Françoise Nyssen, in charge of one of the most prestigious French publishing houses has been able to prove that a policy of editorial quality pays off and is the best option for achieving both popular & economic success. “We are delighted that this female entrepreneur, deeply rooted in reality and in issues at stake in the book sector will be leading cultural policies in the next years” said SDLC
Read below the SDLC’s press release
EIBF is very happy to join its French Members in their warm congratulations to Françoise Nyssen, appointed Minister for Culture by President Emmanuel Macron. Not only is she a committed and successful quality publisher, but also a strong supporter of independent bookshops who has always advocated for the dissemination of culture to the benefit of all. Read below the SLF’s press release
The European and International Booksellers Federation – EIBF – and the Federation of European Publishers – FEP – have read with interest the Commission’s Mid-Term Review of the Digital Single Market, published just over two years after the strategy was launched in 2015.
The EIBF and the FEP fully support the aims and objectives of the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy: A single market truly fit for the digital age, to the benefit of businesses and consumers alike. The book sector is embracing the digital revolution, with a growing number of booksellers and publishers making e-books available to consumers domestically as well as across borders.
However, although the ambitions underpinning the Digital Single Market are both welcome and admirable, they should not cloud our judgment of how best to achieve its aims.
With inter-institutional negotiations (the Trilogue) on the proposal to address unjustified geo-blocking set to commence shortly, the book industry reiterates its concerns about the inclusion by the European Parliament of non-audiovisual copyright protected content, such as e-books, in the scope of the Regulation, and calls on the Council and the Commission to maintain their original stance of non-inclusion.
On a nascent market, the profitability of which still has to be demonstrated, forcing traders to offer e-books across borders would give rise to legal uncertainties, require investments that few can afford, and many SMEs could be forced to exit the e-book market. Far from opening up the single market to consumers, this would be highly detrimental to cultural diversity and consumer choice in the EU.
EIBF co-Presidents Fabian Paagman and Jean-Luc Treutenaere commented: “Our companies are present on the e-book market, selling e-books respectively in the Netherlands and in Flemish-speaking Belgium, and in France & in French-speaking Belgium, in spite of the fact that it is not a profitable activity, at least for the moment. Every business aims to grow and bookselling is no exception, with the right infrastructural conditions and if consumers’ demand reaches a critical mass to make the business sustainable”.
Likewise, recent debates on the Directive on Copyright in the Single Market have been a cause for concern for our sector. The legislative proposal published on 5th September 2017 addressed a number of issues likely to affect the book world such as exceptions for text and data mining, illustration for teaching and preservation, or licensing solutions for out of commerce works. The text is now being discussed in the Parliament and the Council. For the book sector, it is paramount that the provisions of the future legislation provide for incentives to the new business models developed by the industry. With e-books, players are continually inventing new ways of letting consumers access their favourite reads, and this needs to be encouraged.
FEP President Henrique Mota said, “The future is bright for the book sector especially as we are constantly developing new ways to access and read books. With e-books, I would be tempted to say that the sky is the limit. We are working with the legislators so that the text adopted will support innovation”.
EIBF and FEP are keen to pursue their dialogue with decision makers involved in the Trilogue(s) between the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, for the promotion of the rich European literary heritage and to the benefit of European consumers choice.
About EIBF & FEP
EIBF – The European & International Booksellers Federation represents the interests of the bookselling industry. Its Members are National Booksellers Associations in the European Union and beyond. Their Members, in turn, are all kinds of booksellers: brick and mortar, online retailers, independents and chains.
FEP – The Federation of European Publishers represents 28 national Publishers Associations from the European Union and the European Economic Area. The turnover of book publishers in 2016 reached 22, 5 billion euro. The more than 29.000 European publishing houses have published in 2015 some 575.000 new titles, a testimony of their role promoting culture and knowledge. FEP is the voice of European books and journals publishers in Europe.
For further information, please contact:
EIBF Director Fran Dubruille (firstname.lastname@example.org or +32 475 40 32 34)
or FEP Director Anne Bergman (email@example.com or +32 477 33 65 76)
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.
Click here to read EIBF & FEP joint letter sent to IMCO MEPs
After a complaint filed by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association (Börsenverein) and by the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland, Amazon has finally decided to stop putting so-called “parity clauses” (aka. MFN clauses) in its contracts, which obliged publishers to inform Amazon if they were to offer retailers better terms than to the American giant, and subsequently to offer the same improved terms to them. Such clauses posed a direct threat to healthy competition in the e-book sector and subsequently to the quality and quantity of books on offer in bookshops. Amazon’s decision is therefore a huge victory for the book sector and for the European culture at large.
The European Commission is now asking members of the e-book sector to provide feedback on whether Amazon’s commitments are sufficient enough to restore healthy competition to the market.
The news came only days after a subsidiary of Amazon, Audible – following yet another complaint by the Börsenverein – has given up on its problematic exclusivity deals with Apple concerning audio-books.
The Commission’s Press Release The Börsenverein’s Press Release
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.
You can read the full Statement here
EIBF is a member of Creativity Works, a coalition of the representatives of the European creative and cultural sectors.
“Making the Booksellers visible in Europe” is the title of the article in the October issue of Boekblad, the Dutch magazine specialised on the book trade. The article explains in detail how the book sector has to continuously reinvent itself to keep up with competitors, adding that publishers and booksellers play an indispensable role not only in the European economy but also in the cultural and intellectual life of the EU citizens.
Click here to read the article in PDF format