Italy’s Publishers Join Their Sister Creative Industries

In a policy statement that the AIE is making available to the news media, four issues, including copyright and piracy, are flagged for politicians.

In Taormina, July 22nd. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Todamo

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

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Aare many Publish Perspectives Readers will recall that one of the strengths of Italy’s publishing industry – particularly in its ability to garner support from Rome during the worst of the ongoing coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic – was that of Italy Confindustria Cultura Italia (ICC), the Confederation of Cultural Industries.

It is an umbrella organization that includes the Federation of Italian Publishers (Association Italiana Editori, AIE) as well as the powerful Italian cinema and audiovisual associations (ANICA, APA, UNIVIDEO) and the heritage promotion agency AICC. In total, it represents more than 150,000 companies and at least 5.4 million employees. That Confindustria celebrated its 110th anniversary in February 2020, just as the pandemic was making itself felt.

Within the last week, the Confindustria has identified four priorities for the cultural content industry in Italy. While this kind of coordinated trade action is hardly uncommon in many countries, Italy’s creative industries are unusually close to one of the country’s biggest economic drivers – tourism, arts, history and national image. That means the next legislature – to be decided in snap general elections on Sunday (September 25) – is likely to listen as it did during the pandemic era.

In describing their interests, the creative collective has identified four thematic areas in which to work:

  • Strengthening of the creative and cultural sector
  • Stabilization of system regulations and laws
  • Promotion of culture consumption
  • The fight against piracy and the protection of copyright
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Cipolletta: Sector laws for individual cultural areas

Ricardo Franco Levi

Ricardo Franco Levi, President of the Italian Publishers Association and Vice-President of the Association of European Publishers, is a seasoned government official instrumental in shaping and communicating the value of Confindustria Culturas different elements.

“The world of culture, understood as the production of books, films and audiovisual content, music and services for museums and exhibitions,” writes his Milan offices, “generates an added value of almost 16 billion euros ($15.7 billion ). with more than 200,000 employees.”

Innocenzo Cipolletta, President of Confindustria, says that the “cultural sector’s ability to generate wealth, jobs and also innovation for the economy, its social impact on the lives of Italians and the image of Italy abroad, gives it an important role in development and growth of the country.

“There is a need to become increasingly aware of this, to invest in it and to improve it through specific industrial policies, which should be at the heart of political agendas and programmes.”

In short, the collective cultural core is preparing to lobby for stronger positioning and support from the new government set to replace the parliament that was dissolved in July when Mario Draghi resigned as prime minister. All 400 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and all 200 electoral seats in the Roman Senate are in play. The Consortium of Cultural Industries wants its central role in the economy and character of the country to be more widely recognized by the new government.

Innocenzo Cipolletta

Cipolletta says: “The last two years of policy for cultural industries have inevitably been devoted to dealing with the impact of the pandemic on the sector.

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“The great effort of the institutions has led to the implementation of a series of intervention tools, aimed primarily at countering the emergency and adopting a fragmented approach. At the same time, however, the awareness of an organic and systemic vision has also matured.” This, he says, “is the need to carry out structural reforms that take advantage of the opportunity of the crisis to stabilize, integrate and renew the legal framework of the sector , so that companies can define safe and medium to long-term investment plans.

“But like other industrial sectors, there are many different sectors in culture that deserve special attention. It would therefore make sense to enact sectoral laws for all individual areas of culture, as has already been done in some cases. Books, music and museum services are sectors that deserve legislation that can encourage their growth.”

Copyright: “The essential requirement”

Culture, according to Cipolletta in his statement for the sector, “with its educational, training and leisure value is an essential good for society. Its dissemination and use must therefore be stimulated and facilitated through actions to support cultural consumption, for example by continuing actions such as the 18App and extending the teacher card also to the purchase of musical and audiovisual products in their physical and digital versions and the development of other similar ones Support instruments for other weaker categories, to envisage the introduction of a system of deductibility of cultural expenses and finally to promote a subsidized VAT system for all cultural products.”

Cipolletta is finalizing the policy draft that he and his fellow leaders are on Confindustria are articulated with an appeal to the essential primacy of copyright protection.

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“The cultural content industry is based on copyright,” he says, which is essential to rewarding those who work in the industry, just as patents protect creativity in the industry. Copyright must therefore be defended and valued.

“Piracy continues to be a major threat to the industry that requires effective countermeasures to secure the future of today’s and tomorrow’s operators.

“What we are asking is attention to the world of culture because of the role it plays in the country’s economic and social growth. These proposals are not only for the sector, but also for the future of the new generations and of our country in general.”

More from Publishing Perspectives in the Italian market is here, more from us about the book trade is here, more about digital publishing is here, more about copyright issues is here, and more about book piracy is here.

You can find out more about the coronavirus-COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing here.

About the author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a Non-Resident Fellow of Trends Research & Advisory and was named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously Associate Editor for The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson has been a senior producer and anchor at, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute) he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for writers now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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