The EU Commission will by no means discuss fixed book prices as part of negotiations relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), even if US negotiators bring up the matter themselves. Following the suggestion of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association), EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has now clarified this position in a written reply. According to Malmström, national book price-fixing systems – such as Germany’s Buchpreisbindungsgesetz (Fixed Book Price Law), which applies to both printed and electronic books – will in no way be affected by the planned TTIP trade agreement. This means, for example, that even US-American eBook platforms will be legally obliged to adhere to retail prices determined by German publishers when selling German-language eBooks to customers based in Germany. It also means that any non-compliance with this obligation can be prohibited in an effective manner.
As Börsenverein Managing Director Alexander Skipis noted, “For German and European book markets, the official confirmation from the EU Commission that fixed book prices will form no part of TTIP negotiations is a tremendous step forward. It means that we were successful in enforcing our central concern with regard to the ongoing trade-agreement negotiations. Our thanks go out to EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström as well as to Germany’s Minister of Economics Sigmar Gabriel and Monika Grütters, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, all of whom supported the book industry on this point. The Börsenverein will continue to follow the further course of negotiations with great interest.”
Book price fixing in Germany has been regulated by law since 2002. This law acts as a guarantor of quality and diversity on the book market. Germany has the world’s second largest book market and – with its delicate book-trade structures and multifaceted publishing landscape – profits considerably from this law. Fixed book prices also result in the average price of books being clearly lower than in countries without such regulations.
After several months of contemplation, the Börsenverein has filed a formal complaint against audiobook retailer Audible at the Federal Cartel Office in Bonn in late August.
Opening reception of the photo exhibition: 14 Oct., 12 noon, Hall 4.0, foyer
Winners of the European Union Prize for Literature 2015 (EUPL) at the official award ceremony in Brussels, June 2015. photo: copyright: Philippe Molitor (gleamlight.com)
The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) is a unique award: 37 countries take part in the Prize, with each one selecting a winner every three years, on a rotation basis. This year’s twelve winners – selected by national juries – were announced by the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, in April.
Now the Prize enters the spotlight at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest gathering of the literary trade. It is an opportunity for the Prize, and this year’s winners, to become known to a wider audience. Visitors to the Frankfurt Book Fair (14-18 October) will find a photo exhibition showcasing the 2015 winners in the foyer of Hall 4.0 (on the left-hand side as you enter from the Agora), and on 14 October, at the opening reception for the photo exhibition at midday, a new ‘Friends of EUPL’ initiative will be discussed.Read more
Much to the astonishment of the Book Community, the Film and Literature Board of Review in New Zealand prohibited the sale and distribution of Mr. Dawe’s book under penalty of a fine up to 10 000 Euro.
EIBF Co-Presidents Fabian Paagman and Jean-Luc Treutenaere are delighted to congratulate their colleague Co-President Kyra Dreher and all German winners of this year’s German Booksellers Prize, announced yesterday at the Awards Ceremony in Frankfurt.Read more