Issues at stake for booksellers, Presentation by Tim Godfray, C.E.O. of the B.A. of U.K and Ireland, on behalf of EBF
BA urges government action to protect bookshops
04.10.11 | Lisa Campbell
High street bookshops need help from the government if their presence there is to continue, the c.e.o. of the Booksellers Association has said.
Tim Godfray called on the government to give rate relief to businesses with a cultural and educational value to maintain independent bookshops on high streets and protect “the wellbeing of society”. He also called on publishers to do more to support bricks and mortar booksellers.
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- Use objective sales information (UK sales only) to inform business decisions.
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EBF believes that any reform of the VAT system should take into account the following principles:
- The specific identity of the book, both commercial and cultural item, independently of its format
- The fact that VAT should be neutral in the cost structure of any business and be charged according to EU and national rules
- The necessity to implement tax policies supporting the ambitious objectives of the Digital Agenda and the EU 2020 strategy.
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On 24 May, EBF, FEP and EWC organized a reading in the library of the European Parliament with Noemi Szecsi, one of the winners of the European Union Prize for Literature 2009.
Noemi read in Hungarian, her native language and also in English. Ms Herczog underlined the importance of celebrating cultural and linguistic diversity and was delighted to see Noemi celebrated during the Hungarian Presidency of the EU
Hargreaves review of copyright welcomed by BA
The Booksellers Association (BA) today welcomed the conclusions and recommendations of Professor Hargreaves’ report, Digital Opportunity – A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, which correlates with the BA/European Booksellers Federation’s Statement of Principles on Copyright.
Sydney Davies (Head of Trade & Industry) said: “The BA and the bookselling industry have long supported innovation in e-commerce and digitisation. This report will create a solid framework, backed by the protection of intellectual property rights, around which there will be scope for further opportunities in the creation and dissemination of digital content. The Government should take forward these proposals as soon as possible to help underpin that opportunity.”
Of the report’s ten recommendations, the BA is especially pleased that Professor Hargreaves has ruled out a US style ‘Fair Use’ for copyright. The BA welcomes the proposal that the Government should set up a Digital Copyright Exchange; so too the need to give continuing support for the enforcement of copyright and, most importantly, that there should be legislation to enable Orphan Works to be licensed exactly along the lines the BA has been advocating.Read more
Although booksellers are not usually the rights holders, they support the concept of the enforcement of copyright as passionately as authors and publishers. Furthermore, in reason of the shift to digitization and new digital business models, booksellers will de facto guarantee the proper enforcement of copyright when they sell e-books and digital files to their customers, either in terrestrial shops or online.
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Although booksellers are not usually the rights holders, they support the concept of copyright as passionately as authors and publishers.
Books are being converted into digital formats and copyright is coming under greater pressure. Files of copyrighted material can easily be shared illegally. This will mean lost revenue not only for authors and publishers, but for booksellers as well.
Joint EBF and FEP Contribution to the European Commission Consultation on the future EU Culture Programme
The European Booksellers Federation (EBF) and the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) have sent a common answer in reply to the European Commission’s consultation on a new EU Culture Programme after 2013.
In their joint paper, EBF and FEP underline the importance of a healthy European book chain and suggest the creation of a European Book Office (“EBO”). EBO’s role would be to facilitate access to information on the Culture programme to the book chain. Essentially, the EBO would play a key role in promoting cultural diversity and European literature. Its mission would be make sure that the work of emerging authors celebrated by the EUPL, as well as high quality literature, would reach as many European citizens as possible, with the collaboration of authors, publishers and booksellers representatives.
In its contribution, EBF underlines that booksellers are both commercial entities, employing over half a million people in Europe, and cultural agents, providing the public with unbiased, reliable and informed advice and promoting literacy and reading – the fundamental basis of a knowledge society. Once more, EBF stresses the importance of a fair level field for commercial and non-commercial actors and of a relentless fight against piracy.
EBF lists 3 the priority actions for the next culture programme:
1. Support the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity
2. Support Exchange of Best Practices and Risk Taking
3. Support Innovation and Fight Piracy