Digital territorial rights hot issue in Europe
January 25, 2011 | 8:05 pm
FutureBook has a look at the Digital Book World digital territorial rights panel that Paul also covered earlier today, going into a little more detail on some of the discussions between the posters and also bringing in some comments earlier in the day from Mike Shatzkin about the globalization of e-books (though, oddly, entirely leaving out any mention of Jean Arache’s part in the panel).
The discussion between American publisher Carolyn Savarese and UK publisher Andrew Franklin is interesting to me, as it presents a sort of microcosm of the positions of the US and UK publishing industries as a whole. The larger US industry could readily serve the 1.4 billion English readers worldwide, and the smaller UK industry seems to be feeling threatened. European readers have been slower to move to e-books than American readers, but once they catch up there is going to be even more demand for books that are currently being restricted by region.
Readers from all over are still being extremely frustrated by this issue, and Shatzkin expects that this globalization may well be next year’s Digital Book World’s dominant theme. As I’ve said before, this is an issue that really needs to be fixed somehow. If they can’t find a way to give consumers what they want legally, many consumers will take it illegally, depriving the publisher and author of money the reader would otherwise have been happy to pay them.