24th March 2015
The Publishers Association is today writing to all UK MEPs to raise concerns about the damage that would be inflicted on the UK’s publishing sector and wider creative economy by the European Commission’s plans to reform copyright as part of the Digital Single Market programme.
The PA is telling MEPs that by building on its heritage of developing and harnessing new technology, publishing is one of the success stories of the digital age. As well as the direct economic benefits from the publishing sector, it underpins excellence in academic research and contributes to educational attainment, with the enjoyment and engagement with books long being a hallmark of Europe’s cultural tradition.
For publishing, the digital single market is already a reality with publishers licensing rights from authors on a pan-European basis, indeed increasingly often on a global basis.
- Academic publishing is engaged in collaboration across the global research community in new technologies like data and text mining coupled with the Open Access publishing of scholarly journals.
- Consumer publishers are ensuring that authors’ works are available in whatever format and whichever platforms consumers require; delivering digital access on a European basis.
- Education publishers are maintaining educational excellence and ensuring that any cross-border needs are met.
Commenting, Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of The Publishers Association, said:
“We are concerned that EU policy-makers appear to believe that a fully-functioning digital single market is dependent on copyright reform – but publishers’ experience tells a different story. The inherent flexibility of copyright law has been instrumental in allowing our industry to adapt to, and drive, the changing digital landscape, creating jobs, growth and investment.
“It is the framework that ensures authors can get paid and maintain a say over how their work is used, whilst allowing consumers access to a choice of works across a variety of platforms at different price points.
“If there is a case to be built for reform it needs to be backed up by clear evidence that the current market arrangement is failing; but at the moment the debate just appears to be driven by those who have a commercial interest in calling for weaker copyright.
“We urge British MEPs to back a copyright framework which plays to Europe’s strengths and supports the long-term interests of European consumers and its cultural diversity.”
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