A prevalent concern within the book industry is that the ramifications of piracy, though serious, are becoming more acute and are often overlooked by the general public. Strong yet nuanced campaigns to reduce physical and digital piracy are therefore essential to combat the problems. The notion of what makes a successful anti-piracy campaign will be highlighted at the annual Anti-Piracy Breakfast, which will take place on Friday 8th October, hosted by the Publishers Association (PA), the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the International Publishers Association (IPA).
Chaired by Jens Bammel, Secretary General of the IPA, this year's speakers include Richard Mollet from the British Phonographic Industry (and incoming CEO of the PA), Lui Simpson of the AAP and Tim Kuik of Brein. Issues for discussion include the use of legislation to address piracy around the world, enforcement strategies, the experience of other industries in dealing with digital piracy and the effectiveness of educational campaigns.
Online piracy is a growing phenomenon and of increasing concern to publishers. Many publishers are finding new ways to work within the digital system to circumvent illegal copying of files, but there is still an increasing amount of infringing works currently being downloaded. Publishers have to spend inordinate amounts of time tracking and notifying websites and ISPs of infringing content, and they and their authors miss out on the financial revenues lost to piracy.
Physical book piracy is rampant in some countries, with serious effects for book markets, which in turn can filter out into the wider society. In the first instance, an increase in book piracy can inhibit the common practice by publishers of tailoring their pricing to individual markets, as opposed to instigating flat pricing over wider regions. Developing countries in particular would subsequently miss out on easier access to countless books. Equally, pirated books do not have the quality of their authentic counterparts. Education, for instance, would suffer if students were to rely on pirated copies of textbooks. Additionally, piracy impacts on business as publishers would have less money and freedom to develop new authors. And wider economic interests would also be harmed if a country develops a reputation for ignoring criminal practices.