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  • Long-awaited examination of U.S. Internet policy reveals “significant problems” in effectiveness, lack of balance to detriment of creators

    Maria Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), offered the following comment on the comprehensive report issued today by the United States Copyright Office on Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a 1998 law that provides the framework for liability, safe harbors, notice requirements, and other factors applicable to establishing and resolving online copyright infringement.

    “We thank the Copyright Office for its comprehensive examination of the DMCA’s provisions and operations, and the expertise and thoughtfulness that is reflected throughout the lengthy analysis. As we work through the many details of the report, we greatly appreciate that the Office invited and compiled an exhaustive public record over a period of nearly five years, which includes the comments and testimony of AAP on behalf of American publishers.

    “In particular, we are pleased the report concludes that ‘the balance Congress intended when it established the section 512 safe harbor system is askew,’ and underscores that ‘authors, creators, and rightsholders of all sorts and sizes’ do not agree with online service providers that the current operation of 512 meets the original objectives of Congress. When it acted more than 20 years ago, Congress intended to ensure the Internet – then a nascent means of commerce – would support a fair, modern, and global copyright marketplace for American businesses, to the benefit of the public.

    “At the time of the DMCA’s enactment, Congress could not have envisioned the manner in which bad actors would establish websites that exploit and promote infringing uses of intellectual property while attempting to take advantage of safe harbor immunities under the law. Unfortunately, as the Copyright Office points out, immunity has been extended to ‘activities and service providers that Congress did not intend to protect.’

    “This report reinforces that the broken notice and takedown system in the U.S. – also known as ‘whack-a-mole’ – has placed unfair burdens on the creative industries, which contribute more than $1 trillion in value to the U.S. economy and employ more than 5.7 million workers. We fully agree with the Copyright Office that ‘despite the advances in legitimate content options and delivery systems, and despite the millions of takedown notices submitted on a daily basis, the scale of online copyright infringement and the lack of effectiveness of section 512 notices to address that situation remain significant problems.’

    “We are committed to finding solutions to these problems, and we stand ready to continue to work with the Copyright Office, other stakeholders, and Congress as we seek to establish a 21st century Internet policy that works for everyone.”

    The U.S. Copyright Office’s report can be found here.

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  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today released its StatShot report for March 2020 reflecting reported revenue for all tracked categories, including Trade (consumer publications), K-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses.

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    Total sales across all categories for March 2020 declined 8.4% as compared to the third month of 2019, reaching $667 million. Year-to-date sales were flat with an increase of just 0.3%, totaling $2.6 billion for the first three months of 2020.

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    Trade (Consumer Book) Revenues:

    Trade sales were up 0.8% as compared to March of 2019, coming in at $560 million. Year-to-date Trade sales were up 2.6%, totaling $1.67 billion for the first three months of the year.

    Physical paper formats in the Trade (consumer publications) category increased 1.2%, accounting for $411 million, or 73.4% of the category’s revenue for the month.

    Downloaded Audio continued to grow during the month of March, with a 15.1% increase as compared to March of last year, reaching $50 million in revenue. Within the Downloaded Audio format, Children’s Books jumped 46.6% during the month, and 25.9% year-to-date.

    On a year-to-date basis, Downloaded Audio was up 16.6% as compared to the first three months of 2019, with a total of $155 million for the year so far. The Downloaded Audio format has seen continuous growth every single month since AAP began tracking it in 2012.

    eBook revenues declined 4.8% as compared to March 2019 for a total of $74 million. On a year- to-date basis, eBooks declined 5.7%, coming in at $232 million for the first three months of 2020.

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    In the education sector, revenues from Higher Education Course Materials dropped 8.5% to $13 million compared to March of last year, while year-to-date revenues were up 2.5%, coming in at $594 million.

    Prek-12 Instructional Materials dropped 50.6% to $54 million compared to March of last year and while year-to-date revenues in the category were down 24.0%, coming in at $173 million.

    Professional Books, including business, medical, law, technical and scientific, declined 21.1% for the month, generating $31 million, and up 3.8% year-to-date, with $115 million in revenue during the first three months.

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    AAP’s StatShot

    Publisher net revenue, including sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc., is tracked monthly by the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and includes revenue from about 1,360 publishers, with participation subject to change over time.

    StatShot reports are designed to give an up-to-date snapshot of the publishing industry using the best data currently available. The reports reflect participants’ most recent reported revenue for current and previous periods, enabling readers to compare revenue on a year-to-year basis within a given StatShot report.

    It is not, however, possible to make apples-to-apples comparisons to StatShot reports issued in previous years because: a) The number of StatShot participants fluctuates over time, with the pool of participants growing or shrinking in each report and b) It is a common accounting practices for businesses, including publishers, to restate revenue numbers based on updated information. If, for example, a business learns that its revenues were greater in a given year than its reports indicated, it will restate the revenues in subsequent reports, providing information that is more up-to-date and accurate.

  • We join our friends and colleagues on the AAP Board, at Simon & Schuster, and across the global publishing community in mourning the loss of Carolyn Reidy.  A former Chairman of AAP’s Board, she was a giant among industry giants, and her undeniable poise, grace and charm earned her the love and admiration of scores of people who had the privilege and pleasure to know her. Carolyn was a friend to me and I will miss her sorely.

  • AAP Cites Rosen’s Work as Constitutional Scholar, Author, and Educator

    Maria Pallante, President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), today announced that Professor Jeffrey Rosen has been selected by the Board of Directors to receive AAP’s 2020 Award for Distinguished Public Service, which honors individuals who have made important contributions to the public good by advancing laws or policies that respect the value, creation, and publication of original works of authorship.

    “At every turn of his distinguished career, Jeffrey Rosen has shown a principled dedication to both the creative process and the democratic exchange of ideas,” commented Ms. Pallante. “He has made stellar contributions to the public good as the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, as a law professor at The George Washington University, and as the author of numerous important books, essays, and scholarly works that underscore the undeniable importance of publishing to modern discourse and the rule of law.”

    John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan Publishers and Chairman of AAP’s Board, commented, “On behalf of AAP’s Board of Directors, I congratulate Jeff Rosen for all that he has accomplished as an author, educator, and scholar, and thank him for using his considerable talents and expertise to promote our Constitutional freedoms and responsibilities, both of which are so critical to the publishing industry.”

    “I’m honored to receive this Award for Public Service and grateful to have the chance to talk with America’s publishers about the importance of deep reading and reflection in these challenging times,” said Mr. Rosen. “The American Founders believed that only through Stoic self-mastery of our unreasonable passions – including anger, anxiety, and fear -- can we achieve happiness during times of disease and disaster. It is therefore urgently important to preserve the vitality of the publishing industry, which supports the books that make that learning and self-mastery possible.”

    Professor Rosen will address AAP’s membership during its virtual annual meeting on June 1, 2020.

    Jeffrey Rosen Biography

    Jeffrey Rosen is the President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, America’s leading nonpartisan platform for education and debate about the U.S. Constitution. He is a law professor at George Washington University, a Contributing Writer for The Atlantic, a  sought-after commentator, and best-selling book author. His latest book is Conversations with RBG: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law. His other books include William Howard Taft, for the American Presidents Series; Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet; The Supreme Court: The Personalities and Rivalries that Defined America, the best-selling companion book to the award-winning PBS series; The Most Democratic Branch: How the Courts Serve America; The Naked Crowd: Freedom and Security in an Anxious Age; and The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America. Professor Rosen is coeditor, with Benjamin Wittes, of Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change. His essays and commentaries have appeared in The AtlanticThe New York Times Magazine, on National Public Radio, in The New Republic, where he was the legal affairs editor, and in The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer. Professor Rosen hosts the weekly "We the People" podcast. The Chicago Tribune named him one of the ten best magazine journalists in America, and the Los Angeles Times called him the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator. He is a graduate of Harvard College, Oxford University, and Yale Law School.

    Past Recipients of AAP’s Award for Distinguished Public Service and AGM Speakers

    Previous recipients of AAP’s Award for Distinguished Public Service include Congressman Jerry Nadler and Congressman Doug Collins. Previous keynote speakers include Walter Isaacson, Jon Meacham, and Hillary Clinton.

  • The Association of American Publishers (AAP) today sent a letter to congressional leaders encouraging emergency funding for America’s public libraries – community institutions that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. 

    In its letter, AAP notes that it supports the $2 billion figure put forward by the American Library Association (ALA). To help ensure that libraries across the country are able to provide the essential public services that their respective communities need most, AAP respectfully urges Congress to provide the funding directly to State and local government authorities.

    Read AAP’s letter here.

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