Publishing News [Global]

The London Book Fair (LBF) again hosted a number of events at Shanghai International Literary Week (August 15-22, 2017) and the Beijing International Book Fair (August 23-27, 2017).

LBF director, Jacks Thomas, and the LBF team hosted two award-winning British science-fiction authors, Paul J McAuley and Richard Morgan at Shanghai International Literary Week, as part of London Book and Screen Week’s partnership with SILW. Both authors have an impressive international following, and took part in multiple events throughout the week, including panels on the destiny of man in science fiction.

LBF also hosted the Creative Industries Forum at the Beijing International Book Fair for the third year running. Titled Cross-cultural collaboration for a future generation: the world meets China through page and screen and everything in between, the forum explored opportunities for international collaboration, covering the UK Market, how China and the UK are rising to the challenges of new media and new markets, and considering the next ‘big thing’ in story franchises.

Jacks Thomas, director of The London Book Fair, said, “The Chinese publishing market is a hugely exciting industry right now. The British and Chinese publishing markets have much they can learn from each other, and we are delighted to be taking part in the Beijing International Book Fair and Shanghai International Literary Week again this year.”

UNESCO director general Irina Bokova has named Sharjah, widely considered the cultural capital of the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf, UNESCO World Book Capital 2019. Dr Bokova’s decision follows the recommendation of the WBCC Advisory Committee, which comprises IPA, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and UNESCO representatives.

Sharjah was picked for its innovative, comprehensive and inclusive bid, which offered a community-focused programme of proposals to engage all sections of society, including the large immigrant population. The programme will also coincide with the launch of Sharjah Publishing City, a space dedicated to publishing and printing. Unprecedented in the region, it will be purpose built to meet the needs of publishing stakeholders and to strengthen the book industry by encouraging the production and dissemination of publications across the Arab world.

Each year, the city named World Book Capital commits to promote books and reading and to implement a programme of activities for 12 months, starting on World Book and Copyright Day, on 23 April.

Sharjah is the 19th World Book Capital city, and follows in the footsteps of Madrid (2001); Alexandria (2002); New Delhi (2003); Antwerp (2004); Montreal (2005); Turin (2006); Bogota (2007); Amsterdam (2008); Beirut (2009); Ljubljana (2010); Buenos Aires (2011); Yerevan (2012); Bangkok (2013); Port Harcourt (2014); Incheon (2015); Wroclaw (2016); Conakry (2017); and Athens (2018).

The International Publishers Association (IPA) welcomes a ruling by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against websites that illicitly offer millions of research papers and books that are protected by copyright.

In delivering its judgment on June 21, 2017, the court awarded Elsevier, the publisher that brought the action, US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.

Although the plaintiff is unlikely to receive any restitution, the award represents the maximum damages possible under US law and reflects the wilful and systematic infringements that took place.

“Sci-Hub apologists should know that these sites inflict serious damage on the scholarly community,” said IPA President Dr Michiel Kolman, who is also Elsevier’s SVP Information Industry Relations and Academic Ambassador Emeritus. “They should not be compared with legitimate open access publishing. Their operations have nothing to do with the true innovation that's happening in publishing to advance access to high quality scholarly material.”

Sci-Hub has for years illegally accessed the secure computer networks of universities by hijacking proxy credentials and purloining more than 50 million copyrighted works. Its activity undermines the sustainability and future of scholarly communication.

Science and scholarship rely on commercial and not-for-profit publishers to safeguard the quality and integrity of the scholarly record. Publishers, university presses and non-profit societies have all had articles, journals and books stolen.

English PEN has announced that Antonia Byatt is the interim director. She will be working closely with outgoing director, Jo Glanville, for the better part of a month to ensure a smooth and productive handover.

Antonia Byatt was director of Cheltenham Literature Festival 2016 and previously was director, Literature and SE, at Arts Council England based in Cambridge.

The 16th Pune Book Fair will be held from October 11-15, 2017 at GaneshKala Manch, Nehru Stadium, Pune, the educational and cultural capital of Maharashtra.