Proposed copyright laws, according to a Brexit-bashing novelist, might kill the UK book industry.
Proposed new copyright regulations, according to a pro-BREXIT author, might kill the UK book business.
Hilary Mantel, who has called Britain’s exit from the EU “nearly a unique national mistake,” has issued a stern warning about the “disgraceful” proposals. Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK’s Business Secretary, has begun a consultation on a replacement for the copyright system it employed while in the EU.
Mr. Kwarteng claimed that Brexit gave the UK the freedom to create its own government as a “stand-alone sovereign nation.”
However, detractors argue that implementing an international exhaustion policy, similar to the one used by nations like New Zealand, would allow the selling of identical books imported from other countries in British bookstores.
This may result in a novel imported from India being sold for a fraction of the price of one currently available in the UK.
Mr Kwarteng’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has put up four options, one of which is the international exhaustion system (BEIS).
At the moment, authors can sell the territorial rights to their works, allowing different publishers to distribute them in different regions of the world at pricing appropriate to local markets.
By doing so, internet-based businesses would be able to flood the market with product purchased in bulk from places where it is much cheaper.
While many perceived the changes as beneficial to consumers, Ms. Mantel and fellow bestselling novelist William Boyd believe they are a threat to the UK’s publishing business.
Ms Mantel, a two-time Booker Prize winner, said they were “very alarming” and threatened damaging the £3.4 billion-a-year business.
“Most authors live and earn precariously, even with the protections already in place,” she told the Independent.
“Their original creative effort, however modestly compensated, underpins a significant industry and nourishes our national cultural life.
“This is not the time to take away their livelihood protection.”
According to her, the proposed new approach would “make publishers risk-averse and close down access to new material,” damaging high-street bookstores and concentrating earnings even more in the hands of a few internet businesses.
“The sale and production of books, as well as the protection of the rights that underpin the trade, is a sensitive and difficult business, but it is a very valuable one, critical to our national identity,” Ms Mantel added.
“I would advise everybody interested in the consultation to proceed with caution and pay attention to.”Brinkwire Summary News”.