U.S. Copyrights Official: Publishers Are Indispensable

By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

As U.S. policy toward copyright navigates the digital era, the head of the U.S. copyright office affirmed publishers’ place in America at a meeting of the largest publishers.

Democracy, the economy and intellectual progress are unsustainable without the publishing industry, said Maria Pallante, register of copyrights at the U.S. Copyright Office, at the annual meeting of the Association of American Publishers in New York.

At a time publishers are fielding perceived threats from online piracy of e-books, scanning of books into public databases by Google, and calls to lower the copyright barriers of scholarly journals, among others, the message was well-received by the assembled crowd of publishers, including senior executives from Disney Publishing, HarperCollins and Macmillan.

“Copyright allows publishers to take risks that would otherwise be impossible,” she said. But “lawyers in D.C. know the difference between copyright owners who lose money because of piracy and publishers who lose money because of risk.”

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