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Paula Browning Speech at Educational Publishing Awards

By News Archive

A lot has happened in the publishing sector in the past 12 months, and a lot has happened in the education sector too, so if you’re an education publisher who’s working in both sectors you probably feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz being tossed around in a cyclone. We can only hope that 2014 will bring a degree of certainty into education and into publishing.

My hopes for the future of New Zealand’s education system were raised in July this year at the annual Nethui. Nethui – for those of you not familiar with it, is a three day conference that brings together organisations and individuals involved in Internet issues in New Zealand. The speech that shone out from all of the sessions I attended was given by a school principal. Not just any school principal, but Russell Burt – principal of Point England Primary in east Auckland and Convenor of the Manaiakalani School cluster. This cluster of schools is committed to growing digital citizenship for children in the Tamaki Community. Russell has been an educator for over 30 years and at Nethui spoke vehemently and passionately about “re-tooling schools”

By re-tooling he was referring to how schools can be re-engineered with Internet-based technologies to make learning more engaging and empowering. It is a challenging time for New Zealand schools to be attempting to embrace the adoption of digital everything. Education is a sector that is comfortable being analogue and is literally built – by which I mean the bricks and mortar – to deliver the outcomes it is mandated to achieve within four square walls that are focussed on display space for paper. Succeeding to bring about this degree of change in any sector requires leaders, champions, funding and determination. Succeeding to change the education sector requires all of this in bucket loads.

And where do publishers fit in to this evolving environment? How do you continue to compete in a world where content consumers think that Google can answer everything and that professionally produced material should be priced at close to zero? You can do that by being closer than ever to your customers and by constantly reviewing who your customers actually are. Are they individual teachers or Team Leaders or the librarian or the Head of Department or the curriculum lead in a cluster? Will the implementation of the Network for Learning (I’m assuming you all know what the N4L is?) change who you need to target? Do you need to change HOW you approach your customers? Maybe your social media presence needs to be stronger and the feedback you get from social media used for both further marketing and product development?

These challenges are not unique to publishing. They’re symptomatic of a world in which we now look online for everything and the very same world in which copyright is regularly a dirty word.

That leads me into an update on a particular matter that has been consuming most of my time and a lot of CLNZ’s resources in 2013 – our case against Universities New Zealand at the Copyright Tribunal. This time last year we were still optimistic that our months of meetings with the negotiating team from the universities would finally bear fruit and we would have a new license in place for the 2013 academic year and beyond. Our optimism was misplaced and the entrenched position of the universities left us with no option but to take the matter to the Tribunal. While the case proceeds, the universities continue to access your content at the old licence rate and this will now also carry over into 2014. There are some lessons to learn from our experience as we proceed with this case. Copyright is like the third cousin twice removed in the family that is Intellectual Property. If you want to be paid for and enforce your rights in a registered patent – you’ll find very little argument from the general consumer and a court system that will help you. If you’re the owner of a registered Trademark and your rights have been breached – same answer. But if you’re a copyright owner of creative content like books, movies and music – people who want to use your product are more often than not reluctant to pay for it at a price that’s fair and if you want to try to enforce your rights, it’s a long hard road through the so-called justice system. How do we try to overcome this negativity and reluctance? Well we’re starting at the top with the government and key members of the other political parties. In conjunction with PANZ, CLNZ is having a comprehensive report prepared on the economic value of the book sector in New Zealand. The stats from this report will be combined with those from the music, film & TV and games sectors to draw a picture of the New Zealand creative industries that will demonstrate the importance of creativity to the New Zealand economy. This is one way to help the whole sector to secure investment and a legislative framework that supports future growth from our creative industries.

I’d like to end with a short quote from Point England Principal, Russell Burt:

 “When essential aspects of learning are amalgamated and new media are used for the reception and delivery modes, the learner experience is completely different. It is more than possible to develop new learner agency, efficacy and leadership in learning. This journey to genuine citizenship will have three major hallmarks:

  • ubiquity – anywhere, anytime, any pace, any people learning
  • agency – the power to act -informed/empowered/enabled learners
  • connectedness – edgeless education, connected minds”

So that’s what the leader of a cluster of the lowest decile schools in New Zealand is aspiring to – is that what you as publishers of quality New Zealand education content are aspiring to?

New School Journal provider to mentor new Kiwi authors

By News Archive

 

Media Release 24 October

Lift Education (Lift), a division of South Pacific Press Limited, has been named as the new provider of publishing services for the Ministry of Education’s instructional series, which includes the School JournalReady to Read and Connected.

Neale Pitches, CEO of South Pacific Press (and former CEO of Learning Media) is excited about working on this series with the Ministry, who will be the publisher. “We will continue to support the Ministry to tell New Zealand stories and to build the School Journal community of excited readers and Kiwi talent,” said Pitches.

“We have a quality team of educators and publishers who push the boundaries,” Pitches said. “We also hold what might be described as an ‘abundance model’ of teaching and learning, preferring to focus on what students bring to the classroom rather than what they don’t know. This has led us to take an interest in research that questions so-called ability grouping of students and to develop new models of teaching and learning in the middle years that offer all students in diverse classrooms the chance to learn and think at higher levels than may have previously been encouraged. The role of vibrant, engaging, and professionally-developed learning materials across media platforms is often underestimated in our quest to improve student achievement.”

“The new arrangement is best described as a ‘collaboration’, with the Ministry as publisher,” Pitches said. “We offer the people, expertise, skills and passion that the Ministry needs to meet its goal of lifting student achievement, especially for priority learners, and to continue the unique New-Zealand tradition of supporting students and teachers with government-sponsored learning materials of the highest quality.”

A feature of this contract is a commitment to nurturing aspiring New Zealand writers and illustrators. “We are fortunate that New Zealand’s best, including Joy Cowley, Witi Ihimaera, Patricia Grace, Gus Sinaumea Hunter and Gavin Bishop have agreed to mentor new authors and illustrators,” said Pitches.

Pitches and fellow director Meryl-Lynn Pluck (publisher of Rainbow Reading) have spent nine years developing South Pacific Press Ltd. They bought Lift from founder Dr Sue Watson in 2007. The Wellington-based company now has two imprints, Lift and CSI Literacy.

Both imprints featured in the 2012 CLNZ Educational Publishing Awards. Lift was shortlisted for its work with the New Zealand Fire Service and CSI Literacy Kit 3 was awarded ‘Best Programme or Resource for Export’. Another CSI resource, CSI Chapters, is a finalist in the export category in this year’s awards, which will be announced on 14 November.

“We are extremely proud to be shortlisted again. When developing CSI Literacy learning materials for New Zealand and overseas classrooms, we ask schools to submit evaluation data so we can see if we’re on the right track. Dr Sarah Powell has analysed this case-study data to quantify student achievement and we are very pleased with the achievement data, especially for Māori, Pasifika and struggling readers,” said Pitches.

Pitches emphasises Lift’s strong track record as instructional designers. In recent years, Lift has developed literacy and curriculum resources for the government, and corporate and non-corporate organisations, including the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Blood Service, Electoral Commission, New Zealand Olympic Committee, New Zealand Fire Service, New Zealand Transport Agency, and many more.

“We always commission local content where possible, when developing resources for our clients and for export. New Zealand has a talented pool of educators, authors, illustrators, photographers, designers and technologists, who are fantastic at bringing New Zealand content to life for New Zealand and international learners. We will continue to draw from this pool for the instructional series, as we have done forConnected 2013 which is entirely written, illustrated, designed, edited and overseen by New Zealanders,” said Pitches.

Media release from Lift Education, a division of South Pacific Press Limited. Please find attached a profile of Neale Pitches and more information about Lift Education.

Contact

For all enquiries:

Neale Pitches

CEO

027 445 4431

Neale@southpacificpress.com

Please note: Neale Pitches is in the USA until 4 November. He is available by email.

For high-res images:

Jenna Tinkle

jenna@lifteducation.com

Jenna Tinkle
Sales and Marketing Coordinator 

Lift Education, a division of South Pacific Press
Level 2, Mountain Safety House
19 Tory Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
PO Box 19088, Wellington 6149, New Zealand
Ph +64 4 381 2247, Fax +64 4 381 2243
www.csi-literacy.com

Publishers and Visually Impaired Readers in New Zealand. Paula Browning asks – How well do you know Section 69 of the Copyright Act?

By News Archive

The most quoted statistic about the “book famine” for blind and visually impaired people (VIPs) is that in developed countries, like New Zealand, VIPs have access to only 5% of all published books. Historically this has been due to the fact that so few books have been produced in formats such as braille, large print and audio that are accessible to VIPs.

 

Developments in digital technology are helping to change this for some VIP readers and Copyright Licensing (CLNZ) has been working with the Royal NZ Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB) for the past two years on a project known as TIGAR* that is also a step in the right direction towards improving access. However the most recent and brightest news in the provision of access to published works for VIPs came in June this year when a new World Intellectual Property Office Treaty was agreed in Marrakesh. This quickly became known as the Marrakesh Treaty and is an agreement between the member states of WIPO that each country will implement the requirements of the Treaty into its legislative framework.

 

There’s lots of tedious international treaty and law specifics I could go into at this point, but that’s not what you want to, or need to, know. What you need to know is “what does this mean to me as a publisher?” Given that New Zealand already has a copyright exception for the creation of accessible format copies of copyright works for VIPs (in Section 69 of the Copyright Act), we’re already well down the track towards complying with the terms of the Treaty. Our current Copyright Act however doesn’t define the position on importing and exporting accessible copies and this may need to be changed.

 

Importing and exporting accessible files is what’s happening in the TIGAR project, but that’s with a signed agreement between WIPO, RNZFB and CLNZ and with title-by-title clearance by publishers.

 

So what does happen in New Zealand at the moment? RNZFB provides an invaluable service for its members in creating and distributing accessible copies of books and other text-based materials. A large number of these are produced as narrated audio – an audio file where someone with a voice that’s easy to listen to reads the entire book out loud and this is recorded into a digital format. These files are copied to a CD and distributed to RNZFB members by the team in the RNZFB library in Parnell, Auckland. Each member can receive a number of books at a time and, on returning the CD, access more files/books for their reading pleasure – just like any other library service. This work is funded by donations the RNZFB receives each year.

 

When it comes to education texts RNZFB has other formats and means by which it distributes content. Some of these are made possible by the publisher being able to provide a digital file to assist with the creation of the required format. Others are created from a hard copy of the text.



Section 69 of the Copyright Act includes a condition that an accessible copy can only be made if a book is not already commercially available in the format in which the VIP needs it. Where the required format is braille, it is unlikely that the publisher will have that format available. But if the required format is audio or large print then, in the world of digital formats, the publisher may already have the book commercially available in that format. For example, the company Read How You Want provides commercial editions in large print, braille and daisy editions for some publishers.

 

As a publisher, you may be contacted by someone at RNZFB to ask for a file or in regard to permission for a particular work. The information above is provided as a short story (with all the important bits) on how Section 69 works in practice between publishers and the RNZFB. If you need to know more about the workings of this particular area of copyright, please contact me – paula@copyright.co.nz

 

*TIGAR stands for Trusted Intermediary Global Accessible Resources. Launched in November 2010 by the WIPO Stakeholders’ Platform, TIGAR is a three-year pilot project that seeks to facilitate cross-border transfer of copyrighted works in accessible formats among various national institutions or Trusted Intermediaries (TIs), notably national libraries serving those with print disabilities.

Need help with illegally uploaded content … Copyright Licensing NZ can help

By News Archive
CLNZ can assist publishers with the completion of 'take down' procedures if you find your content illegally uploaded on the internet. Takedowns are possible from cloud-hosting services such as Mega, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud etc. Some websites also offer relatively simple takedown services, however there are many illegal services like torrent sites that do not have the facility to action takedown notices.
 
If your content is:
 
  1. online somewhere and
  2. you have not provided permission for it to be uploaded and
  3. the website offers a takedown facility
 
then CLNZ can help you. In order to take action on your behalf we need the following information:
 

a)      Evidence that you are the copyright owner the content and did not authorise the particular use/ distribution of the work that you want us to have removed (a statement to this effect in an email is all we need from New Zealand rights holders)

b)      The full title of the work, it’s ISBN number (or other identifier), author/s name and date of publication

c)       The URL (full link) of where the content is located online

d)      The full name of the copyright owner

e)      Contact details for the copyright owner

 
Please send an email with the information required in (a-e) above to infringement@copyright.co.nz

New Zealand publishers build on Frankfurt Book Fair success

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Latest Media Release from Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

New Zealand has another strong presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which opened today in Germany, building on the success of its Guest of Honour appearance last year, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said.

The book fair, the world’s largest media and content fair, had unprecedented success in 2012 with New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme.

This year 20 New Zealand publishers are attending the five-day fair, capitalising on last year’s high profile throughout Germany and Europe. As a result of last year’s fair New Zealand’s book rights sales were ten times greater than normal.

Mr Finlayson said the Fair brought attention to New Zealand’s publishing and educational sectors.

“Being Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair connected the world’s best publishers, as well as gaming and film producers, with our cultural creators,” he said. “The response we’ve had since the fair has been significant and I am pleased our presence continues to be strong in 2013.”

Sam Elworthy, the president of the Publisher’s Association of New Zealand said in the past 12 months the increase in interest in New Zealand literature has smoothed the way for New Zealand publishers to meet new clients and sell more book rights.

“Publishers here saw the opportunity, and put in the ground work; 2012’s book fair was a hugely busy one for New Zealand’s publishers and 2013 is about building on last year’s new relationships and continuing to strengthen our presence in the international market.”

New Zealand’s Guest of Honour pavilion, where books, film and animation from Aotearoa was presented, was acclaimed for its design and architecture. Overall book fair ticket sales increased by 6% last year and the organisers attributed this to the huge public interest in the New Zealand pavilion which received almost 70,000 visitors.

Kiwi authors’ income hurt by illegal file sharing

By News Archive
Discovery of an educational text co-authored by a New Zealander and made available for download on Kim Dotcom’s file-sharing site Mega is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ according to Publishers Association of New Zealand president Sam Elworthy.
 
The text, Using MIS (Management Information Systems) (NZ) by David M. Kroenke and Tony Hooper – a lecturer at Victoria University in Wellington, was shared via a link posted on the Facebook page of a tertiary institutions’ study group.
 
PANZ has issued a ‘take down’ notice to Mega to remove the files from its site and contacted Facebook to have the post removed.
 
“Educational texts are being illegally shared at an alarming rate and it’s hurting New Zealand authors, publishers and distributors to the point where earning a viable living is becoming increasingly threatened,” Elworthy says.
 
“Technology makes sharing files very easy but it’s the people who put in the hard work to make and
supply the texts in the first place who miss out.”
 
The text is published by educational publisher Pearson and distributed in New Zealand by start-up business Edify. Pearson quit the New Zealand market in August this year after claiming its local business model was no longer sustainable.
 
“There are very few publishers now investing in publishing for the New Zealand tertiary market due to its small size. However it’s hugely important that the New Zealand context is provided to support New Zealand students in their learning of a topic,” says Edify’s Adrian Keane.
 
“To see an author and publisher who were prepared to make this investment in publishing for the New Zealand environment treated in this way is infuriating. It will only serve as a disincentive to any other author or publisher when they see the negative impact that illegal downloading has on income.
 
“This particular text was even available as an eText so it’s not like it was hard to access in a digital format.
 
“Where we have a text that’s prescribed for a course we used to be able to rely on 80% of the students buying the book. Now that figure is more like 50% which puts the viability of publishing these books under threat. It’s safe to say that illegal sharing is really hurting both our business and the incomes of New Zealand authors who spend months creating the works,” Keane says.
 
Elworthy says the link posted on the student Facebook page went straight to the files on Mega meaning anyone could download it.
 
Kim Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States on copyright and racketeering charges over the operation of his previous file locker site Megaupload.

Paula Browning: Arguing for fair payment for use of your publications

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Paula Browning used the presentation of Copyright Grants to authors last week to make a spirited speech for fair payment by universities and others. Here’s what the CEO of Copyright Licensing NZ said on the issues:
 

Good evening everyone and a very warm welcome to this years’ Awards evening.

There were 68 applications for the awards this year which is right on the average number of applications that we’ve had every year for the past 10 years. I would like to personally thank our selection panel for the wonderful job they did with this year’s applications. Each applicant receives equal and robust consideration to ensure that the aims of the awards are met by those who are successful. To Paul Diamond, Gillian Candler, Geoff Walker and Rae McGregor – my thanks.

The New Zealand Society of Authors Research Grants had a huge increase in applications this year over the number received in 2012 and we are delighted that the new President of NZSA, Kyle Mewburn, is able to be with us this evening to present these grants.

I’m always very conscious of my choice of words when I’m either speaking to or writing for a literary audience. Without any form of literary pedigree it’s more than a little intimidating to be the focus of attention in a room full of our top writers and publishers. It’s been especially challenging this year to find the words to describe the past 12 months at CLNZ. This time last year we were looking forward to finalising the next term of our licenses with the New Zealand tertiary sector – but this was not to be. We now find ourselves at the Copyright Tribunal arguing for fair payment for the use of your publications in our universities. This is a stand we must take because Copyright – your right to earn a living from your writing – is under attack. Governments throughout the world are being swayed by the well-funded lobbying of the likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple into changing copyright law in ways that benefit these corporate giants’ business models. We’ve already seen this happen in Canada and the UK and legislative reviews are underway in the United States and Australia.

We refer to those who refuse to see the value in intellectual property rights as the copy-left. You might think that this type of effective and highly mobilised group are only active overseas – but alas, no. In New Zealand we have our very own copy-left group made up of a dozen or more organisations including some that will be very familiar to you. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Trade Me? How about LIANZA – the library association and Internet New Zealand – the organisation that operates the dot co dot nz domain name? These three are among the membership of a group that has named itself “Fair Deal”. They say they want a fair deal for New Zealand from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, otherwise known as the TPP. On that point copyright owners can agree with them – we also want New Zealand to have effective trade agreements that are fit for type of trade that takes place in the 21st century –trade that includes intellectual property and copyright. We can also agree with Fair Deal that it would be better for all countries involved in these trade agreements if the negotiation process was more transparent. The limited details we do have of the intellectual property chapter of the agreement date from 2 years ago when a copy of the paper was leaked. This type of smoke and mirrors negotiation isn’t good for anyone. However, the approach of the copy-left in wanting to throw the baby out with the bath-water, isn’t going to solve anything either. If we are going to have copyright law in New Zealand that ensures that the creativity we are so well regarded for generates an economic return for both those who create and for our country, then we need INFORMED DEBATE. This is where you come in. I know that, as writers and publishers, you like to sit quietly in a sunny room and tap away on your keyboard to create beautiful books that we all want to own and to read – but in the current political climate I’m afraid that’s not enough. If you want your writing and publishing to continue to be an income generating activity in future then the time to speak up is now.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment recently published a list of 6 business sectors in New Zealand for which it is commissioning reports into their economic value. The first report has been released – it was on ICT or Information and Communications Technology. The other 5 are tourism, petroleum & minerals, construction, high tech manufacturing and something called knowledge-intensive-industries (which is mainly the scientific and technical services sector). No sign of the New Zealand creative sector in that list is there? So if the government doesn’t know what our creative economy is worth, how does it know what it’s potentially trading away in agreements like the TPP?

In the absence of this type of data from the government, the creative industries are busy preparing their own. Film and Television released a report earlier this year that puts its value at close to 3 billion dollars and employment in the industry at over 20,000 people. The New Zealand music industry has a similar report – figures from this are due out soon.                  

And what does the New Zealand book sector look like? Well hopefully we will have a general idea by the end of this year when the report we have commissioned from PWC is completed. We’ve given the team at PWC a huge challenge however, as the data that’s needed for these economic value reports just isn’t available from the New Zealand book sector. Something else we need to actively work on in the short term.

I’m sure none of us need to be reminded of the dire news that has hit the local publishing sector this year with the withdrawal of multi-national publishers from the New Zealand market and yesterday’s shock announcement of the closure of Learning Media . At an Asia Pacific copyright meeting in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago I joked that soon New Zealand children would be reading about Kangaroos instead of Kiwis. But it’s really not funny. As New Zealanders we’re used to a rich creative culture. We’re used to having access to our own stories in our own books and our own TV programmes; through our own music and our own movies. It’s something we’re inherently proud of as we were able to unequivocally demonstrate at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year.

All of this is at risk if we do not have effective copyright law. Without it, the business model that is the foundation of the creative economy will be worthless.

So what can you do? Do what you do well – write. Whether it’s a blog, twitter, opinion pieces, articles – anything that stimulates informed debate that shows the value of copyright and local publishing to our economy. The time is right to do this now. The government has announced that it has deferred the review of our Copyright Act pending the conclusion of the TPP. This gives us time for a robust discussion. Talk to your friends and family about what copyright means – especially the younger ones. The ones who think it’s OK to post a question on Facebook asking their mates for a copy of their digital movie collection or the ones who share copies of digital textbooks on USB sticks. They want to be able to copy and share, and technology lets them do it easily, but they’re completely removed from the impact that very copying has on our creative economy – they need YOU to tell them!

This year our selection panel commented that the finalists for tonight’s awards are those applications where the passion for their subject is evident. Well New Zealand needs you to get passionate about copyright and your rights as owners of intellectual property. I know it’s not sexy and it’s not an easy dinner party conversation but it is critical to the future of New Zealand writers and New Zealand writing. If we all sit back and think someone else will fight the fight for us, we risk losing the rights we currently have. Now I’m not generally regarded as a drama queen so when I say to you that getting noisy about copyright is critical – I really mean it!!

Right – I hope I’ve reached all of you in some way on the need to get loud about copyright. Now on to the real reason why we’re all here tonight – to celebrate and invest in New Zealand non fiction.  At last week’s New Zealand Post Book Awards one of our previous winners took out the General Non Fiction category. We were absolutely delighted for both Steve and for the team at Awa Press on their success with Civilisation – Twenty Places on the Edge of the World.  For a girl from Mt Roskill it was a thrill to venture into Place Number 10 in the book and enjoy Steve’s take on how the suburb I grew up in differs now from its earlier times. If there’s anyone in the room who hasn’t lost themselves in Civilisation yet, then it’s time you did!

2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition to Feature New Zealand as Theme Country; Novelist Lloyd Jones to Visit Taiwan, Helping Spread the Power of Reading

By News, News Archive

The signing of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) in July 2013 has ushered in a new era of collaboration between New Zealand and Taiwan on trade, customs duty reduction, and TV and film production. Accordingly, the diverse culture of New Zealand will become more familiar to the Taiwanese people via the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), which will feature New Zealand as the theme country, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture (MOC) announced.

The MOC, supervisor of the TIBE, will join hands with the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), Creative New Zealand, and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) in Taipei on this special event, introducing New Zealand’s core value of diversity to a wider audience. This event will highlight the distinct features of Maori culture and oral literature and seek to effect intercultural exchange with Taiwan’s aboriginal community while showcasing New Zealand’s unique attributes

Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai expressed her hope that with the ministry’s “Southern Strategy” Taiwan can broaden its scope, extending its erstwhile focus on Europe and the United States to countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand. As a part of ANZTEC, Taiwan and New Zealand have agreed to collaborate on the post-production sector of the film industry. By featuring New Zealand as the theme country of the 2015 TIBE, it is expected that the “Southern Strategy” will kick off to a good start and be implemented across the spheres of film, TV and culture.

Minister Lung said that the endeavour actually began during the 2013 TIBE earlier this year. When the PANZ delegation visited Taiwan at the invitation of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF), Lung told the delegation that both sides would benefit from further collaboration saying “while Taiwan needs a gateway to access the southern hemisphere, Taiwan can serve as New Zealand’s northern gateway to the Chinese market.”

Lung also extended her gratitude to NZCIO director Stephen Payton’s aid in inviting New Zealand’s foremost novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan. Lung has been deeply impressed with Jones’s masterpiece Mister Pip, and she hopes to see the film adaptation in theatres in Taiwan soon. It is projected that, through such cultural exchanges, a growing number of readers will get acquainted with more New Zealand writers.

NZCIO director Stephen Payton said that it was an honour for New Zealand to feature as the theme country at the 2015 TIBE.

The NZCIO is looking forward to collaborating with the TBFF and Ministry of Culture to introduce the beauty of New Zealand’s literature and cultural spirit to Taiwan. Similarly, it also constitutes an opportunity for the New Zealanders to get to know the wonderful island of Taiwan.

As a sign of its appreciation of the TIBE, the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office will invite New Zealand’s most celebrated contemporary novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan, as a feature of the theme country campaign. In his opening address Stephen Payton stated, “In his novel Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones takes us to another island, Bougainville, and asks us to think about how influences from other times and places shape us an individuals and communities. This is writing we can share, that we need to share, including with our friends in Taiwan.”

 Mr Jones has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and having his work selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Two of Jones’s books have been translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan: Mister Pip (2010, China Times Publishing Co.) andHand Me Down World (2012, Stride Publishing). Mister Piphas been selected as recommended reading in various high schools throughout Taiwan, and a film adaptation premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The film version, starring Hugh Laurie, the famed Dr Gregory House in the hit TV series House, as Mr Watts, is expected to be released some time later in Taiwan.

Lloyd Jones received the invitation to Taiwan not more than five days ago. As a writer, Jones has been writing and reading stories all his life. He takes great delight in the process of storytelling, with which the writer takes the readers on a ride through different a time and space. In the present age of information explosion, we have varied media and channels of communication, but the act of reading still largely relies on the accumulation of other people’s writing. Both the writer and the reader have their own free will. Language is not a barrier that keeps out one from the other; we can still share and communicate through stories. Jones stressed the importance of book fairs, not only for the promotion of reading but also for readers and writers alike. A book fair is a place where books get to speak for themselves. True to the original meaning of the word “fair,” it is a playground and a marketplace. It is a place allowing more people to have fun.

At the announcement press conference, Minister Lung, Director Payton, and Mr Jones exchanged books as greeting gifts. Lung presented Payton with the English version of the four-volume Contemporary Taiwanese Literature and Art Series, which covers essays, novels, poems, and paintings. In return, Director Payton presented Minister Lung with New Zealand Journey and Janet Frame, the female New Zealand writer’s autobiography. Mr Jones also gave the minister the original English version of Mister Pip as a gift.

Stephen Payton said that Taiwan has been a close friend of New Zealand in the Asian region; with the recent signing of the ANZTEC, further long-term collaboration can be expected in the future.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pictured above: Press conference announcing New Zealand as the 2015 TIBE theme country. (From left) NZCIO deputy director Serena Gar Ming Chui, director Stephen Payton, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, New Zealand novelist Lloyd Jones, and TBFF chair Doris Wang.

New Zealand, the Guest of Honour in 2015 TIBE

 Located in the southwest Pacific, New Zealand has been hailed as a “living laboratory of geology” for its rich natural resources and geological wonders. In recent years, The Lord of the Rings franchise has helped promote the country’s magnificent scenery to the whole world. Moreover, New Zealand has proven itself a true “land of milk and honey” with its vintage wines, organic foods, and bountiful produce.

 New Zealand has also been quite active in the realm of culture and creativity. New Zealand featured as the Guest Country of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, marking the first-ever comprehensive introduction of the country’s literature, profound culture, and social diversity to German-speaking readers as well as the global publishing industry. As witnessed by all, New Zealand has indeed turned the privilege into a resounding success.

 Collaboration between New Zealand and the TIBE has achieved remarkable results since the inception of the relationship in 2011. Illustrator Gavin Bishop, for instance, graced the book fair with his presence in 2011 and published the Chinese version of his bestselling Friends: Snake and Lizard later, which went on to win the 2012 China Times Book Review Award. The 2013 TIBE was honoured with a visit from Kevin Chapman and Anne de Lautour, President and Association Director of the PANZ, as well as Belinda Jones of Creative New Zealand; they all praised the book fair for its vigour and vibrancy. Julia Marshall of Gecko Press has attended the TIBE for years on end, and the publisher has just won the 2013 Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in Oceania, which goes to show the emerging presence of New Zealand publishers in the global publishing scene. The fervent interaction between New Zealand’s publishing industry and the TIBE has ultimately led to their induction as the theme country in 2015.

 The 2015 TIBE theme country pavilion of New Zealand is expected to showcase a diverse line-up of outstanding publications, covering the subjects of literature, art, history, lifestyle, fashion, design, health, education, children’s books, and illustrations. Also, Creative New Zealand will introduce a “Translation Grant Scheme,” an initiative seeking to promote the translation of New Zealand publications. Any interested publishers can apply for the grant scheme and further participate in the 2015 TIBE activities.

 Lloyd Jones: A Brief Introduction

 Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1955, Lloyd Jones attended Victoria University of Wellington. A resident of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, Jones was a journalist who covered the political turmoil in Papua New Guinea in the 1990s, when the autonomous region of Bougainville sought independence from Papua New Guinea. Coverage of the Bougainville conflict, however, was blocked and censored by the government.

 This experience led to the birth of Mister Pip, recipient of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Overall Best Book and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. Other notable works include Book of Fame (2000; winner of the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards), Biografi: An Albanian Quest (1993; a New York Times Notable Book), Choo Woo (1998),Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance (2002), and Paint Your Wife(2004).

 Mister Pip is the story of an island caught up in the throes of war. The only remaining white man is Mr Watts, who stays behind to educate the local black children. Mr Watts urges his students to read over and over Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, in which the eponymous Mr Pip is the protagonist. On the island stripped of virtually everything, the children seem to take a leave from the drab and dull reality and enter the alternative world of the novel. The magical power of reading depicted in the book serves to illustrate the author’s superb storytelling technique.

 TIBE is looking forward to the honour of the presence of Lloyd Jones in Taiwan, who is expected to participate in a series of activities, granting the readers a precious opportunity of direct interaction with the master novelist. Through a wide range of cultural exhibitions and literary events, the TIBE hopes to introduce the readers to the diverse, vibrant cultural scene of the 2015 theme country, New Zealand.

2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition to Feature New Zealand as Theme Country; Novelist Lloyd Jones to Visit Taiwan, Helping Spread the Power of Reading

By News Archive
The signing of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) in July 2013 has ushered in a new era of collaboration between New Zealand and Taiwan on trade, customs duty reduction, and TV and film production. Accordingly, the diverse culture of New Zealand will become more familiar to the Taiwanese people via the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), which will feature New Zealand as the theme country, Taiwan's Ministry of Culture (MOC) announced.

The MOC, supervisor of the TIBE, will join hands with the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), Creative New Zealand, and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) in Taipei on this special event, introducing New Zealand's core value of diversity to a wider audience. This event will highlight the distinct features of Maori culture and oral literature and seek to effect intercultural exchange with Taiwan's aboriginal community while showcasing New Zealand's unique attributes

Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai expressed her hope that with the ministry's "Southern Strategy" Taiwan can broaden its scope, extending its erstwhile focus on Europe and the United States to countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand. As a part of ANZTEC, Taiwan and New Zealand have agreed to collaborate on the post-production sector of the film industry. By featuring New Zealand as the theme country of the 2015 TIBE, it is expected that the "Southern Strategy" will kick off to a good start and be implemented across the spheres of film, TV and culture.

Minister Lung said that the endeavour actually began during the 2013 TIBE earlier this year. When the PANZ delegation visited Taiwan at the invitation of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF), Lung told the delegation that both sides would benefit from further collaboration saying "while Taiwan needs a gateway to access the southern hemisphere, Taiwan can serve as New Zealand's northern gateway to the Chinese market."

Lung also extended her gratitude to NZCIO director Stephen Payton's aid in inviting New Zealand's foremost novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan. Lung has been deeply impressed with Jones's masterpiece Mister Pip, and she hopes to see the film adaptation in theatres in Taiwan soon. It is projected that, through such cultural exchanges, a growing number of readers will get acquainted with more New Zealand writers.

NZCIO director Stephen Payton said that it was an honour for New Zealand to feature as the theme country at the 2015 TIBE.

The NZCIO is looking forward to collaborating with the TBFF and Ministry of Culture to introduce the beauty of New Zealand's literature and cultural spirit to Taiwan. Similarly, it also constitutes an opportunity for the New Zealanders to get to know the wonderful island of Taiwan.

As a sign of its appreciation of the TIBE, the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office will invite New Zealand's most celebrated contemporary novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan, as a feature of the theme country campaign. In his opening address Stephen Payton stated, “In his novel Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones takes us to another island, Bougainville, and asks us to think about how influences from other times and places shape us an individuals and communities. This is writing we can share, that we need to share, including with our friends in Taiwan.”

 Mr Jones has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and having his work selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Two of Jones's books have been translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan: Mister Pip (2010, China Times Publishing Co.) and Hand Me Down World (2012, Stride Publishing). Mister Pip has been selected as recommended reading in various high schools throughout Taiwan, and a film adaptation premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The film version, starring Hugh Laurie, the famed Dr Gregory House in the hit TV series House, as Mr Watts, is expected to be released some time later in Taiwan.

Lloyd Jones received the invitation to Taiwan not more than five days ago. As a writer, Jones has been writing and reading stories all his life. He takes great delight in the process of storytelling, with which the writer takes the readers on a ride through different a time and space. In the present age of information explosion, we have varied media and channels of communication, but the act of reading still largely relies on the accumulation of other people's writing. Both the writer and the reader have their own free will. Language is not a barrier that keeps out one from the other; we can still share and communicate through stories. Jones stressed the importance of book fairs, not only for the promotion of reading but also for readers and writers alike. A book fair is a place where books get to speak for themselves. True to the original meaning of the word "fair," it is a playground and a marketplace. It is a place allowing more people to have fun.

At the announcement press conference, Minister Lung, Director Payton, and Mr Jones exchanged books as greeting gifts. Lung presented Payton with the English version of the four-volume Contemporary Taiwanese Literature and Art Series, which covers essays, novels, poems, and paintings. In return, Director Payton presented Minister Lung with New Zealand Journey and Janet Frame, the female New Zealand writer's autobiography. Mr Jones also gave the minister the original English version of Mister Pip as a gift.

Stephen Payton said that Taiwan has been a close friend of New Zealand in the Asian region; with the recent signing of the ANZTEC, further long-term collaboration can be expected in the future.

Pictured above: Press conference announcing New Zealand as the 2015 TIBE theme country. (From left) NZCIO deputy director Serena Gar Ming Chui, director Stephen Payton, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, New Zealand novelist Lloyd Jones, and TBFF chair Doris Wang.

New Zealand, the Guest of Honour in 2015 TIBE

 Located in the southwest Pacific, New Zealand has been hailed as a "living laboratory of geology" for its rich natural resources and geological wonders. In recent years, The Lord of the Rings franchise has helped promote the country's magnificent scenery to the whole world. Moreover, New Zealand has proven itself a true "land of milk and honey" with its vintage wines, organic foods, and bountiful produce.

 New Zealand has also been quite active in the realm of culture and creativity. New Zealand featured as the Guest Country of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, marking the first-ever comprehensive introduction of the country's literature, profound culture, and social diversity to German-speaking readers as well as the global publishing industry. As witnessed by all, New Zealand has indeed turned the privilege into a resounding success.

 Collaboration between New Zealand and the TIBE has achieved remarkable results since the inception of the relationship in 2011. Illustrator Gavin Bishop, for instance, graced the book fair with his presence in 2011 and published the Chinese version of his bestselling Friends: Snake and Lizard later, which went on to win the 2012 China Times Book Review Award. The 2013 TIBE was honoured with a visit from Kevin Chapman and Anne de Lautour, President and Association Director of the PANZ, as well as Belinda Jones of Creative New Zealand; they all praised the book fair for its vigour and vibrancy. Julia Marshall of Gecko Press has attended the TIBE for years on end, and the publisher has just won the 2013 Bologna Prize for the Best Children's Publisher of the Year in Oceania, which goes to show the emerging presence of New Zealand publishers in the global publishing scene. The fervent interaction between New Zealand's publishing industry and the TIBE has ultimately led to their induction as the theme country in 2015.

 The 2015 TIBE theme country pavilion of New Zealand is expected to showcase a diverse line-up of outstanding publications, covering the subjects of literature, art, history, lifestyle, fashion, design, health, education, children's books, and illustrations. Also, Creative New Zealand will introduce a "Translation Grant Scheme," an initiative seeking to promote the translation of New Zealand publications. Any interested publishers can apply for the grant scheme and further participate in the 2015 TIBE activities.

 Lloyd Jones: A Brief Introduction

 Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1955, Lloyd Jones attended Victoria University of Wellington. A resident of Wellington, New Zealand's capital city, Jones was a journalist who covered the political turmoil in Papua New Guinea in the 1990s, when the autonomous region of Bougainville sought independence from Papua New Guinea. Coverage of the Bougainville conflict, however, was blocked and censored by the government.

 This experience led to the birth of Mister Pip, recipient of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Overall Best Book and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. Other notable works include Book of Fame (2000; winner of the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards), Biografi: An Albanian Quest (1993; a New York Times Notable Book), Choo Woo (1998),Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance (2002), and Paint Your Wife (2004).

 Mister Pip is the story of an island caught up in the throes of war. The only remaining white man is Mr Watts, who stays behind to educate the local black children. Mr Watts urges his students to read over and over Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, in which the eponymous Mr Pip is the protagonist. On the island stripped of virtually everything, the children seem to take a leave from the drab and dull reality and enter the alternative world of the novel. The magical power of reading depicted in the book serves to illustrate the author's superb storytelling technique.

 TIBE is looking forward to the honour of the presence of Lloyd Jones in Taiwan, who is expected to participate in a series of activities, granting the readers a precious opportunity of direct interaction with the master novelist. Through a wide range of cultural exhibitions and literary events, the TIBE hopes to introduce the readers to the diverse, vibrant cultural scene of the 2015 theme country, New Zealand.

PANZ AGM Guest Speaker: Sandy Grant on the hammering the book industry has taken

By News Archive

Sandy Grant addressed members of the Publishers Association of New Zealand on copyright issues at the 2013 PANZ AGM, 18 July:

Nothing like a discussion about Copyright to keep you awake after an AGM – but I thought I’d talk a bit about the copyright environment and then the state of the trade overall.

I am going to talk today with two hats – the Chairman of Australia’s collective licensing agency – the Copyright Agency and as the CEO of Hardie Grant Publishing, an independent Melbourne-based publisher that publishes books and magazines and employs around 150 people.

And in both hats I find that the trajectory of my working life, that has seen a steady rise in publishing output and a steady rise in income for every part of the book industry supply chain for 35 years, has taken a pretty serious hammering in the last five. Part of that is the relentless dog eat dog economic environment started in the GFC – and that has never recovered, but the other more profound influence is the transition to digital delivery of content. I was hoping to retire happily and hand the business to my son – now I am scrapping for sales and he is working at a digital agency making good money. From the outside NZ looks to be suffering as much or perhaps even more than anyone else from both problems.

What we are seeing is a hunger for change driven by technology businesses and the consumer and both have shown little or no interest in the niceties of our business.

I remember years ago being told if your business is going to be cannibalised you should do it yourself. But we didn’t do it and cannibals got to us first.

At Copyright Agency after 25 years of careful development, 25 years of building simple low-cost systems to sample schools and 25 years of expertise building the network of authors and publishers to be paid, we now face a Law Reform Report that suggests repealing the Statutory License. Last year we gave authors and publishers $90m under that license, so the implications for writers and publishers would be immense.

It is galling to read this draft report – on the surface written by supporters of Copyright, they keep saying how important Copyright is, but their conclusions are seriously hostile to those very producers. It seems all our evidence is ignored in the rush to accept that anything digital is intrinsically better and anything digital is in the public interest. And they set the bar so low for digital advocates. They don’t need proof, they don’t need to show integrity, commercial long-term viability or even workability in their systems. Our threat is that lawmakers assume digital change improves access and that educators and the public should be given more access simply because it is possible. Our rights are weighed against the perceived or promoted public good and it is concluded that producers and creators need to concede territory – and thus inevitably income and control.

Then when I put my publisher’s hat on, I see our market steadily disappearing to digital competition. I guess it started decades ago as legal publishing went online, but niche after niche has come under fire and then capitulates to digital solutions. Dictionaries, street maps, encyclopedias, then any directory or reference book and now fiction have all gone digital. Some have become embedded in devices or software like dictionaries and maps, some are websites, some are apps and now some are e-books. In parallel there has been a devaluation of the content and the role of publishing.

As an example publishers spend hours planning and designing type and layout of a novel to give a great reading experience. Now readers get their Kindle, change the type face and don’t give a flying.

Or books like Lonely Planet – an icon for decades – brilliantly laid out and brilliantly organised now they compete unsuccessfully with the website, Trip Advisor – and Trip Advisor is a pile of shit recently judged by an English Court to be content mainly created by hotel owners and their friends – or perhaps their competitors and enemies. But the public seem happy. The underlying issue is convenience, and price trumps traditional forms.

In to this digital environment came Google, Amazon and Apple who have all effectively changed the game. Initially it appeared that change was possibly going to be in favour of content creators. But they went quickly from being benign, possibly even helpful players in our supply chain, to being predatory, monopolists whose interest in content does not include an interest in fully and equitably rewarding writers and publishers.

Google’s infatuation with content is based on creating an environment where the user has no need to consider looking anywhere else. With the millions of books they have scanned and virtually every newspaper and magazine now freely available, they have created an extraordinary business – but their objective now is to make profit by placing advertising within their search. Our content is best when it is free or simply searched. They’ve created an environment where publishers need them more than they need publishers. And an environment where they can change algorithms at will to obliterate any content distributor that has a business model that doesn’t suit their interests.

Despite a massive effort by publishers there are very few paid online content models working. There are some – I have one myself – but these are usually in tightly held national niches. Google have turned content in to a commodity and if one source tries to charge they are in a position to enhance and support alternative, free models. The Age in Melbourne recently put a firewall on its newspaper – after a certain number of articles it blocks you and offers a subscription. But they can’t afford to block Google so all you have to do is search the headline of the article you want and it is free on Google. They’ve hedged their bets to keep Google users coming to their site.

Last year Google was the world’s most profitable company – and yet the world’s most profitable business model offers no payment to creators.

Amazon also looked like they may be a white knight. A massive bookshop stocking everything, no sale or return and opening the digital market up to writers – even allowing them to self publish on a reasonable basis. But as we’ve seen their business evolve their emphasis appears to be on the technology – and the need to sell Kindle. All their PR and marketing focuses on the rapid evolution of print to e-books and the great advantages of buying a Kindle – meanwhile they have dragged down the prices of e-books. An analysis of Amazon bestsellers show that very few books in their bestseller lists, sell at reasonable prices.

Last week only two of Amazon’s top twenty e-books were priced over $5 – and 16 of the twenty were either $1.99 or free. My company were recently approached by Amazon who offered us a great Christmas promotion – our title would be on their front page and in return we just had to give them a 90% discount off their price – yes that is right – 90% for Amazon – 10% to be shared between the author and publisher. That is how monopolists act. But it is the predatory pricing and massive discounts of print and e-books that have lowered the public perception of the value of books generally. Even the most dedicated NZ book buyer must struggle to buy their favourite novel from a NZ bookshop, when they have to pay $35–$40, when that same book is a $5.00 e-book or even a $10 tax free discounted print book from Amazon. Amazon don’t need to enter the Australian or New Zealand market – they are the biggest bookshop by a mile without ever paying sales tax, employing staff or supporting our local writing. For us, the latter is the most insidious change – Borders and Angus and Robertson sales were 40% Australian published books – now our biggest bookshop, Amazon, has an infinitesimally small number of Australian books being sold. We have entered a whole new era of cultural imperialism.

Apple entered the market following their amazing and transformative success in the music business with i-tunes. But it hasn’t taken long to realize they aren’t genuinely investing in i-books. They are unbelievably controlling and they clearly see more benefit in free apps – an amazing booming activity – than seriously supporting writers and publishers. For them the content is the means to an end – selling hardware – not a mean in its own right. They’ve offered us at Hardie Grant an even better deal than Amazon – they will put our key title on their front page this Christmas – as long as it is free! You have to hope it will then go in to the bestsellers chart and hopefully attract attention and sell for money later. But there is only one winner in that sort of deal.

Incidentally on i-tunes the music industry were told they were the problem – dinosaurs – if only they offered a good price and flexibility people wouldn’t pirate their copyright – well they still did that in i-tunes, and now Apple are struggling to compete with new models – notably Pandora and Spotify with their subscription services. This week I saw Tom Yorke of Radiohead come out and complain that for one million downloads of their most popular song, Pandora paid him $160. And Pandora have been given plenty of oxygen complaining that Copyright is inhibiting their business. The US Congress has been asked again to look at questions like territory and intend to look.

A year ago Congress took fright when Wikipedia, Facebook and others went on strike against what was legislation the whole house supported – they abandoned it – so it is worth Pandora making the case.

So these totally dominant global players are influencing behaviour and devaluing content for extremely aggressive commercial goals. And because they have proved transformative and cheap they have been given the ear of Governments worldwide.  Whilst we are and other content creators are seen as dinosaurs and people over pricing and protecting out of date vested interests – they are seen as enablers of the future.

So it seems to me we are in a world where the challenges to copyright are immense and growing and those who are looking to maintain commercially viable activities – either as a publisher or a writer – need to reassert our roles as the genuine source of good content and we desperately need to break the view that all we do is inhibit fair distribution of content.

Frankly it is a cruel joke to hold writers and publishers responsible for inhibiting access to content. That is writers who invest their careers in creating valuable content and publishers whose raison d’etre, and only income comes if they disseminate that content as far as possible are now accused by the digerati of deliberately blocking access. But it is the perception we all face.

And that perception brings with it a reality of reduced income for publishers and authors, reduced employment opportunities for journalists – in fact the Collecting Societies and Copyright Agency in particular are one of the few places that haven’t seen a sharp decline income for copyright owners – with some obvious exceptions like Spain and Canada. But even that is now under serious attack by legislators everywhere.

In Australia this backdrop was recognized as the time for Copyright Agency to stop acting like some interested bystander in a bilateral dispute and start taking an active role working with publishers and authors to protect the sector’s future and future incomes. We realized that we had to create genuine dialogue between publishers and authors. The process has led Copyright Agency to a position where we formally identified the need to actively enable meaningful engagement with the publishing and writing community. As a result we have entered in to an agreement with the dominant school’s publishers to create a text book portal on a subscription basis. We are investing in industry infrastructure to give the schools what they say they need. We’re trying to beat the cannibals.

It seems to me that these steps of working together and realizing our shared history and interests – particularly between publishers and authors – is essential in the sort of hostile environment we are facing. In Australia the book industry associations have been likened to a bunch of Medieval Craft Guilds – secretive, competitive and wanting the Government to resolve our disputes. We need to change. I know you are more collaborative here, but we need to be taking up the fight in a co-ordinated and public way.

We need to keep explaining the benefit and the equity copyright delivers no matter how hopeless it seems and no matter how noisy the opposition.

And I think there is now some reason to be optimistic – GAFA have blotted their copy books. I saw an estimate from the Australian Opposition this week that Google should have paid $500m tax last year – they paid under $10m. Similarly the arcane tax set-ups Apple has been using are under scrutiny and simply look immoral. Amazon seem to be even worse tax evaders and win the prize for creativity in the UK where they were given more than 6m pounds from a job creation scheme – the development was a success – 600 news warehouse jobs were established but it destroyed more than 10,000 jobs in bookshops. And then to rub salt in the British Government wounds Amazon paid around 1m pound company tax with a Leichtenstein dodge. Or I like the story that they ran a warehouse in Pennsylvania with so little heating and cooling that they needed to reach an agreement with the State authorities to have ambulances in the car park. I see you looking at putting sales tax on imported net purchases – surely this is a no brainer.

So our new goliath’s hubris is costing them some credibility and the onus is on us to spend time and money reminding governments and consumers that we aren’t the greedy monopolists, but a group that contributes massively to cultural and educational development of our relative nations.

So what should we do –

1 We have to support bookshops and keep building new outlets for books. I had a phone call with the new CEO of Random Penguin Marcus Dohle regarding Hardie Grant distribution, where he stressed how important the bookshops were to the future of publishing and thus how much Random would continue to invest in systems to help make bookshops profitable, so they can compete with the Amazon for options and service. I think he’s right – we may have a greatly reduced number of effective bookshops but we should work with the good ones to build a sustainable retail environment beyond the e-tailers.

2 We have to globalise – I guess I don’t need to say that here – Sunshine Books, Shortland, PQ Blackwell showed all of us the way many years back.

It doesn’t mean there isn’t a role for local culturally important fiction or children’s books, but these have become harder and harder as the bookshop numbers reduce and may well need to live on cultural subsidies in the way of most other highbrow cultural activity. Certainly the Australian Government suggested we might be better to argue for subsidy than create a faux industry plan or try to create copyright regimes that are highly protective.

3 Publishers need to offer fairly priced e-versions and quickly learn to use digital marketing strategies. I am not sure the e-book is going to sweep us away. I just had a fortnight in New York and did dozens of subway trips and undertook an e-book survey. Books were still winning – 10 to 1 – and of the e-users they were universally older men. Kids use their phones all the time, but they were still reading print books. There is a strong demand for e-books but isn’t simply generational and we’ll be wiped out when the current kids grow up. They are the Harry Potter generation or Twilight. We’ve just sold one million Billy B Brown books to 8–10 year olds in twelve months. SO our challenge is to sustain their interest and to give them things they’ll be proud to collect and have on their shelves.

I doubt it will include some of the average books – produced on shit paper, overhyped that were such a big part of our business for twenty or more years.

4 We have to offer real quality. In some ways our future may look a lot like the past. In the eighties and nineties, books became more ubiquitous, every mall had a Whitcoulls, Barnes and Noble, Angus and Robertson or a Waterstones and publishers could pump out big numbers of virtually everything they released. That’s over.

But we can offer well priced nicely crafted books and create an innovative range of digital editions – not just e-books. Subscription web sites, apps, free content supported by ads and affiliations can all work for publishing businesses that add new skill and change their culture.

But most of all – we need to fight back – we need to find ways to make sure digital arguments are subject to more rigorous reality checks and challenges in the future.

We need to highlight Amazon and their tax free, profitless business model.

We need to challenge Apple to respect content and not simply use it as a sales lure.

We need to keep the fight up to Google who say they do no evil.

But we all need as a community to keep arguing in every forum for a Copyright regime that encourages writers to write because they know publishers operate in an environment where that investment in the writers can be justified.

Sandy Grant, Copyright Agency Australia
18 July 2013