A group of the UK’s leading publishing houses have called on the UK Government for clarity around intellectual property rights after Brexit. The Publishers Association has devised a Brexit Blueprint to continue to support the industry after the departure from the EU.

UK publishers export more physical books than any other country and the UK’s consumer, academic and education publishers are recognised as world leaders, contributing to Britain’s standing as a global R&D powerhouse and as the creative centre of the world.

Traded away

The association fears some rights could be traded away to secure new free-trade agreements. The United States, China and India have different approaches to intellectual property laws, including copyright and exhaustion of rights, and independent positions on issues such as freedom of speech, data protection and digital trade.

The blueprint says: “As this digital debate has evolved, we have been concerned about calls to broaden copyright exceptions to enable wider access to material online, particularly in the education and academic space.


Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said:

“Our sector’s success is supported by certain things which enable it to thrive. These include free access to global talent and ideas, a strong system of intellectual property rights which incentivises new thinking and creativity, freedom of speech and freedom to publish, unrestricted access to global export markets, and fair digital markets. These must not be traded away during negotiations in the broader interests of striking new FTAs, either now or after we leave the EU.”