Select Committee on Trade and Industry Appendices to the Report


Memorandum submitted by the Publishers' Association

  Piracy of all books, indigenous and imported, is rife in Turkey.

  As far as UK books are concerned the sectors that suffer most are ELT and medical textbooks. The latter are photocopied and bound on campus for students and probably 80 per cent of the market is lost to these pirate editions. However the loss suffered by ELT publishers is greater.

  The current size of the ELT textbook market is approximately £16 million. The market is dominated by four UK publishers: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Pearson and Macmillan/Heinemann, but these publishers estimate that approximately 50 per cent of this market is supplied by pirate editions of their books. At certain times and in certain places this pirate "market share" rises to 90 per cent! The loss suffered by UK based medical publishers would be approximately £2 million.

  The pirate editions are full colour counterfeits of the original, produced to a high standard and sold at only about 10 per cent below the proper selling price. Because the pirates pay no author royalties or development costs and most especially because they only print bestsellers during the selling season, they are able to give the principals and teachers of the private language market they supply a substantial discount which they can retain when the books are sold on to the students.

  The four UK publishers have all taken a substantial number of legal actions against pirates, but these actions are usually against small retailers, it being difficult to obtain evidence against the pirate "publishers". Tougher penalties (maximum fine currently about £1,300) and a much more pro-active police force and public prosecutor would help copyright holders defend their rights.

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