Authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and readers form what is commonly known as a “book ecosystem”, an expression that reflects the interdependence between actors in the book field. However, over the past few years, the discussions, both globally and in Europe, about re-defining the intellectual property rights, and the evolution of practices in the digital era, led to division that gradually distanced these stakeholders, with the risk of weakening the solidarity that unites them.
Fortunately, new conversations have started, more specifically about the cultural rights, opening a space where this topic can be debated and addressed from a new angle with focus on issues related to the balance of rights. Starting from the idea that fundamental rights are inseparable, it seems possible to understand author rights, cultural rights and social rights as a coherent whole. The challenge is to find an approach that would stop opposing the book professionals, to re-establish coalitions towards the conquest for new rights.
Due to their specific position, independent publishers could play an important role in framing this collective discussion in the book sector.
A Law Degree holder, Lionel Maurel is currently a librarian at the University Paris Lumières Library. Author of the S.I.Lex blog, he specialises in Intellectual Property, Digital Law, and Cultural Law. Involved in the Commons movement, he co-founded the collective SavoirsCom1 (“Common Knowledges”) and is a member of the Strategic Orientation College of La Quadrature du Net.
Picture: thesupermath. CC-BY-SA. Source: Wikimedia Commons, remix by Guénaël Boutouillet
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