Frankfurt Report 2006

In addition to being the top international venue for the buying and selling of rights, the Frankfurt Book Fair is also the locus for meetings of several international publishing organizations with which AAUP has been strengthening its ties.

The International Publishers Association is an association of 76 national, regional, and specialist publishing associations. It was founded in 1886 to promote compliance with the Berne Convention, and while copyright is still a major concern, so are the freedom to publish, standards, and literacy.

According to IPA by-laws, only one publishing association from each nation can be a voting member of IPA; for the U.S. that membership is already held by AAP. However, at the IPA Executive Committee meeting in Frankfurt, Bob Faherty, Director of the Brookings Institution Press and past University Press representative to the Board of AAP, was approved as the voting member for the U.S. on the Executive Committee.

For the last several years I have also been sitting in on the meetings of the IPA Copyright and Freedom to Publish committees; this year I also sat in on the meeting of the IPA Literacy and Book Policy Committee.

We are including in this issue of the Exchange an address given by the President of IPA, Ana Maria Cabanellas, to open a forum titled "Publishers and Search Engines: Facing the Challenge."

The purpose of the forum was to introduce a joint project of IPA and the World Association of Newspapers, the development of a standard for machine-readable rights metadata that can be attached to copyrighted material on the Web. The standard, built on ONIX, is known as Automated Content Access Protocol. One way to think of ACAP is as the next generation of robots.txt: a way of telling spiders not just whether they can crawl/not crawl, but if they do, what the conditions of use are.

The International Federation of Scholarly Publishers (IFSP) is a new organization, of which AAUP is a founding member, whose aim "is to ensure that not-for-profit scholarly publishing is fostered and supported in all countries of the world, that the standards of not-for-profit scholarly publishing are maintained and enhanced, and that copyright and freedom to publish are strongly defended." The principal ways of working toward those goals are by enhancing communication between the members of IFSP, and by working with and through IPA. IFSP is an affiliate member of IPA and has permanent observer status on the Executive Committee of IPA.

Currently, in addition to AAUP the other members are the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, Canadian University Presses, the International Museum Publishers Association, and the International Development Research Council of Canada. Publishing associations in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin American have also been targeted for recruitment.

IFSP had its second annual meeting in Frankfurt, at which I was selected as President, succeeding Sally Morris of ALPSP. Since there were several potential new members at the meeting, the bulk of the discussion was devoted to issues relating to membership.

Finally, I should note that AAUP did not take a booth at Frankfurt this year because of an overfull schedule. It would certainly be preferable for the Association to be more visible at the Fair, and in the coming year we will be evaluating the additional cost of taking and staffing a stand in relation to other AAUP priorities.

Peter Givler
Executive Director, AAUP