March 29 – April 5, 2007 Edition

Publishers Laud
Conclusion of Trade
Agreement With Korea

WASHINGTON/DC/04/02/07–The Association of American Publishers (AAP) applauded Sunday’s successful conclusion of negotiations regarding the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). USTR announced the agreement’s completion on Monday morning, after intense deliberations in recent months. The agreement is purported to contain high-level intellectual property protection standards, a vital component for several important U.S. and Korean industry sectors.

AAP President and CEO Pat Schroeder commented on the news: “This is a terrific achievement, and both governments are to be commended for their efforts in reaching a successful conclusion. A strong agreement will benefit producers and consumers in both economies immensely, and we look forward to learning about the particular provisions finalized.”

Mrs. Schroeder continued: “The U.S. book and journal publishing industry suffers from widespread copyright infringement in Korea, especially in the academic sector. The promise of strong provisions related to strengthening copyright laws and enforcement measures is exciting, and we are thrilled with the efforts that the governments have put into addressing these important issues.”

AAP estimates 2006 losses to U.S. publishers in Korea at $45 million, principally due to print piracy and illegal commercial-scale photocopying of books in and around academic institutions. These illegal acts destroy the academic market for U.S. and Korean books alike, and AAP has worked with its Korean industry counterparts in recent years to bring attention to the problems. Improving the protection of these works will benefit publishers and authors from both countries, and AAP looks forward to the implementation of the commitments Korea has made regarding these and related intellectual property matters.

The Association of American Publishers is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry. AAP’s more than 300 members include most of the major commercial publishers in the United States, as well as smaller and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books in every field, educational materials for the elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and professional markets, scholarly journals, computer software, and electronic products and services. The protection of intellectual property rights in all media, the defense of the freedom to read and the freedom to publish at home and abroad, and the promotion of reading and literacy are among the Association’s highest priorities.