Publishing’s Critical Role in Culture and the Economy

At AAP’s General Annual Meeting on March 1, the presenters spoke to the members about the essential role publishing plays in a global society. Throughout their talks, a common theme emerged: the health of our industry is critical not only to our culture but to the economy.


  • Daniel H. Marti, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Executive Officer of the President of the United States, on the importance of IP enforcement: When copyright infringement goes unchecked, markets can be destroyed. Law enforcement alone, though, cannot combat online piracy; legislation cannot account for the constant changes in technology and the growing nuances in the industry. The private and public sectors need to work together better to share info on infringing IP activities. By sharing data and tracking the money, we will be able to better fight large scale offenders.
  • Catherine J. Ross, Professor of Law at George Washington University, on the need to educate students about freedom of speech: When we hear about free speech violations around the world, we should not be smug and assume our own house is in order. There are concerns that we are failing to transmit the culture of freedom of expression to the next generation, in both K-12 settings and on college campuses. Instead of modeling free speech and allowing students to live it, schools limit what students can say. When students see their peers being punished for what they imagined or feel, speech is chilled, and students come to misunderstand the role of the first amendment. If publishers were to succumb to all censor pressures, we would undermine culture and education.
  • Dr. David Nabarro, Special Advisor on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, United Nations, on the 17 sustainable goals of the UN: We need thought leaders to help implement the goals, people who are not looking at the world through specialisms like education or the economy, but who can see across the lines and how all of the areas in the goals intersect. Publishing is key. Books are key. They get people to see the world in new ways.
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