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EIBF press release on the ECJ judgment regarding e-Lending

Brussels, 10.11.2016

THE EUROPEAN & INTERNATIONAL BOOKSELLERS FEDERATION DENOUNCES THE JUDGEMENT OF THE COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ON E-LENDING

The EIBF – European & International Booksellers Federation – has taken note of the judgment handed down by the ECJ with the greatest concern.

Assimilating e-lending to the lending of physical books is a very dangerous decision which does not take into account the economic reality of the book chain and is likely to lead to serious disruptions on the nascent e-book market.

Booksellers have committed themselves wholeheartedly to e-bookselling, in order to be able to offer readers the possibility to read what they want, when they want, and in the format of their choice. Today, between 70% and 87% of booksellers are present on the e-book market, especially on the leading language markets such as those of Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain.

However, the e-book market is still a very uncertain one and at the present time, no retailer can claim that selling e-books and e-readers on national markets is a profitable activity.

For centuries, the activities of selling and lending have been able to co-exist and strengthen each other to the mutual benefit of both communities and readers. Things have changed recently with the emergence of e-books and e-readers. The book chain has been working at solutions which are sustainable for authors, publishers and booksellers while guaranteeing a healthy and diverse offer to consumers, and this should be continued.

European libraries are a great asset for consumers and play a major part in the promotion of literacy and cultural life more generally. Booksellers very much value the crucial role of public libraries. The common objective of booksellers and libraries is to put books into the hands of readers so bookshops and libraries play complementary roles in the community.

However this can only be possible if the eco-system of the book sector, a chain of interdependencies where all members are dependent on each other, is fully respected for the ultimate benefit of readers.

EIBF looks forward to continuing to work in that direction, along with the book chain and European decision-makers.

For further information please contact EIBF Director, Fran Dubruille

fran@europeanbooksellers.eu or + 32 475 40 32 34

You can read the press release in PDF format here.

Public consultation on reduced VAT rates for electronic publications – EIBF Contribution

Between the 25th of July and the 19th of September, the European Commission conducted a consultation under the title “reduced VAT rates for electronically supplied publications”, since these publications are still taxed at a standard VAT rate compared to printed books and newspapers which can enjoy a reduced rate (but higher than 5%) or a super-reduced rate (under 5%).

The Commission is committed to create a legislative proposal that would allow Member states to apply  to electronically supplied publications the same VAT rates that Member States can currently apply to printed publications. The objective of the consultation was to invite the public, businesses and representative organisations to share their views on the proposal and its elements. Together with its members, EIBF has contributed an opinion to express the stance of booksellers on creating a fairer taxation system for electronically supplied publications.

Read EIBF’s full contribution

PETITION FOR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: #FreeWordsTurkey – THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT AND THE EU COMMISSION MUST TAKE A STAND ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN TURKEY

The German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels e.V.), the PEN Centre Germany (PEN-Zentrum Deutschland) and Reporters Without Borders (Reporter ohne Grenzen e.V.) call on the German federal government and the EU Commission to make an uncompromising commitment to freedom of expression in Turkey / Online petition at www.change.org/freewordsturkey_en Federal Chancellery lit up with campaign message

FreeWordsTurkey - Pressebild

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LA CAPITALE MONDIALE DU LIVRE 2018 NOMMEE PAR L’UNESCO CE 22 JUIN 2016 – EIBF REITERE L’IMPORTANCE NON NEGOCIABLE DE LA LIBERTE D’EXPRESSION

C’est ce 22 juin 2016 que l’UNESCO devrait dévoiler le nom de la ville désignée Capitale mondiale du livre 2018 ; un choix qui devrait tenir compte des recommandations de l’association internationale des éditeurs (IPA) et la fédération internationale des associations de libraires (IFLA).

Egalement membre du comité de sélection depuis 2002, l’EIBF (et précédemment IBF) a en effet annoncé sa décision de démissionner, effective ce jour.Read more

UNESCO WORLD BOOK CAPITAL CITY TO BE APPOINTED ON 22 JUNE 2016 – EIBF REITERATES THE NEED OF A FULL RESPECT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

On 22 June, Unesco, with the help of an Advisory Committee composed of the IPA, International Publishers Federation and IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations, will appoint World Book Capital – WBC – 2018.

EIBF (and formerly IBF) was Member of the Selection Committee since 2002 and has taken the decision to step down from its position in the Committee.Read more

BOOKSELLERS AND PUBLISHERS LETTER TO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION ABOUT DISAPPEARED PUBLISHERS & BOOKSELLERS

Your Excellency Chief Executive Leung

We, the undersigned free expression advocacy, publishing, and bookselling organizations, write to express our deep concern over the forced disappearances and detentions of four Hong Kong residents and a Chinese-born Swedish national associated with the Mighty Current publishing house. We urge your government to do everything in its power to investigate these cases and demand the release of Cheung Chi-ping, Gui Minhai, Lam Wing-kee, Lee Bo, and Lui Por, who are confirmed to be detained by mainland Chinese police.

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STATEMENT OF CONCERN ABOUT DISAPPEARANCE OF HONG KONG BOOKSELLERS

The American Booksellers Association (ABA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Authors Guild (AG), the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), and PEN American Center (PEN) wish to express their extreme concern over news reports about the disappearance of five employees of a Hong Kong publishing company, Mighty Current, and its bookstore, the Causeway Bay Bookstore.  According to these reports, four of the employees disappeared in October, including the bookstore manager.  A fifth employee, Lee Bo, was reported missing last week.  Mighty Current is well-known for publishing books critical of the Chinese leadership.  Mighty Current books are sold by the thousands at the Hong Kong airport and other locations, including the company bookstore in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay neighborhood.  They are particularly popular with tourists from mainland China, where the books are banned.Read more

European Commission’s consultation on the regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy – EIBF Contribution

Between 06.05.2015 and 30.12.2015, the European Commission conducted a consultation on the topic “regulatory environment for platforms, online intermediaries, data and cloud computing and the collaborative economy”, Stakeholders were invited to answer a questionnaire, to which the EIBF has contributed an opinion expressing the stance of the booksellers on the preferable improvements on the online regulatory environment.

Read EIBF’s full contribution here

European Commission’s consultation on geo-blocking and other geographically-based restrictions when shopping and accessing information in the EU – EIBF Contribution

Between the 24th of September and the 28th of December, 2015, the European Commission conducted a public consultation on “Geo-Blocking and Other Geographically-Based Restrictions When Shopping and Accessing Information in the EU”. Since Geo-blocking is a highly important and sensitive area for booksellers, the EIBF has contributed with an opinion on the geographically-based restrictions consumers face when shopping online.

Read EIBF’s full contribution

The European Commission’s consultation on modernising VAT for cross-border e-commerce – EIBF Contribution

From 25.09.2015 to 18.12.2015,  the European Commission conducted a public consultation on the modernisation of VAT systems for cross-border e-commerce. Business and representative organisations were invited to contribute to this consultation with an emphasis on those with an expertise in the taxation field. The EIBF together with its members, contributed to the enquiry by expressing the view of booksellers about cross-border e-commerce and the role of VAT modernisation.

Read EIBF’s full contribution