Another Lesson on Culture from the French

While American publishers are struggling, each on their own, to deal with digital rights held hostage by the Wylie Agency, the French shows us the meaning of solidarity.  50 French publishers refused to go along with the Wylie Agency’s separation of digital rights from paper format publication.  Potentially faced with losing all future business in France, Wylie capitulated.  If only the American publishers could rally together for the sake of culture as well.


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  1. I’m happy to see that somebody isn’t going to stand for the privatization of their culture. France is to be admired for refusing to allow their print culture to be “stolen” from them by those companies eager to digitize authors’ intellectual property. This will continue to be a growing problem as technology advances and demand and demographic groups continue to change; it’s too bad that American publishers don’t place emphasis on the value of preserving American culture through preserving publishing rights and authors’ intellectual property.

    Posted by Jeannine | October 15, 2010, 7:37 pm
  2. Jeannine, your comment prompted me to think further as to why American publishers could not come to such an alignment and agreement with their authors. One thing that struck me is that American publishers long surrendered the relationship with the author; American authors do not have lasting relations with their publishers but with their agents. Therefore, it might well be that they would feel that their agents are better advocates for their work than publishers. I think American publishers might need to consider whether they are using business practices for short term profits at the cost of long term and sustainable publishing.

    Posted by Soo Jin Oh | October 17, 2010, 9:51 am

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