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UK book industry unites for ‘Save Our Books’ copyright campaign

In the UK, publishing industry organisations have launched a campaign against mooted changes to copyright laws they claim would lead to a flood of cheap copies of UK books coming back into the home market, reports Publishing Perspectives.

The Save Our Books campaign, co-organised by the Publishers Association (PA), Society of Authors, Association of Authors’ Agents and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, is in response to news the Boris Johnson government is ‘reconsidering the United Kingdom’s approach to copyright and trade following Brexit’.

According to the PA, the Intellectual Property Office has launched a consultation ‘which considers a weakening of copyright rules crucial for exporting books around the world and ensuring that UK authors benefit financially from the sales’.

The industry fears that the weakened copyright laws will mean that once a copy of a book is sold into an export market, it could be sold back into the UK from overseas, with the revenue for that book’s resale going to the buyer of that copy, not to the original copyright holder(s). Author royalties on export sales are much lower than in the UK market, so if authors can’t prevent their copies from around the world being sold back into the UK, export sales risk eroding domestic sales.

Publishers Association CEO Stephen Lotinga said: ‘This is a critical moment and the biggest threat to our industry post-Brexit. The strength of the UK’s copyright laws is key to ensuring authors and publishers are paid for their work. Weakening these laws would be devastating to authors’ income and the wider UK book industry, resulting in fewer books, by fewer authors, for fewer readers. It’s vital that everyone who values this country’s literary future calls on the government to Save Our Books.’

To view the Save Our Books campaign website, click here.


Category: International news