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«A Report Prepared for the Association of Canadian Publishers By Diane Davy President Castledale Inc. Association of Canadian Publishers 174 Spadina ...»

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Task Force Q: Can existing digitization initiatives, whether homegrown or imported, be accessed to help the Canadian publishing industry move forward?

As discussed throughout this report, there are a number of organizations that are well positioned to partner with the ACP and its member publishers in navigating the complexities of digitization and digital exploitation.

Following is a brief look at some of them.

1) Access Copyright Access, a collective formed to manage the licensing of photocopying rights on behalf of creator and publisher members, is currently undertaking a major research and planning exercise to examine what it might offer in the way of expanded services in the digital arena. It already offers some digital licensing services to publishers who have signed the relevant contracts. These contracts are non-exclusive and don’t prohibit a publisher from exploiting its digital assets directly should it wish to do so.

Depending on the outcome of their research, Access may decide to offer a broad suite of digital services to publishers including digital rights management and possibly even sale representation on behalf of publishers.

–  –  –

It is currently working on a pilot program with Irwin Law and Vanwell to digitize and distribute those publishers’ digital assets to post-secondary institutions. Part of the outcome will be a case study in best practices for digitizing backlist for multiple uses. Access will be happy to share its outcomes once the project is completed.

Access also has some financial resources for professional development and has indicated its willingness talk to the ACP about partnering in developing and delivering relevant professional development seminars.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS:

• Partner with Access to deliver a seminar on the outcome of their pilot program to ACP members.

2) BookNet BookNet, a not-for-profit agency dedicated to innovation in the Canadian book agency supply chain, works with publishers and booksellers to develop services and standards to make the selling of books easier, faster, and cheaper.

BookNet has conducted research into the possible economies of scale that might result from managing the digitization of publishers backlist and the grouping of publishers POD needs together. Preliminary conclusions are that there would not be significant financial benefits, in terms of reduced unit costs, from a collective initiative.

BookNet developed and hosted a full day seminar on the impact of digitization and is continuing to offer a series of seminars on the topic.

BookNet too may well be an excellent partner with whom to work on specific professional development seminars.

3) Organization of Book Publishers of Ontario (OBPO) and other Provincial Associations The OBPO is interested in exploring training opportunities that would access provincial funding dollars and would be pleased to discuss possibilities with the ACP.

There is one significant funding opportunity through the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities that could help to develop curriculum materials and to pilot a professional skills training program. This consultant has experience with a similar program funded by that Ministry for the film and television industry.

–  –  –

4) Humber and other academic institutions A preliminary, very general conversation with the head of the Humber Creative Book Publishing Program, indicates a sincere interest in working with the industry on developing appropriate professional programs -- possibly even ones that could be delivered nationally.

This consultant has also had experience in partnering with several academic institutions on film and television industry training programs and is confident that other educational organizations could also be approached.

5) Other The ACP is working cooperatively with ANEL. ACP representatives have attended meetings hosted by Library and Archives Canada (LAC). LAC is interested in the development of a national digitization strategy and may provide services and resources to accomplish that.

There are some individual publishers who have developed proprietary systems that they might consider offering to open content alliances for use by all and for on-going adaptation and up-grading.

There are also, as previously described, several cooperative efforts (B.C group, OBPO) underway. The results from these will help inform the industry.

FUNDING

Task Force Q: Are public funds to assist with the digitization of predigital copyright works available? Are funds to assist with the development of infrastructure for digital sales, marketing, warehousing, and indexing available? Who are the most appropriate funding partners?

A strong argument can be made that the best model for Canadian publishers is to directly retain, manage, market and sell their own digital assets to the end consumer cutting out middle men whenever appropriate in order to retain as much of the profit margin as possible.

At a minimum, publishers should be enabled to digitize their backlist and, through a combination of on-going professional development and financial assistance, to understand and properly exploit the various opportunities that the digital world offers, whether directly or through third party services.

–  –  –

To this end, the consultant recommends that the ACP lobby for the creation of a Digitization Fund, similar in concept to the Supply Chain Fund that would enable publishers to master and implement the entire process, from digitization of backlist, through research and possible purchase or license of digital asset management systems, to digital asset marketing and sales.

Some components of the fund might be very specific and short-lived (e.g.

one-time component, run over about 3 years that enables Canadian publishers to digitize their backlist) while others would be broader and longer term.

There are also several existing funds that may be accessed, particularly for the educational components recommended. The BPIDP Professional Development component offers up to $100,000, generally capped at 50% of a project’s eligible expenses although there may be an argument that this is such a vital need that the cap could be reduced.

In addition there is provincial money, though the Ontario Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities (also see Partners above) available for the development of curriculum and the delivery of pilot training programs and the OMDC Partnership Fund, which has been successfully accessed for a similar training initiative in the film and television sector.

CONCLUSIONS

See the Executive Summary section for final recommendation arising from this report.

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