spotlight on some of the world’s most prominent violators of freedom to publish. He will examine one country at a time because, while they all have the suppression of this vital human right in common, they are in reality very different places, each deserving our attention.

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The morning began with an alarming rumour circulating that today’s session might spill over into a dreaded 'late-nighter'. Was this the curse of Friday 13th?

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Two hot potatoes in particular injected extra vim into the SCCR discussion today, drawing parties on either side of the copyright fence into an exchange of views that, had we been in a pub and not at WIPO, might have led to indecorous behaviour from some.

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A collective sigh of relief was heaved here at WIPO this morning when, at last, the broadcasting talk wrapped up.

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As the SCCR delegates resumed their Sisyphean effort to define the terms underpinning the long-awaited WIPO broadcast treaty this morning, the glaring paradox at the heart of the process became apparent.

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WIPO Director General Francis Gurry fired the starting gun on the 32nd Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), today, urging the participants to agree on the elusive broadcasting treaty, which has lain on the table since 1996.

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This week, the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) will meet for the 32nd time, in Geneva, to debate several copyright issues that will have a direct impact on the global publishing industry.

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The UNESCO-led World Book Capital sprang from the runaway success of World Book and Copyright Day, launched in 1996, when UNESCO nominated Madrid as the first World Book Capital, for 2001. Thereafter, UNESCO's General Conference adopted a resolution, on 2 November 2001, establishing the yearly nomination of World Book Capital.

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It's glaringly obvious that the publishing industry has undergone a seismic shift in recent times, and many of us will have experienced this upheaval first-hand. We've seen unprecedented global mergers and acquisitions, and the demise of established sector stalwarts.

Without dwelling on the doom and gloom, reports suggest that from June 2014 to June 2015, 128 publishing houses went out of business in the UK. This is an increase of 58% from the previous year, and similar trends are seen the world over. In the USA, the liquidation of Borders Group in 2011 meant that top publishers were owed many millions of dollars. These are challenging times, that's for sure. (Source: Moore Stephens)

A fascinating yet understandable side-effect of this volatility has been the increasingly cautious approach of larger publishers. The global financial crash of 2007-2008 has left many industries reeling and, while recovery is ongoing, large enterprises are covering their backs and adopting a more tentative approach. Publishing has been hit by an economic crisis, the digital revolution and a massive change in consumer habits all at once. This is enough to send even the bravest business mogul running for the hills.

And yet, smaller independent publishers are still pushing boundaries and driving the industry forward with supreme innovation. Digital technology has facilitated this but, arguably, so too has the reluctance of larger publishers to take risks on authors, titles and markets.

A window of opportunity

What we've seen in recent times is major publishing firms favouring derivative content, sequels and established authors over less certain projects. More than ever before, it's about sure-fire hits and guaranteed break evens. Some commentators lament a loss of variety, claiming that treading water is not what the industry needs at this testing time. California-based literary agent, Janet Kobobel Grant, shared her thoughts in an article on this very topic in 2015:

"If that trend-starter doesn't get published, publishers will end up competing for the same authors and the same topics – the sure bets. Then, the only way an author or agent can decide which publishing house to go with is through the size of the advance. Because, suddenly, all the publishers look alike. That's part of the fallout of not taking risks with what is acquired. Because each publishing house not only will be risk averse in what it chooses to publish but also in experimenting with new marketing ideas and figuring out new sales channels. Risk aversion, once it sets in, permeates a publishing house." (Source: booksandsuch.com)

However, it could be argued that this is merely a temporary consolidation period. Adapt, survive, and move forwards thereafter. When this transition phase is over, we may see the larger publishers moving again to more interesting areas in terms of technology, products, authors and stories. By this point, niche independent publishers will have built strong lists and loyal audiences, and they'll be in a position to thrive by themselves, or attract acquisition and partnership interest from the big guys.

But how exactly are smaller publishers making such inroads? In many cases, they're going back to the constants and the unmovable philosophies. What cannot be quenched is the human thirst for great stories. That will never change, and is as true for education publishing as it is for entertainment. Independent publishing houses have a renewed focus on this and have benefited as a result. Furthermore, smaller operations can be much closer to their authors, who can help develop an effective marketing strategy for each title. I spoke to Caroline Goldsmithat Red Button Publishing about how they've benefited from the current industry landscape:

"I think it's generally easier for small publishers to take a risk on something. They can move quicker and the stakes are lower. They don't have the overheads or, in some cases, shareholders to be concerned about. I suppose the main example of this, for us, would be 'The Human Script' by Johnny Rich, which was our first book. Despite meeting with literary acclaim from people like Tom McCarthy and Ian McEwan, and having representation from a major agent, the book failed to find a publisher in the early 2000s – possibly because it is a hard book to categorize. We knew it was brilliant and knew we had to get it out there."

Unsurprisingly, structures and processes can limit a juggernaut's ability to adapt. Amid such change, publishers must change workforce skills balances, supplier contracts, production lines, sales targets and much more besides. This all takes time, and there are many difficult decisions to make along the way; redundancies, enterprise systems, marketing budgets and so on.

Digital's role

Digital has helped some grow, yet ushered in the downfall of others. A digital-first publishing approach requires less initial budget and less risk, and therefore greater opportunity to experiment. Undoubtedly, smaller publishers have thrived in an arena that allows them to publish work without the print-run investment.Furthermore, digital technology has enabled them to reach new audiences and promote work across social, search, online communities, and influencer blogs. Marketing online is open to all, and these publishers compete on different battlegrounds to those investing thousands on billboards and TV ads.

Larger publishers, although widely embracing digital media, were not set up to adapt immediately. For the most established publishing houses, it's a more gradual transition to adopting digital not only in their products, but in their sales and marketing. Although he disagrees with the notion that publishers are risk-averse, CEO of Simon & Schuster, Carolyn Reidy, said in a 2012 interview with Digital Book World:

"People have shrunk their lists a bit because the marketing of books is more difficult today. There's much more competition in the media. A lot of the old media we used – book reviews, television shows, etc. – there's a lot less attention placed on books (as books, not as an industry), than there was before. Digital is very complicated and it's much harder. There is no sure leverage yet in the digital world. We do ask our publishers to have a very clear idea of how they're going to publish what they purchase." 

In 2014, Simon & Schuster followed HarperCollins in joining digital services Oyster [IPA note: Oyster was absorbed by Google in September 2015] and Scribd, suppliers of books to readers' digital devices for a monthly subscription fee. Macmillan struck a deal for a thousand eBooks in 2015, and other large publishers will likely follow suit. The fact that these two start-ups secured three of the big five publishing houses highlights where innovation can forge a path in the industry, and shows how technology brings opportunity to everyone. The readers are still out there, but publishers are now able to find them in new and exciting ways.

Summary

I would argue that, albeit a short-term frustration, the risk-averse approach of major publishing groups is a necessary and positive thing for the industry in the long-run. It enables publishing houses to stay afloat and opens up gaps for new and innovative publishers to make their mark. After this consolidation period, larger publishers will take note of others that are growing and push for a more agile and exciting outlook, incorporating technology more fluidly into their products and overall operations.

Publishing is a battered but resolute industry that's simultaneously grappling with the digital revolution, shifting consumer habits and a worldwide economic downturn. But publishers are sticking at it and there are plenty of forward-thinking and innovative individuals entering the sector as apprentices, graduates, executives and business owners. This is still an industry in which bright people can thrive.

Furthermore, compelling content will always be written by the myriad of great storytellers in our world; in fiction, non-fiction, education and everywhere else. This will remain a constant, as will the insatiable demand for novelty from readers. Whilst a more cautious approach may slow the global impact of unknown titles and topics, it provides an opportunity for smaller publishers to purchase incredible pieces of work, expand their audience and grow their business. In turn, this creates a more vibrant and energetic industry for future generations.

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are those of the author and their publication does not imply endorsement by the IPA

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Since forever, publishers have been criticised.

It's all part of the job. Publishers are ripping off authors. Publishers are maltreating booksellers. Publishers publish tosh. Publishers don't take enough risks. Publishers spend too little on marketing. Publishers don't understand their market. Publishers are Luddites. In short, publishers are incompetent. What's more, they make obscenely large profits.

In addition, publishing is being attacked at the very core of its business. Governments attempting to control the expression of unfavourable opinion. Technology giants dismissing copyright as an obstacle to progress (or to their commercial interests). Bureaucracies tinkering in order to make intellectual property law more attuned to the digital age. Threats to academic publishing from commercial entities purporting to be charities and purloining publishers' and authors' content for their own purposes. Threats to educational publishing through new interpretations of fair use in libraries and schools and the desire of education ministers to control textbooks. Threats to general book publishers from monopolistic distributors. I could go on, but I will spare you.

The world of international publishing is gathering in London from the 9th-12th April to debate these and many other issues, at the International Publishers Congress, (sponsored by the Sharjah Book Authority, Nielsen, and CPI) organised by the PA, the London Book Fair and the IPA itself, and running into LBF. The list of speakers is formidable, including: Philip Pullman; Alaa Al Aswany; Arnaud Nourry; Elif Shafak; James Daunt; Richard Malka, lawyer at Charlie Hebdo; Francis Gurry, director general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation; John Whittingdale, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport; and many more.

Not only is this an opportunity for publishers to sharpen up their understanding of the current state of play in our industry, it is, crucially, an opportunity for us to show that we are not what some people think we are. This is a stage to advertise that we are a flexible, forward-looking, author-supporting, investing, tax-paying, global industry.

This is the first time the Congress has been held in London since 1988. Back then in parallel with the Congress, Ernest Hecht (now OBE) produced a wonderful catalogue of events celebrating independent publishing with many great articles by the likes of Alan Bennett, Michael Foot and Donald Sinden. Much has changed since then but I couldn't help feeling that this ode to the joy of independent publishing by the inimitable Roger Straus of Farrar, Straus and Giroux still resonates:

Imagine not having to have power breakfasts,
Not having to have lunches with MBAs,
Not having to have planning conferences on a secluded island,
Not having to fake the balance sheet,
Not having to fire a literary editor who hasn't produced this season –
These are some of the joys

I know that everyone's time and money are precious but please don't miss this opportunity to show solidarity with our industry. We have delegates from right around the world. We should shout as loudly as we can for British publishing as well as for our international colleagues. The more UK publishers that sign up at www.ipacongress.com, the louder our voice is, the better we can welcome our guests and the more effective we are. The sooner you register, the better we can plan and the more we can offer.

I look forward to seeing you all, including authors, librarians, booksellers, printers, literary agents, software developers, collecting societies, wholesalers and e-tailers. Everyone in our industry is welcome but, for once, let's hear it for the publishers!

Acknowledgements: This blog post was originally written for and published by The Bookseller, which kindly gave the IPA permission to republish it here.

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A book is not a product like any other. Recognising this, France has had a Fixed Book Price (FBP) law since 1981. We're not alone; FBP exists in Argentina, Austria, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea and Spain.

In countries without FBP, there's a perception that FBP is anti-competitive. The concept of price fixing tends to imply cartels, which invariably spell bad news for consumers. But with FBP, the main idea is not to prevent competition. It is rather to increase it, by creating a level playing field for all retailers, thus avoiding the dominance of a single actor.

Today, in countries without FBP, the book chain is dominated by supermarkets and Internet retailers. They can afford to instigate price wars, offering big discounts on new releases and bestsellers on the "loss leader" principle.

In France, retailers can only grant a maximum discount of 5% to consumers. Booksellers compete not on price, therefore, but in terms of the variety of books they offer, their location and the quality of their customer service.

Which system works better in practice? Let's consider three metrics:

1.Diversity of booksellers

librairie-simone-thomasIn the UK, one third of independent bookstores have closed during the last 10 years. The US has lost half of its booksellers in the last 20 years. There are 1,900 booksellers in the US today. To put that in perspective, there are 2,500 booksellers in France, with a population five times smaller.

A strong, diverse network of independent bookstores has allowed France to maintain exceptional cultural diversity in book purchases. Booksellers' expertise and personalised advice lets readers discover new authors and breathes life into publishers' back lists.

2. Diversity of titles

Because aggressive discounting of popular new releases is impossible, France doesn't have the a big phenomenon of "best-sellerization". In 2005, the top 20 best-sellers in the book sector represented just 1.7% of the sales in value; whereas they represented 16% of the market in the UK.

3. Affordability

In France, the book remains a non-expensive product: the average price is 11€ (the price of a cinema ticket in Paris). Between 1998 and 2008, book prices increased half as much as the consumer price index

In the UK, since 1995, prices have decreased on best-sellers, i.e. 1% of the titles. But prices have increased by over 50% for all other titles, outstripping the cost of living (up 28%) and creating a sort of two-speed market.

Fixed book price in the digital age

In 2011, France extended fixed book prices to e-books, to avoid the nascent e-book market being dominated by giant internet retailers. Those web giants are not booksellers. They want to shift bestsellers.

In countries where aggressive discounting of e-books is permitted, what happens? Through selling e-books at a loss, Amazon obtained a US market share of 90% by 2009. Last summer's Hachette dispute revealed that Amazon had a 60% market share of their e-book titles in the US and 78% share in the UK.

When you have a few dominant retailers, one dangerous consequence is their tendency to delist publishers' books either for censorship or commercial reasons. During a fight over discounts with Hachette US and Bonnier Germany, Amazon withdrew those publishers' titles from sale. Apple recently banned French-Belgian comic e-books, and a work by Denmark's largest publisher Gyldendal, due to the presence of nudity.

When a handful of retailers control markets, they can shut down reader access to ideas and culture. Fixed book price ensures that all retailers have the same access to the offer of e-books and makes it easy for new players to enter the market.


Why do we believe in Fixed Book Price?

A broad and diverse distribution chain ensures the equality of access to books. It produces affordable prices for readers. It enables exceptional cultural diversity, boosting discoverability and allowing publishers to monetise their entire catalogues.

In France we believe that "there are no books without booksellers". Haitian-Canadian author Dany Lafferière puts it another way: "If a bookseller closes, it is the heartbeat of a city that stops."

Fixed Book Price has worked wonders in France. We invite all publishers and book industry professionals to reflect on our experience. Don't wait until all the booksellers have disappeared.

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