Recent developments in the discussions around the proposed Geo-blocking Regulation in the European Parliament committees are a cause for great concern for the book industry. In a joint letter sent by EIBF & FEP to all IMCO MEPs, the book industry reiterates its request to exclude non-audiovisual copyrighted-content from the scope of the regulation. The letter also draws MEP’s attention to some very important clarifications regarding the technicalities of e-book sales by booksellers, which so far, seem to be have been very often ignored or misunderstood.
Following MEP Thun’s report on geo-blocking, EIBF and the European Association of Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) expose their views in a joint letter to the MEPs relevant to the dossier.
Both organisations advocate for keeping “services providing access to and use of copyright protected works or other protected subject matter” outside of the scope of the regulation on geo-blocking. They further underline the need for setting the review clause to five years after the entry into effect of the regulation, rather than the two years initially proposed, as this would allow to have more accurate data on the evolution of the e-book market.
Finally, EIBF and IMPALA proposed amendments to the Commission’s proposal in the best interest of their respective sectors’ jobs and investment.
The full text of the letter and of the amendments can be found below.
Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education overwhelmingly voted in favour of Maltese MEP Therese Comodini Cachia’s Draft Opinion yesterday. The Opinion’s objective is to to inform the main responsible Committee (“Internal Market and Consumer Protection” – IMCO) about the possible implications of the legislation can have on the cultural industries.
Among other things, the report highlighted that:
- Cultural Goods and Services are unique and therefore cannot be treated the same way as traditional goods and services
- The principle of territoriality is absolutely essential for Europe’s copyright system
- The proposal could potentially lead to many negative developments such as reducing consumer choice, putting cultural diversity in jeopardy as well as unifying the prices upwards.
The Statement specifically highlights e-Books as products of a nascent and sensitive market which could be shattered by an ill-advised legislation forcing small and medium-sized enterprises to sell to the whole of the EU.
EIBF is a member of Creativity Works, a coalition of the representatives of the European creative and cultural sectors.
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or + 32 475 40 32 34
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.
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
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
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
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.
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