France's Virgin Megastore goes into liquidation
The Paris Commercial Court ...
Fourth AIBA honour for Allen & Unwin
Australian publisher Allen ...
Virgin on the brink in France
French books, music and mov...
In depth: BEA 2013
What change a year can brin...
In depth: bookselling worldwide
The internet has replaced c...
Montagne elected SNE president
02.07.12 | Barbara Casassus
The French Publishers Association (Syndicat National de l’Edition, SNE) has elected Vincent Montagne, c.e.o. of comic book publisher Media Participations, as president. He was the only candidate to replace Gallimard chief Antoine Gallimard, who stood down after two years in the post.
Stressing the importance of publishers in the electronic era, culture minister Aurélie Filippetti told the SNE general assembly that "all texts are not books . . . There is no book without a publisher." But she warned that publishers would have government support only if they backed booksellers and libraries. "This solidarity is your duty," she said.
VAT on books will be brought back to a reduced rate of 5.5% from 7% as promised in a supplemental budget to be adopted by the government this Wednesday (4th July). The reduced rate should be fully reflected in e-book prices, even though the European Commision is expected to start an infringement procedure against France for aligning the e-book rate with that on the physical version, she said. Under EU rules, e-books are considered a service and should carry a full VAT rate, which now stands at 19.6% in France.
Filippetti scolded publishers for not passing the reduced e-book rate on to consumers. "Some houses have made an effort . . . but the movement is too weak and barely visible," she declared. Even though the e-book market is slow to take off in France, the industry must play the game full-heartedly. If not, arguments for the aligned VAT rate will be treated with suspicion and "your image will be tarnished".
She also said publishers were not paying authors high enough e-rights, and that she hoped to present new proposals on digital book contracts following the collapse earlier this month of negotiations between publishers and authors. The idea that no contractual framework is necessary after all is "a manifest error", that publishers would pay for dearly.