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A view from the south: the perils and promises of digital media for African publishing

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Paper delivered at the International Publishers Association Congress, Cape Town, 2012. The congress focused on 'Publishing in a New Area' and this presentation aimed to present the issues from a South ...

Paper delivered at the International Publishers Association Congress, Cape Town, 2012. The congress focused on 'Publishing in a New Area' and this presentation aimed to present the issues from a South African perspective

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    A view from the south: the perils and promises of digital media for African publishing A view from the south: the perils and promises of digital media for African publishing Presentation Transcript

    • From Paper to DigitalTransition Challenges IPA 2012 Congress Cape Town
    • A View from theSouth A view from the SouthThe promise and perils ofdigital media for Africanpublishing
    • We all agree – we are living inturbulent and changing times
    • How does this transition look from our vantage point at the southern tip of Africa?
    • PFrom print….
    • … in a context where populations small and thinly spread over large geographic areas…
    • …making costs high…
    • Communications are often poor and transport costs high…
    • …inflating distribution costs…
    • …customs and exchange controlbarriers block inter-country trade in Africa…
    • AttributionNoncommercial Some rightsreserved by transaid images
    • … dominance of large global playerscan distort the market and can block global distribution …
    • Books published (1999)http://www.worldmapper.org/images/largepng/343.png
    • Book production is low – in themid-2000s, South Africa wasproducing 7,600 titles, to289,000 in the US and 206,000in the UK
    • Number of books published, by countryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_published_per_country_per_year
    • We could easily sink into Afro-pessimism and see Africa as a basket case – a ‘bookless continent’..
    • …but we need to understand themechanisms that are at play in this scenario
    • We do have longstanding traditions to draw on, including that of Timbuktu http://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/product.php?productid=2216
    • NoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Robert Goldwater Library
    • …the print tradition at the juncture ofArab and African scholars embedded in social networking and oral traditions…
    • We live on a huge continenthttp://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/the-true-size-of-africa/
    • And with Africa manifesting thepromise of continuing economic growth it is becoming and important market.
    • ‘…there is a vast and growing new middle class across the continent: the British, American and European media houses have lost us. Our own arebooming, and we are finding deals with CCTV (China) and al-Jazeera. We fly Emirates and Kenya Airways. We make deals with those who see a common and vibrant future being a platform for engagement.’ Binyanvaga Wainaina: Hpw not to Write about Africa in 2012 The Guardian 3 June 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/03/how-not-to-write-about- africa?INTCMP=SRCH
    • Can we celebrate digital media as a route to new, more expansive opportunities?
    • Offshore cables promise an end to the digital divide
    • The trajectory of digital change…
    • …starts in the academic sector
    • In South Africa there is governmentsupport for ‘gold route’ open access publication of local journals
    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mararie/3313582639/ CC-BY- SA OA and OER are now becoming widelyadopted worldwide and are supported byinternational, regional and national policies
    • The HSRC Press pioneered a new model of social science scholarlypublishing, using flexible licensing for dual stream print for sale and open access digital
    • HSRC digital and print books reach worldwide and have achievedsubstantially wider exposure than the traditional print model
    • Open textbooks get government support...
    • http://everythingscience.co.za/
    • in 2012 the Department of BasicEducation supplied to schools over 4 million copies of free science and Maths textbooks from the Siyavula initiative with open access text and support material online..
    • Does this mean government publishing?
    • ...or a disintermediated publishing model?
    • New devices are making a difference…
    • The horselesscarriage – thee-reader
    • http://www.jonmccormack.com/blog/?p=835…has its advantages…
    • … reaching pupils in rural Africanschools, with the help of mobile networks…
    • A more collaborative, interactive model is
    • Apple iPad interactive textbooks
    • But there is a problem…
    • Attribution Some rights reserved by music2work2Territorial rights ‘Territorial Rights’
    • “This title isnot available inyourlocation, Africa”
    • Apple iTextbooks are not available in Africa
    • African titles are only just beginning toappear on Kindle
    • …for local publishers and booksellers the problem is the lack of open platform devices…
    • …making things complicated for potential readers…
    • Gaps in availability generate negative reactions. Is it easier to accesspublications illegally than to download them?
    • AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Bichuas (E. Carton)
    • This arises from a neo-colonial copyright tradition
    • NoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by cool-art
    • 1947 The British Traditional Market Agreement constituted British publishers a cartel in global publishing.Andre Rens in Publishing and Alternative Licensing Models in Africa . Ottowa, IDRC 2010http://idl-bnc.idrc.ca/dspace/bitstream/10625/45649/1/132110.pdf
    • The BTMA became the subject of an anti-trust investigation by the United States Department of Justice in 1974. As a consequence, it was formally terminated in 1976 by British publishers – who continued to adopt the same approach in individual licence agreements with American publishers, so that the pattern persisted until at least the end of the 20th century (Feather 2006: 191; Bryant 1979: 371).Andre Rens in Publishing and Alternative Licensing Models in Africa . Ottowa, IDRC 2010http://idl-bnc.idrc.ca/dspace/bitstream/10625/45649/1/132110.pdf
    • The term ‘territorial rights’ refers to limitations which copyright intermediaries such as publishers place on licences that theyissue, which enable them to engage in price discrimination.Andre Rens in Publishing and Alternative Licensing Models in Africa . Ottowa, IDRC 2010http://idl-bnc.idrc.ca/dspace/bitstream/10625/45649/1/132110.pdf
    • In South Africa and many other African countries, parallel importation is prohibited and criminalised
    • The mapping of territorial rights onto the boundaries drawn by the colonial powers at the Berlin Conference (1984–5) reduces the viability of African publishers by limiting their markets, thus ensuring continued domination by multinational corporations.Andre Rens in Publishing and Alternative Licensing Models in Africa . Ottowa, IDRC 2010http://idl-bnc.idrc.ca/dspace/bitstream/10625/45649/1/132110.pdf
    • Dysfunctionalbusinessmodels areencouraging‘piracy’ http://www.scribd.com/doc/50196972/MPEE-1-0-1
    • …resulting in moral panics and enforcement programmes…
    • New disruptive publishing models are emerging, often with disaggregated supply lines…
    • Formal publishing is only the tip of the iceberg -Attribution Some rights reserved by natalielucier
    • …what else is going on in South African publishing?
    • Freemium models
    • EBW Health Care: free onlinecontent, books for sale, accreditationand certification of training provided for a fee http://ebwhealthcare.com/
    • Science popularisations reach wide audiences, often paid for by government or donor contracts….
    • http://jivemedia.co.za/
    • Our strength in Africa – mobile technology
    • AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by DavidDennisPhotos.com
    • What is missing – real commitment from the mobile companies to content.“The key issue for the success of data revenuesis: how can you create a compelling, financiallyrewarding ecosystem to generate apps, content and services that users want more of?” Roger Southall: Balancing Act http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/en/issue-no-607/top-story/open- innovation-afri/en
    • Empowerme nt is likely to happen through collaboration – new partnerships will be neededAttribution Some rights reserved by Anthony_Joel
    • Eve GrayCentre for Educational TechnologyIP Law and Policy Research UnitUniversity of Cape Townhttp://www.gray-area.co.zahttp://www.cet.uct.ac.zahttp://uctipunit.wordpress.com/about-2/ ! ! ReporttoMellonFoundation 2010! !
    • You are free to: Copy, share, adapt, or re-mix; Photograph, film, or broadcast; Blog, live-blog, or post video of;This presentation. Provided that: You attribute the work to its author and respect the rights and licenses associated with its components.