Petitioning Council of the European Union and 2 others

Tell the EU not to force bookshops out of the e-book business

Booksellers all over Europe fully support the objectives of the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy and are very keen to take advantage of this opportunity to put more e-books in the hands of as many readers as possible, all over Europe.

Every business aims to grow and bookselling is no exception. However, even if the bookselling industry is looking forward to expanding its activity, and offer as many e-books as possible to its customers, wherever they are located, booksellers need more time to assess consumer demand and to solve technical problems, which, for the moment still hamper cross-border sales. Cross-border payment technicalities, cyber-security issues and VAT-related customer identification obligations, generate complex and costly procedures. In this respect, booksellers are looking forward to the concrete results of the VAT action-plan and to the work of the European Commission regarding cross-border payment solutions.

While being very keen to expand their markets across borders, booksellers reiterate their concerns about the inclusion by the European Parliament of non-audio-visual copyright protected content, such as e-books, in the scope of the Geo-blocking Regulation, and call on the Council and the Commission to maintain their original stance of non-inclusion, accompanied by a 5-year review clause.

In a nascent market, the profitability of which still has to be demonstrated, forcing traders to offer e-books across borders at this point in time would, in the end, be detrimental to European consumers: many SMEs could be forced to exit the e-book market and far from opening up the single market to consumers, this would be highly detrimental to cultural diversity and consumer choice in the EU, and only beneficial to major non-European international platforms.

European & International Booksellers Federation started this petition with a single signature, and now has 118 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.