IPA Newsletter, March 2014
Insight and analysis for publishers, worldwide
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.
In this month's newsletter
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
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 Jamalon.com
Launched three years ago by young entrepreneur Ala' Alsallal, Jamalon.com 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...
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