The Publishers Association has sent a manifesto to all political parties ahead of the General Election setting out five key priorities for the industry, including committing to the UK’s copyright regime.
C.e.o. Stephen Lotinga said publishing brings in £6bn to the nation’s coffers each year and therefore it was “imperative” a future government knew what the industry needed after the 12th December poll.
The manifesto calls for commitment to implementing an EU-wide or national copyright exhaustion regime post-Brexit to stop illegal books entering the UK market and ensure online platforms comply. The UK copyright regime also needs to be safeguarded, the PA says.
It also calls for a commitment to avoiding a no deal Brexit, ensuring frictionless procedures at borders, eliminating the cap on highly skilled migrants, scrapping the proposed salary cap of £30,000 and helping to remove non- tariff barriers in key global markets.
The PA also used the manifesto to highlight its Axe the Reading Tax campaign, calling for the 20% VAT charged on digital publications to be ditched.
There are also calls to invest in education and commit to meeting or exceeding the R&D investment target of 2.4% GDP by 2027 and keeping the UK involved in European research programmes. The Government should “support a sustainable Open Access policy which promotes access to publicly-funded research while retaining a high-quality UK academic publishing sector with global reach”, the document says.
Lotinga said: “The UK publishing industry is a critical contributor to the success of the economy, bringing in revenues of £6 billion a year. Beyond economic success, publishing ensures the spread of our country’s culture, language and soft power around the world.
“It is imperative that political parties understand what our industry needs to continue to thrive at home and globally. Our manifesto explains the five key asks of the industry and we urge all political parties to support these measures as they form their own manifestos, to ensure publishing continues to thrive.”
The PA’s move comes after the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England also launched a manifesto demanding a £1bn investment bank, the maintenance or matching of funding from EU programmes and watertight IP agreements.