The threat of piracy is increasing

<p>Tom Holman</p><p>Publishers must step up their efforts to tackle spiralling levels of book piracy around the world, a meeting led by the UK Publishers Association heard yesterday.</p><p>Strong action against piracy was vital if emerging markets were to be fully exploited, the Frankfurt anti-piracy meeting was told. Chris Paterson, chairman of Macmillan Education and chair of the PA's international board, urged publishers to increase their contributions to collective anti-piracy campaigns in their budgets. "We have a large problem with piracy--and it's not getting any smaller."</p><p>Kathleen Farrar, special sales director at Bloomsbury, called for publishers to join forces with other industries, such as film and music, to give more weight to anti-piracy efforts.</p><p>"Other industries are also fighting this, and we should be looking at what they're doing." She told the meeting that Bloomsbury's preventative action against piracy of J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in June had paid dividends in increased sales of the book. The publisher has worked with Warner Bros, the film studio behind the adaptations of Rowling's books, to good effect, she said.</p><p>The PA plans to target its anti-piracy efforts in India, Pakistan, Turkey, the Middle East and China over the next few years. It was told that the major ongoing campaign in India was beginning to deter copyright infringement, with 140,000 pirated copies seized in the past year. But severe problems of police corruption, legal delays and lack of witnesses have meant prosecutions of suspected pirates are difficult.</p><p>Action against Turkey, where up to 40% of the market is taken by pirated books, could be helped by its attempts to enter the European Union. The PA hopes the EU will exert pressure on Turkey to stamp out piracy as a condition of entry.</p><p>Kolade Mosuro of The Booksellers Ltd in Nigeria said pirated books from China and Malaysia were hitting the African market hard. Piracy is taking up to 60% of the market. "The piracy we have witnessed in the past three years is unprecedented in its sheer volume, range and process. No successful book is spared." Africa needed help to fight copyright infringement, he added. "This is a war we all need to wage together."</p>