The IPA's monthly newsletter provides insight into the global publishing industry.

IPA Newsletter, March 2014

Insight and analysis for publishers, worldwide

In this month's newsletter

Two contrasting national markets come under the spotlight as we examine the conditions for publishing in Japan and Kenya. We interview Ala' Alsallal, a Jordanian entrepreneur who has built the Middle East's largest online bookstore. We report on Apple's censorship of a French novel, and our "app of the month" shows how technology can enhance the reading experience. We encourage you to share the newsletter with friends and colleagues; they can subscribe by clicking here


Copyright: no changes to US law (just yet)

Publishers shouldn't expect changes to US copyright law in 2014, according to Jerrold Nadler, who sits on the Congressional Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. Speaking at the Association of American Publishers' meeting in New York, Mr Nadler revealed the committeee was holding hearings on fair use and the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, but that progress was slow: "I don't think we're going to do major legislation this year - maybe next year."

There is a detailed account of Mr Nadler's intervention here.

IPA country reports: Japan and Kenya

We have two new country reports this month, on Japan and Kenya. Norio Yamamoto, CEO of Chuokeizai-sha Inc provided updated sales figures for print and ebooks, revealing how the sector is changing. Lawrence Njagi, Chairman of the Kenya Publishers Association, briefed us on the growth opportunities in ebooks and education publishing, as well as the challenges (piracy, VAT etc) which Kenyan publishers face. 

Access our reports: Japan, Kenya.

Simon & Schuster CEO: Publishers need to change the conversation

Also speaking at the AAP meeting was Carolyn Reidy, who called for "a new type of discussion about publishing". Rather than speculating about whether the industry will survive in its current form, publishers should be "seizing unprecedented opportunities for transforming the nature of the book, for disseminating information and for distributing content". 

There is more from Carolyn's speech here.  

The irresistable rise of

Launched three years ago by young entrepreneur Ala' Alsallal, is now the largest online bookstore for Arabic and English books in the Middle East, offering more than 10 million titles and better prices and shorter delivery times than Amazon. We spoke to Ala' about how he's managed it, and about how book buying habits are changing in the region.

Read our interview with Ala' here.

Popcorn Time: When piracy goes open-source, rights holders beware

A website termed the "Netflix for Piracy" has taken on a life of its own, even after its creators closed it down. Popcorn Time allows free access to thousands of films by streaming content as BitTorrent files. The site's software has now been made open-source, meaning that anyone can use, adapt and host it. Analyst Mark Mulligan comments that "the next stage of piracy, and one rights holders need to be really worried about, is when the pirates start behaving like the rest of the internet and start making great user experiences". At the last count, Popcorn Time had been translated into 32 languages,

More details here.


Apple bans French novel over "inappropriate" cover 

The IPA has expressed serious concern about Apple's decision to ban the sale of a French novel because of its cover art. La Femme, a work by Bénédicte Martin which tackles women's political and sexual emancipation, was withdrawn from Apple's online store this week. The book's cover, which features an image of a naked woman whose lower torso is a knife blade, was judged "inappropriate". IPA Freedom to Publish Chairman Ola Wallin described Apple's decision as "absurd and dangerous. It's one thing to have a code of morals, another to try and impose it on the rest of the world".

Learn more, and view the offending cover, here.

Meet the IPA Freedom to Publish Prize nominees

The 2014 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize will be presented on April 8th at the London Book Fair, The short list can now be revealed - click on a name to learn the inspiring story behind each nominee  

App of the month: Bookspotting

With reading habits shifting online and onto portable devices, a new app has launched which uses GPS technology to tell book-lovers if they're near classic scenes from literature. Bookspotting, developed by Publishing Scotland and tech firm Spot Specific, shows how publishers can exploit both mobile technology and the rise in cultural tourism. 

Read the BBC's article here.



"What Works" on education policies, resources and technologies

Everyone concerned with education wants to improve results, but what combination of policy, pedagogy, content and technology works best? The IPA's second "What Works" conference takes place on Thursday 10th April at the Earls Court Conference Centre, as part of The London Book Fair. The meeting brings together policy makers, international agencies, academics, teachers, publishers and technology advocates for a day of debate and analysis, designed to identify ‘what works’.

Speakers include WIPO Director-General Francis Gurry, IPA President Youngsuk 'YS' Chi and experts from The World Bank, Oxford University Press, European Commission, Microsoft, OECD and many more. Full details and registrations are available here 


In next month's newsletter... 

If there is a publishing market, topic, company or personality that you'd like the IPA to profile, please contact Dougal Thomson at

Get publishing news, as it happens 

The IPA's social media channels are designed to quickly inform publishers about developments that will impact them. You can follow us on Twitter here, on LinkedIn here and on Facebook here


Japan's book business

Free books, disounting and VAT hikes are all hurting publishers, with print sales down 2%. Access our new country report here.


Publishing in Kenya

This fast-growing economy has a lively publishing scene. We break down the market challenges and opportunities here.



Learn how Harry Potter inspired the birth of the Middle East's largest online bookstore, in our interview with Ala' Alsallal. Click here.

Apple's ban of a French novel because of its cover art raises real concerns over publishing freedom. Full story here.

Here's why Bookspotting is our App of the Month.
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