Book trade meets Martin Schulz


The Federation of European Publishers and the European and International Booksellers Federation
meet with
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament

On the 25th of February 2015, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz met with a delegation of publishers and booksellers.

The EIBF delegation, comprising the Co-Presidents Kyra Dreher, Fabian Paagman and Jean-Luc Treutenaere, accompanied by Tim Walker and Tim Godfray, respectively President and CEO of the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland and Françoise Dubruille, Director of the EIBF raised the issues of interoperability and e-commerce. Consumers should have the right to read the e-books they have legally acquired on the device of their choice and should not be locked into proprietary systems. Equally, consumers are the ultimate beneficiaries of a level playing field governing commercial conditions and healthy competition between retailers.

The FEP delegation, comprising the President of the Federation Pierre Dutilleul, the Vice-President Henrique Mota, the Treasurer Rudy Vanschoonbeek and Jessica Sänger representing the Boersenverein, with the Director of FEP Anne Bergman-Tahon, expressed the need to preserve a balanced environment for the book chain through copyright - in particular in view of the current parliamentary discussions on the report of MEP Julia Reda (Pirate Party, Germany) - and fair taxation as all books deserve the same fiscal treatment.

President Schulz spoke strongly in favour of preserving European book markets, to defend cultural diversity through a balanced copyright protection and the end of fiscal discrimination between e-books and printed books. As a former bookseller, he is of course very well aware of the book ecosystem, where a limited number of bestsellers pays back for the investments made in other books which just break even or are not profitable and that those who are asking for a weakening of copyright law are using access as an excuse to capture the market.

President Schulz accepted the invitation made by EIBF co-President Fabian Paagman, to come and visit his bookstore in The Hague, The Netherlands, where the issues and matters can be further discussed.

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