EC, Publishers and DSPs hold meeting on eBooks, Sign Declaration

On Tuesday, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroos held a meeting with major publishers, digital service providers (DSPs) like Amazon and Google and a few authors representatives to discuss the future of the digital book economy in Europe (see attendee list).

The discussions focused mainly on copyright and digital rights management, identified by the Commission as the two major obstacles to the broader adaption of eBooks in Europe. The main outocme of the meeting was a short declaration with the following key proposition:

Signatories of this declaration endorse the principle that there should be no barriers for consumers to acquire eBooks across territorial borders, platforms and devices.

Although the declaration was only signed by a few publishers and none of the major DSPs, it received broad support and none of the participants objected to it. Part of the reason it did not receive more signatures was that it was first published the day before the meeting was held, and amended on the spot. It will remain open for signature after the meeting.