This year’s Beijing International Book Fair had some new guests. United Kingdom (UK) publishing welcomed the new minister for business, energy and industrial strategy, Baroness Neville-Rolfe. The minister and her team participated in a range of meetings, speeches and conferences, all designed to support British intellectual property (IP) businesses in this complex market. The Bookseller brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “Copyright after Brexit.”

Copyright is still as relevant as it was in the 18th-century. Without it, how would the intangible become tangible? And what has all of this got to do with Brexit?

An international publishing industry can only function in those markets and territories that broadly play by the same rules. That means countries adopting aligned copyright systems that not only protect their own citizens, but crucially provide the same recognition to works written by foreign nationals.

Whether Brexit brings about any change remains to be seen. However, an international author and publisher community cannot exist without a broadly aligned international copyright system. As the UK government seeks to realign its economic, legal and commercial relationships with both the EU and common law blocs, there is at the very least a policy choice to be made about what the UK’s copyright future should be. In other words, the future will be telling.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.