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APPG for Publishing calls on Government to protect and respect gold-standard copyright regime

The Government should make protecting the UK’s gold-standard copyright regime a top priority. Intellectual Property laws that are fit for purpose must be pre-requisites for all future UK trade deals, finds a report released by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Publishing.

The APPG, chaired by Andrew Lewer MBE MP, makes a number of key recommendations for maintaining a world-leading publishing sector in the report. These include removing the 20% VAT on digital publications, to promote literacy and equal access to books, and creating a balanced Open Access.

The report, Maintaining a World-Leading Publishing Sector, is the outcome of an inquiry by the APPG. This aimed to assess the benefits that publishers and booksellers from all disciplines bring to the UK, whilst also evaluating the potential risks that may affect the success of the industry over the coming years.

Key recommendations made in the report are:

  • Promote literacy and equal access to books by removing the 20% VAT on digital publications.
  • Maintain and extend fair market opportunities for the publishing industry by incentivising digital platforms to take responsibility in preventing the sale of illegal goods on their sites and continuing to cut business rates for independent booksellers.
  • Protect and respect the UK’s gold-standard copyright regime.
  • Create a balanced Open Access policy.
  • Ensure all students learn from high-quality resources by ending austerity in schools and supporting a competitive market for education resources.

Andrew Lewer MBE MP, Chair of the APPG for Publishing, said: “The value of the UK’s publishing industry is £6 billion, of which exports account for £3.5 billion. The UK exports more physical books than any other country in the world. Publishing accounts for 1 in 10 jobs in the UK’s creative industries.

“It is imperative that the contribution the publishing industry makes to the UK – and the world - is truly recognised in Westminster and Whitehall. The APPG for Publishing now calls on the Government to advance the policy recommendations required for the UK’s book industry to thrive long into the future.”

Stephen Lotinga, CEO of the Publishers Association said: “This welcome report highlights the importance of publishing and offers achievable recommendations to ensure the continued success of the UK publishing industry. A vibrant publishing industry is key in encouraging literacy and social mobility so it should be a top priority for the Government.”

Please contact Amy Price aprice@publishers.org.uk for a digital copy of this report.