Promoting Fair and Open Markets

The intellectual property industries—in which products and services are protected by copyright, trademarks and patents—are critical to U.S. economic strength. AAP actively works to ensure that the copyrights critical to modern publishing are protected and enforced around the world, and that foreign countries do not create unwarranted barriers to fair and open markets for books and journals. Our efforts both at home and abroad to secure and enforce copyrights enable member publishers to compete on a more level playing field in many countries, making legitimate creative, scholarly and professional published works more available around the globe. 

    Global Publishing Depends on Strong Copyright

    Every AAP member with a global market is intent on bringing high-quality trade, professional and educational works to readers, students and professionals around the world. In 2013 alone, the export of newspapers, books and periodicals generated $4.7 billion in revenue, according to International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA).

    On a broader scale, IIPA shows that the core copyright industries (of which publishing is one) make up nearly 6.5% of value added to our nation’s GDP; create nearly 5.4 million well-paying jobs; and contribute $142 billion to U.S. foreign sales and exports, outpacing many industry sectors. Sustaining or growing this economic contribution depends in large part upon the extent to which governments and industries can reduce copyright infringement and barriers to market access.  

    Fair and open markets abroad can only be achieved where copyright and intellectual property are respected, protected and enforced. Indeed, a 2013 study done by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 42 nations shows a close link between creative industry performance and underlying government policies and legal systems that ensure economic freedoms, well-established property rights, and competitive, innovative businesses environments.

    AAP actively supports effective copyright protection principles around the globe. We collaborate with foreign governments and stakeholders in many key markets for the publishing industry to advocate for such protections. We also stay closely informed and involved with the development of international copyright treaties, as well as bilateral and multi-lateral free trade agreements that include provisions on copyright.

    Years of active engagement by AAP’s International Copyright Protection Committee have helped ensure a growing number of fair and open markets for copyrighted works. By helping to level the “field of play,” our advocacy has brought consistency and stability across multiple jurisdictions, helping member publishers to plan and direct investments in more predictable environments. Publishers and authors, in turn, have gained more effective local copyright protection and enforcement, which has led to reduced infringement of AAP-member titles and has facilitated wider access to legitimate literary and academic works. 

    Find Out More: Copyright at Home

    Learn about AAP’s copyright priorities and activities in the U.S.

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    International Copyright Enforcement 

    AAP’s member-publishers produce books and journals that are in demand all over the world.  Ineffective copyright protection in many countries, however, creates a hospitable environment for copyright infringement that causes economic harm to publishers that are trying to compete fairly in the market. It also undermines incentives for new publishers to enter the market. 

    AAP works with our member-publishers to identify markets around the world where there is insufficient copyright protection and enforcement. Common problems include unauthorized photocopying, counterfeit book production and online infringement. Once identified, AAP engages with local enforcement authorities as well as U.S. and local government agencies to address these issues. 

    Enforcement efforts range from bringing court cases against infringers to helping universities craft appropriate use policies to raising awareness for copyright protections that apply to textbooks and other academic materials. 

    To strengthen the baseline of copyright protection abroad, AAP also monitors local initiatives to update copyright laws and provides comments on draft laws when public processes are available. Updating copyright laws to better protect copyright holders not only benefits U.S. publishers in foreign markets. It also promotes and protects local authors and publishers, fostering greater creativity and fair and open markets for all. 

    Find Out More: Copyright Protection Overseas

    Learn about AAP’s overseas activities in copyright protection and advocacy

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    International Copyright Treaties 

    Copyright protection exists on a country-by-country basis. For example, a book may have certain copyright protections in the U.S., but have different ones in China. International copyright treaties, such as the Berne Convention and the WIPO Copyright Treaty, help to foster global norms that harmonize standards for protecting copyrighted works around the world. 

    AAP works with the U.S. government to support harmonized copyright protection standards that recognize the importance of creativity and culture in society, promote investment in high-quality books and journals, and facilitate global distribution and wider access to copyrighted works through more predictable copyright enforcement.

    Find Out More: International Copyright Treaties

    Learn about AAP’s work in shaping international copyright treaties.

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    Expanding Markets Through Trade Policy

    Books have been an important way to spread knowledge around the globe for centuries. Planes, trains and ships have gotten faster at bringing hard copies to distant lands and the Internet has given rise to nearly instantaneous global distribution of digital books and journals. 

    National laws regarding taxes, tariffs, censorship, and operating licenses, among other requirements, however, affect how easy it is for publishers to participate in each foreign market. Free trade agreements (FTAs) help to harmonize a broad array of laws that impact trade between countries, from labor and environmental standards to intellectual property rights. FTAs also aim to reduce tariffs—additional fees charged to buy imported goods. When countries agree to allow goods made in each other’s country to compete on a “level playing field”—for example, a book published in the U.S. can enter a foreign market for sale next to locally published books without alteration or additional costs—consumers in each country benefit from greater choice.

    Under the Constitution, the U.S. President is in charge of negotiating international trade agreements. However, the President’s agreements cannot go into effect without ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. To help ensure that the trade objectives of the President and Senate are aligned, Congress often passes legislation called “trade promotion authority” (TPA) to outline guiding principles for international agreements. If the President concludes an international agreement that adheres to these guidelines, TPA also assures the President that the Senate will not make any amendments to that agreement and will only be able to vote “yes” or “no” to ratify it.

    AAP supports passing the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act of 2015 (S.995). Doing so will ensure that the President has appropriate guidance and assurances for a “yes” or “no” vote from Congress to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP). Both the TPP and T-TIP represent unprecedented opportunities to expand access in the Asia-Pacific and European markets for American producers and exporters and to raise standards of intellectual property protection to foster greater production and availability of creative works. 

    Find Out More: Expanding Markets Around the Globe

    Learn how AAP is expanding access to foreign markets for publishers and supporting local creative industries through free trade agreements

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