Brexit deal 'was always a dreadful deal' says Farage
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Wolf Hall writer Hilary Mantel – who previously branded leaving the EU “almost a unique national folly” – issued a stark warning about the “disgraceful” proposals. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has launched a consultation into a replacement for the copyright system used by the UK while it was in the EU.
Mr Kwarteng said Brexit allowed the UK to devise a new regime as a “stand-alone sovereign nation”.
But critics claim that adopting an international exhaustion scheme – similar to that operated by countries such as New Zealand – would allow the sale in British shops of identical books imported from overseas.
This could lead to a novel imported from India being sold at a vastly reduced price to an identical one currently on sale in the UK.
The international exhaustion scheme is one of four proposals put forward by Mr Kwarteng’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
Currently, authors are able to sell territorial rights for their works, allowing different publishers to make them available in different parts of the world at prices tailored to local markets.
Ditching this would allow internet-based retailers to flood the market with stock bought in bulk from countries where they are vastly cheaper.
While many saw the benefits for consumers – Ms Mantel and fellow bestselling author William Boyd believe the changes threaten the UK’s industry.
Ms Mantel, a double Booker-winning author, said they were “deeply concerning” and risked destroying the industry – worth around £3.4bn annually.
Why London Mayor told London arms fair organisers to cancel [INSIGHT]
EU army fears: Bloc must ‘grow up’, says defence chief [ANALYSIS]
Brexit LIVE: Macron trusting UK in ‘strike’ against Biden [REVEALED]
She told the Independent: “Most writers live and earn precariously, even with the protections now in place.
“Their original creative work, however humbly rewarded, underlies a major industry and feeds our cultural life as a nation.
“This is not the time to strip away protection to their livelihood.”
The proposed new system would “make publishers risk-averse and close down access for new work”, hurting high-street bookshops and further concentrating profits in a few online players, she said.
“The selling and making of books and the protection of the rights that underlie the trade is a delicate and complex business, but it is a very precious one, important for our standing as a nation,” said Ms Mantel.
“I would urge those involved in the consultation to move with great caution and listen to the advice of those who care not just about their own future, but about the future of all our writers and readers.”
Figures from the Publishers’ Association suggested that up to 64 percent of revenue from books – £2.2bn each year – is at risk if a system of so-called “international exhaustion” is adopted.
Source: Read Full Article