Wednesday 19th January 2022

Save Our Books campaign partners’ responses to the government’s decision to maintain current copyright laws

Press Release – Publishers Association

Contact: Jasmine Joynson - 07884 585349

For immediate release

Isobel Dixon, Association of Authors’ Agents, said:

“The Save Our Books Campaign – the AAA, ALCS, PA and Society of Authors – along with many individuals and organisations right across the book trade spoke out strongly against any potential weakening of the UK’s copyright regime, and authors’ voices were loud and clear on this. I’m encouraged by the impact of that concerted effort and glad the voices of those creators, readers and industry workers were listened to.

“Publishing and the whole creative sector forms a vital part of the British economy and reckless change to the UK copyright exhaustion system would have had a devastating impact on the publishing industry, with no guarantee of benefit to consumers. Instead, a move to international exhaustion would have run counter to building an industry that supports quality and equality, and risked diluting the depth and variety of what is published.

“So the IPO’s decision is a good and prudent one, which we welcome – but we would like to see this decision stand firm, and be bolstered by positive and sustained support of the current copyright system, the lifeblood of our dynamic creative industries, and a lifeline for authors, illustrators, translators and all those who help to make the books that readers need.”

Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, said:

“We were pleased to see that the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has made the right choice to hold back on reengineering and weakening the UK copyright regime – and it has been inspiring to see how much authors, publishers, booksellers and agents can achieve when they campaign together. However, there is an open-endedness to today’s announcement that is disappointing.

“A strong copyright framework works to everyone’s benefit – for the creators and the industries that take their work to market, and for the public who consume it. In publishing, this is critical, not least because of how precarious the business of being an author can be.

“The IPO says there is ‘not enough data available to understand the economic impact of any of the alternatives’, but as Monday’s Nielsen stats show, we have an industry packed full of data that demonstrates the economic benefits of the UK’s current copyright regime.

“We hope that if and when the Government revisits this issue in future, they will look even more closely at the evidence available.”

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive, said:

“We are encouraged by the decision from the Intellectual Property Office today not to proceed with any changes to our exhaustion framework in the UK for now. The creative sector made clear through the Save Our Books campaign that change would have a significant negative impact on our industry and the authors who work within it.

“We hope that the Government will make a clearer commitment to sticking with the UK+ regime in future, so as to protect the book market from the risk of parallel trading that would occur if an international exhaustion framework were to be brought in. A firmer decision would provide writers with a degree of certainty in terms of reducing threats to their income which has already been put in jeopardy by the pandemic.

“We are grateful to the ALCS members who made their views clear by writing to their local MPs during the Save Our Books campaign and we hope that the Government has taken into account the real impact any future decision will have on writers who contribute so much economically and culturally to the UK.”

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said:

“We are delighted that the government has chosen to maintain the UK’s gold standard copyright regime, which our world-leading creative industries are built on, and that ministers have listened to authors, readers and the wider industry on the risks of any change.

“The evidence is clear, any weakening of our Intellectual Property laws would be devastating to UK creators, and we will continue to make this case to government in any future discussions of the matter.

“I am extremely grateful to our Save Our Books campaign partners, MPs and members of the public who have worked together to make our case to government. I know everyone will be relieved that for the moment they can get back to doing what they do best – putting incredible books into the hands of readers.”

More News

Tuesday 18th January 2022: Government decides not to change copyright exhaustion laws

Tuesday 9th November 2021: Books are source of great pride for UK

Monday 7th June 2021: Save Our Books campaign launches as IPO opens consultation

Sunday 1st August 2021: Thousands of authors and illustrators urge government to ‘Save Our Books’ in open letter

Sunday 29th August 2021: UK’s publishing industry to be decimated if government changes copyright laws