Brexit – Warning of a sea-change in territorial copyright

In NewsOpinion & Commentary by Richard Charkin


Richard Charkin: Brexit Ushers British Publishing Into New Territory

An inevitable ‘sea change in trade book publishing,’ writes Richard Charkin, may accelerate as Brexit puts the UK industry’s EU exclusivity into a new light.

A shot from February 6 in London’s Parliament Square. Image – iStockphoto: VV Shots

Editor’s note: This week, contacts at the UK’s Publishers Association tell us that Brexit’s impact on publishing still are unclear, but many in the business have worried aloud for years that the tradition of British exclusivity in Europe could be threatened. When The Bookseller’s Mark Chandler and Katherine Cowdrey wrote about the issue (February 9), we asked Richard Charkin in London to give us his take on the situation.—Porter Anderson 


‘Blaming Brexit’

Cards on the table: I think the decision to leave the European Union was a catastrophe for Britain, a setback for the EU, a challenge to democracy, a threat to Western values of human rights, and an example of political expediency over moral governance. 

However, we now have to live with the consequences, at least until the British (English) electorate and leadership come to their senses and find a way of re-energizing our European links and heritage. Blaming Brexit for all unpalatable change helps nobody.

Richard Charkin

EU exclusive rights is an example of such unwarranted blame.

Exclusive territorial rights of any sort are a matter for contractual negotiation between author and publisher. Whether or not an author licenses a British publisher to have exclusive rights in the UK, EU, Australia, or India, for that matter, is simply a business decision. Britain’s membership or not in the EU has little bearing on that decision, any more than granting exclusive Canadian rights would be affected by membership in NAFTA…  READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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