Exhaustion of rights issue 'a matter of urgency regardless of Brexit', LBF hears

Exhaustion of rights issue 'a matter of urgency regardless of Brexit', LBF hears

The UK needs to “lock down” the issue of exhaustion of rights with the EU to stop countries such as the US changing the status quo after Brexit, a panel of industry figures heard at London Book Fair.

The audience at the packed Deal(s) or No Deal(s) session at yesterday’s fair (13th March), which envisaged different Brexit scenarios and how they might affect the trade, heard that paper and books would still have zero tariffs even in the event of a “no deal” Brexit, but logistics and rights were still a major concern.

Lawyer Andrew Hood, an EU law expert and a former adviser to David Cameron when he was Prime Minister, said the publishers had produced a “best in class” response to Brexit.

But he told the audience that while striking an exit deal with the European Union would mean “pretty much business as usual”, agreement on the exhaustion of rights was crucial to stop the issue being traded-off in future negotiations.

Peter Phillips, c.e.o. of Cambridge University Press, said customers had stuck by UK publishers, but added that he was concerned about patience starting to “wear thin” in the face of continued uncertainty around the UK’s EU membership.