After months of preparation and endless trepidation on how it might go, the second edition of Publishing Next concluded last Saturday. Judging from the numbers that attended and the satisfied voices that emerged, dare we say that it was quite the success.

The objective of Publishing Next was to create a forum that would discuss topics related to the “future of publishing” – not just technologies that impacted publishing but also trends in consumer preferences and publisher practices, changes in the environment that necessitated certain paradigm shifts and disruptions whether in the form of new technologies or business processes.

This we set out to achieve by bringing together speakers and attendees that engaged in the practice of different aspects of publishing. Among those who attended this time were publishers (of books both in English and Indian languages), authors (both published and self-publishing), digital content and e-reader developers, book marketers and retailers,columnists, service providers such as editors, translators and literary agents,graphic book developers and illustrators, print experts, magazine editors, members of various bodies such as NCAER, even investors.

That such a diverse group of people should be interested is perhaps because we chose topics that would appeal to different sections of the publishing sector. Among the panel discussions and workshops that generated the most passionate discussions were those on academic publishing, Indian language publishing, the preservation of oral traditions and book distribution issues. That said, the other panel discussions and workshops generated no less heat. Given the parallel track of events, one constant refrain was the inability of many to choose which session to attend. Even the insight talks, introduced for the first time, got a lot of attention and were very well received.

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From the discussion, it seems like many issues affecting publishing are perennial in nature. Distribution remains one of them, so does the inability of the tech community to address the concerns of the publisher. The publishing community, in turn, are no longer awed or intimidated by the “spectre” of e-books, they realise that e-books are here to stay and will co-exist with printed books. But they, the publishers, have genuine concerns and get few answers.

We are happy with the way the conference turned out – that the discussions were intense and thought-provoking and that the conversations will perhaps continue long after the conference concluded. We do hope that those affected will continue to search for answers, many of which have been hard to find.

We have many people to thank for making Publishing Next ’12 happen. Firstly, Carlos Fernandes, the curator of the Krishnadas Shama State Central Library who encouraged us to have the conference in its magnificent building and who offered the delegates a guided tour of the library, Similarly, we would like to thank Sunil Patki, Sunitha Prasad, Gautam John and Anjum Hasan who helped us assemble a formidable list of speakers, And, of course, our advisory team consisting of Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, Vinutha Mallya, K. Satyanarayan, Rubin D’Cruz and James Bridle who have always championed our cause. We have also Caravan, Fountain Ink, PrintWeek India, yourstory.in, Not Just Publishing, Indian Printer and Publisher, Biblio, FICCI, Contemporary Literary Review of India, Book Link and booksnewsindia.wordpress.com to thank for helping us spread the word about the conference. And NBT and the Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Goa who have encouraged us to go the distance. And, lest I forget, the speakers who so graciously accepted our invitation and the other attendees who thought this was a conference worth attending. Everyone at CinnamonTeal spent sleepless nights ensuring that all went well. So did the students of Xavier’s College, Mapusa, who ensured a smooth conference. We thank them all!

Immediate reactions:

I learned much and met with several interesting people. It was well organized and very useful.
– Shobha Viswanath, Karadi Tales

We had a great interaction with publishers during the our workshop at publishing next.
– Dinesh Ingawale, Welbound

The conference surpassed my expectations. I met many interesting people – some of whom I am most likely to do business going forward.
– Badri Seshadri, New Horizon Media

There was a lot of diversity and a lot of new insights. Even though I am not really a publisher, I learnt many things and I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of it. I do hope the initiative continues.
– Annie Zaidi, author

That was the most engaging publishing conference I ever attended.
– Vatsala Kaul Banerjee, Hachette India

It was a great mixture of the practical and the intellectually stimulating, and I learnt a great deal as I’m sure did everyone. You have created a great space for some of the most interesting publishing projects in the country to get together and I think we all really appreciate it.
– Venetia Kotamraju, Rasala Books

I must say that the conference was very well organized.
– K. Vaitheeswaran, Indiaplaza

I think the conference was great in the well thought out sessions, the interesting people and the right amount of laid-backness and informality. I heard some inspiring speakers and met some people I would like to get to know better. And feel suitably inspired about my own work.
– Sayoni Basu, Duckbill

Publishing Next, the conference that dwells on a single point agenda, the “future of publishing”, will be held in Goa on the 14th and 15th of September 2012. This year the conference has expanded its scope to include panel discussions, “how-to” workshops and insight talks.
The conference, which will be held at the new and swanky Krishnadas Shama State Central Library in Panaji, Goa, will bring together participants from all over India. Some of the publishing houses that will be represented by speakers on various panels include Sage India, Springer India, Pearson Education, Duckbill Publishing, Chhatim Books, Hachette India, Penguin India, Madurai Press, Jyotsna Prakashan, New Horizon Media, Pratham Books and many others. A wide variety of languages, genres and geographies have been represented by the people attending the conference.

During the conference, there will be panel discussions on how to get children and young adults to read, the state of Indian language and academic publishing and the steps that can be taken to encourage new authors and publishers as also to preserve oral traditions through publishing alternatives. In parallel, there will also be workshops on how to self-publish, how to measure the ROI on digital investments, how to work with online retailers and how to develop books for the mobile platforms. Perhaps for the first time in any conference of this type, there will be workshops introducing new printing techniques. Insight talks by Ashish Goel (formerly ACK), R Sriram (ex-Crossword), R Sundar Rajan (Just Books), Ganesh Devy (Bhasha Research Centre) and Badri Seshadri (New Horizon Media) will also be held. These will primarily be experience-sharing sessions given the varied experience of the speakers.

The full programme can be viewed at http://www.publishing-next.com/pn-12/schedule/

Publishing Next was envisioned as a platform that will provide uninhibited discussion on the future of publishing in all its aspects. That meant that technological changes alone could not be the focus of discussions. New business practices, trends and shifts in consumer and producer behavior had to all feature in the deliberations that occurred. Simultaneously it was deemed important to ensure that all sections of the publishing community had a voice in what was discussed and deliberated. And that there was ample opportunity given for all to network and build relationships.

The format of the conference has therefore been made three-tracked so that there is something in it for everyone. While publishers can meet and network, they will also be introduced to new trends in technologies and business practices that will directly impact their businesses. People who have recently stepped into a career in publishing will do well to attend so they can understand how publishing has evolved, the gaps in publishing that can be exploited and meet new people who can help their businesses. The panel discussion titled “Expanding the publishing pie”, for instance, will look at the publishing sector from an entrepreneurial perspective and will have investors on the panel who will offer advice on how to obtain funding for a publishing house.

Editors, illustrators and other service providers will also benefit tremendously from the conference, given the opportunity to meet others from the publishing sector, especially publishing editors and decision makers from reputed publishing houses. In the first edition of the conference, held in September 2011, such meetings proved very valuable as they offered many people the opportunity to offer their services to these publishing houses. Given that there is a panel discussion on the distribution and retail aspects of books, there is much that booksellers will also benefit from the conference. For bibliophiles themselves, the conference offers the opportunity to know more about the publishing industry, little of which is documented, and meet with various publishers. The opportunity to discuss a manuscript is also always there.

Two exciting panel discussions – one on the state of Indian language publishing and the other on the preservation of oral traditions through publishing will, perhaps for the first time, allow an insight into “non-English publishing”, which, quite unfortunately, hogs much of the print media space allocated to the publishing sector. These two discussions will bring together people who have done tremendous work in these fields and who have an in-depth knowledge of the issues involved.

What others said:

“Publishing Next …was a great opportunity to meet and network with writers, publishers and entrepreneurs” – Padmini Mazumder, Editor, Books & More

“For Reading Hour, participating in Publishing Next 2011, gave us an opportunity to meet and interact with participants from the publishing world” – Vaishali and Arun Khandekar, Reading Hour

“The eclectic list of presenters and attendees and the varied events made for a great couple of days” – Peter Griffin, Journalist and Editor

“Publishing Next was also a very useful networking opportunity for me, which I was also able to translate into a set of good contacts for my other colleagues who work with me on various projects” – Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, Director of the Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture

 

by Vinutha Mallya

Going to Goa for a conference? No one around me could hide the tone of incredulity in their question, when I was invited as a speaker for Publishing Next 2011. I was thrilled at being able to go to Goa, where my ancestors hailed from, for something other than pilgrimage and the beaches.

That Goa is much more than beach destinations is often overlooked by merrymakers and bohemian drifters. For its native residents, it is home, encrusted in history, tradition and everyday life. The thought of going there for something purposeful, meaningful even, was a first, and therefore, very appealing. The theme of the conference was “The Future of Publishing”. I was chairing the session on Copyright Law.

Vinutha Mallya (l) chairs the panel discussion on “Copyright Issues in Publishing” at Publishing Next ’11

It was pouring rain when I landed at Dabolim airport that evening in September 2011. Since three of us were landing from different cities at about the same time, a car and two volunteers were waiting to take us to the venue, the International Centre Goa in Dona Paula. The meet-greet by the young volunteers was our first glimpse of the wonderful hospitality that awaited us over the next two days.

The roster of speakers at the conference included the who’s-who in Indian publishing industry and literary world—some popular, and others who have been silent revolutionaries. What made the list interesting was not just this group. It was the variety of speakers and audience that had come together, which made the conference a valuable and memorable experience.  Voices from across the spectrum spoke: traditional–non-traditional, Indian languages–English, government-private, author–editor, writer–translator, offline–online, copyright–copyleft, print–digital, bookseller–reader–reviewer, etc.

Over the next two days, the sessions revealed that before looking at the “future of publishing” there was a lot of the present to deal with. During the conference it was obvious that the publishing ecosystem in India has suffered from a lack of dialogue and exchange of views. Very few platforms exist for this. The Jaipur Literature Festival and its offshoots have created a glamorous profile of the Indian literary scene, but the industry professionals rarely get a stage. Publishing Next is one among a handful that has aimed to do this, and perhaps the only one such in the southern part of the country.

The challenge for Publishing Next 2011 was to bring together a seemingly motley group into a coherent discussion; while also to expand the scope of “publishing” by including the many directions in which technology was pulling it.

Not too long after the first session began, it was clear that “digital” was no longer the elephant in the room. Ebooks, digital publishing, self-publishing and social media held collective interest among publishers. Authors, bloggers and newbie publishers iterated that the world was more “social” and everything was changing. A workshop that gave an introduction to creating twitter and facebook accounts and their relative benefits, also gave useful tips.

Panel discussions on policy and law, independent publishing, the importance of translations, and the challenges in distribution and selling, were taken up in the course of the two days. The conference had received support from the National Book Trust and the British Council.

Winners of the British Council’s Young Creative Entrepreneur award for publishing, from Indian and the UK, presented the winning projects.

Along with the panel discussions, interaction between speakers and participants was very engaging. We had plenty of opportunity to carry forth the discussion over breakfast, tea-breaks and meals. Many of us came away with new contacts and friends. It is to the credit of the organising team and the young volunteers that although it was their first time, the conference proceeded smoothly, and without a hitch.

To my mind, Publishing Next has the potential to become a permanent entry in India’s publishing calendar, as a platform for the future of our publishing industry. It cannot get there without vision and support from the industry.

When I left after the conference, I hadn’t thought that a year would go by so quickly. Although we didn’t come away with clear answers to determine the future of publishing, we left with more direction. We might get closer to the future this year—the line-up for Publishing Next 2012 looks very promising.

Quotable quotes from Publishing Next 2011:

“Digital Books are headed almost everywhere”– Kailash Balani, President of the Federation of Publishers and Booksellers Associations in India (FPBAI) and MD of Aditya Books.

“We need to build on what we’ve learned”.  – Radhika Menon, Publisher of Tulika Books.

“Although it was very tempting to mush together new media, new technology for its own sake does not enhance writing.” – James Bridle, Director of Bookkake and finalist of UK YCE Publishing Award 2009.

“Collaboration is a survival strategy” – Mandira Sen, Publisher of Stree and Samya imprints, and founding member of IPDA.

Vinutha Mallya is an independent publishing consultant and an advisor to Publishing Next

An unscheduled but much welcomed session by Anish Trivedi concluded proceedings on the first day of Publishing Next. This veteran of the music industry shared his experiences with the evolving music industry scenario over the last fifteen years.

Anish shared his opinion that within the music industry, it is not the music label, or the listener but a group of companies that own every radio station over the world who decide what is heard. “There are musicians who will never be heard because some software decides what’s to be heard on the radio.” he said. He put forth an interesting fact, “If there are 50 manuscripts that get trashed at a publishing house every week at one publishing house, there are probably 5000 tracks that get trashed everyday in the music industry,”  thus drawing parallels with the publishing industry.

The music industry had spent a lot of time plotting how they could be protected from the internet, stop piracy and eliminate peer-to-peer sharing. Ten years were spent trying to combat these “ills” (quotes ours) and all they realized was that it cannot be stopped. The consumer refuses processes that make it difficult for them to listen to music. Meanwhile, sites like emusic suggested that musicians put their tracks up for free. The way out was to collaborate with online mediums to make it easier and more convenient for music to reach the people.

Since there is no data available on sites, how do you find a track? In the Indian music industry, nobody knew the name of the song or singer; they knew the actor in the song. That made it easy for them to find music on certain criteria, by putting data together. Anish exhorted the audience to action saying, “It took us a long time to realize that things have changed. Don’t make the same mistake, because whether it is the ipad or iphone, the convenience of it will draw people to it.” His advice was to use technology to reach the audience, not to protect content against who might be genuine customers.

“The paradigm has changed”, he concluded.

The parallels are too obvious to ignore. The traditonal gatekeeper role that publishers have played, and sometimes importantly so, is being challenged by various options that make it easy for authors to self-publish. That said, it is sometimes difficult to believe that a few editors can decide, and will do so correctly, what millions will read. The need therefore is for independent publishing houses that will support alternate voices and opinions and independent bookstores that will pay lesser attention to margins, concentrating instead on providing visibility to lesser known titles.

Similarly, the desire to control usage of digital content is too attractive for some publishers. At CinnamonTeal Publishing, we believe in the author’s right to choose on which platform books can be read. We would rather appeal to the reader’s sense of ethics and discourage piracy. That may or may not work and less subtle forms of discouraging piracy (like social DRM) are now available and could be employed. However, to totally restrict usage to publisher-mandated platforms may be counter-productive.

This report was presented by Lianne Caldeira and Malaika Fernandes at Publishing Next, 2011.

By Kannan Sundaram

A couple of months back, I was asked to speak as a panelist in the Publishing Next conference, hosted by CinnamonTeal in Goa. The panel that I was a part of was focused on discussing Copyright Issues in Publishing, in the light of the proposed amendments to the existing Copyright Act. It was suggested that I speak on how the legal framework of copyright, executed through contracts between an author and publisher, impact upon the author-publisher relationship, with specific focus on subsidiary rights and territorial rights.

My experience as a Tamil publisher, and of the issues publishers like me face, are so different from that of an independent English publisher in India, that it is hard to believe that we all exist in the same geographical space. For instance, the proposed amendments to the copyright law, such as the introduction of clause 2(m) (which would allow parallel imports) that have worked up the independent English publishers and created a debate in the English media are probably not of any great concern today to a Tamil publisher. I often dream of facing the problems encountered by independent English publishers – problems like book piracy and parallel imports.

The day one of Kalachuvadu’s books is pirated, I will decide that we have finally arrived!

Parallel-import fantasy

Tamil is probably the only Indian language that is also an international language. It is an official language in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. After the vast Sri Lankan Tamil immigration to the West, Tamils now live in substantial numbers in about 50 countries across the globe. Their population is above 100,000 in cities like Paris, London and Toronto. It is said that more Tamils now live in Toronto than in Jaffna. Tamil is a municipal language in the city of Toronto.

Tamil-publishing activities are taking place outside India from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and to a limited extent, in the Western countries. So, now I also dream of parallel imports.

Because, this would mean that the international Tamil market would expand manifold. Markets for Tamil books in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the West would grow to such an extent that publishers would buy territorial rights from the copyright holder and publish them for their local market. And, we would do the same for Tamil books published outside India.

That would be a dream come true, because the scenario where 2(m) threatens us is possible only when the international Tamil book market becomes a fully developed market. I do not intend to either trivialize or romanticise the problems of the independent English publishers, but only wish to point this out: facing these problems in a developed market might be better than surviving in a market that cannot sustain book piracy or parallel imports.

Author–Publisher– Copyright Relationship in Tamil Publishing

Typically, a Tamil writer is thrilled if the publisher signs a contract, sends him a statement of accounts regularly and pays him some money as Royalty. Tamil publishers are not known to easily part with Royalty. For their star writers, they dole out some cash during the occasion of Pongal festival, which is like a bonus to encourage the writer. Royalty accounts are not given as a rule, but provided only under duress. I would like to narrate two stories to illustrate the author–publisher–copyright relationship:

Ten years ago, I met the family of a great Tamil writer who had passed away some decades ago. His books continue to sell well even to this day. The family narrated this story: Their publisher came every year to pay them a paltry amount as Royalty. Typically, he would then begin to complain about the lack of sales. So much so that the grandchildren of the writer began calling him “cry baby” behind his back. During one such visit, when he was about to leave, a granddaughter raised an innocuous question about his new house. His face spontaneously brightened up and he told her with a lot of pride: two floors are complete and the third floor is under construction.

Few years ago an archeologist visited me. He worked for multinational companies in Asia, Europe and Africa. He had written a wonderful book in Tamil on archeology nearly a decade ago. He wanted to know if I would republish it. I considered it an honour. He had doubts about the copyright for the book – whether it was with him or with the publisher. I pointed out to the imprint page of the book where it was clearly mentioned that the rights were his. At this time, two things struck me: one, this was the first time he was looking at the imprint page, and two, he had never received any Royalty for this very valuable book.

Couple of years ago, we published the Tamil translation of Baby Halder’s A Life Less Ordinary – the autobiographical story of a house-maid who had educated herself, and penned the book. Before we commissioned its translation in Tamil, the book was published in many Indian and international languages. Baby Halder had travelled across the globe, participating in readings and signing copies. When I gave her the Tamil translation, she immediately turned to the imprint page, read what she could of the information printed in English, asked me several probing questions on the number of copies printed and the royalty she would get. In my 15 years as a publisher, this was the first time an author quizzed me on the details of the imprint page.

Awareness of copyright does not come with education of it, but only with exposure to the issues of copyright. As a rule, Tamil writers lack that kind of exposure. There is enough material for a doctorate on Tamil publishers-author-royalty relationship in the last century, which will, in essence, be a history of exploitation of the author. A senior writer once wrote in a publication, “how can you cheat a Tamil writer by not paying royalty when he does not expect to be paid in the first instance?”

There are of course a few honourable exceptions to this rule.

Creating a “Revolution”

When Kalachuvadu Pathippagam was started in 1995, one of our earliest decisions was to sign a contract with our authors and pay royalties regularly. This is hardly a revolutionary decision, but in the context of Tamil publishing it created a buzz and became our USP with the authors. The buzz came about because contracts and royalty were not the norm in the industry.

Very few authors have moved away from us in all these years. We have an undeclared rule of not approaching an author who is publishing with a fellow publisher. But authors often approach us. One major reason for this policy of ours is the respect for copyrights. The money is not big, and for many writers who are not dependent on writing for a living, it may not mean much in financial terms. But the few thousand that they earn through writing gives them enormous satisfaction.

Many senior writers have called me after they receive a cheque from us, and have said that this was the first payment they have ever received for their writings. For them, it becomes a moment to be cherished. Like I mentioned earlier, there does exist the theoretical possibility of territorial rights in Tamil. However contracts never mention the territorial rights. To my knowledge, sale of territorial rights has never happened.

The total population of Tamils across the globe is estimated to be around 65 million. But sales of books are minuscule when compared to this figure. For any piece of literary fiction and non-fiction, for a sale to be considered good is if an edition of 1200 copies is sold in a year.

There are many reasons for this. I will touch upon a few here:

  1. Book culture itself is not developed. Reading books outside your school curriculum is typically considered a waste of time.
  2. Complete domination of English is present in both material and psychological spaces. More and more children are receiving schooling in English. Speaking English is considered the final proof of knowledge. Tamil school curriculum is archaic and encourages the child to hate the language.
  3. The establishment is completely biased towards classical Tamil and modern writing is largely ignored in school and college syllabus. After three millennium of the reign of poetry, prose (which is probably a 150-year old tradition) is treated like an upstart.

‘Rights’?

Subsidiary sales are practically non-existent. To my knowledge, no Tamil publisher has ever sold film rights. Our film producers are too smart to waste money in buying rights. They have this unpaid army called “assistant directors” who are commissioned to read lots of books. Very few Tamil films are made with scripts. The movie team sits together with the story line and develops the movie scene by scene over discussions. As per the situation the assistant directors will adapt a character or role in the story from a published source of Tamil fiction and insert it in the script, as and when the story demands. It is done so cleverly that even the author will not recognize this piracy.

We at Kalachuvadu have sold a few subsidiary rights, for translations to Malayalam, English and some European languages. When I share news of sales with my authors, they are typically moved. They are excited about the possibility of their work being read by other readers in other languages. When a publishing house takes the initiative to sell translation rights, it definitely strengthens its relationship with the author.

Digital, in the context of history

Digital and e-book sales have not yet taken off among Tamil books, and so the industry is yet to face issues of copyright and subsidiary sales for digital rights. Speaking of digital books there has been a lot of debate on print books versus the e-book elsewhere and in the Publishing Next conference too. The traditional medium for writing in Tamil was palm leaves. We used this medium for at least three thousand years, or more.

The first book to be printed in any Indian language was probably in Tamil.  It was printed in Goa, in Roman script, for the purpose of propagating Christianity.  In spite of the advent of printing technology, for several centuries after this, palm-leaf writing flourished.  We have evidence that in the early-twentieth century, books that were first printed were later copied onto palm leaves for reading. I won’t go into the reasons, but I would like to stress on the point that the future of the printed book will be decided not on the basis of technology alone, but also on the basis of culture and politics.

In conclusion…

Issues like piracy, 2m and digital rights, which are the talking points for independent English publishers, are not yet major issues for the Tamil publisher. But, as the market develops, these changes are bound to hit us sometime in the future.

On a more personal level, the signing of legal contracts, respecting copyrights and doing our best to sell subsidiary rights has had a very positive impact on our relationship with authors. Two years ago, I walked up to U.R. Ananthamurthy at a dinner at London. We had not met for a long time, so I began to introduce myself again: He silenced me, turned to the group he was in, and introduced me: “This is Kannan, my Tamil publisher, and he pays Royalty”!

Kannan Sundaram is the Publisher of Kalachuvadu Pathippagam, a publishing house that has published seminal texts covering fiction, non-fiction, literary criticism, social and political comment in Tamil language. He is also the Editor of Kalachuvadu, the renowned Tamil literary journal launched by Sundara Ramaswamy.

This article is a modified version of the talk given by the author at the ‘Copyright Issues in Publishing’ panel of the Publishing Next conference.

Publishing Next, a conference we had in Goa last September, had one primary agenda – to discuss the future of publishing. Among those attending were publishers, authors, content creators, social media experts, government officials, freelancers, editors, designers, bloggers and many more.

For details, blogs and pictures, visit http://www.publishing-next.com/2011/

We believe the conference was largely successful, enough to encourage us to plan its next edition in 2012.

That said, we do not wish that Publishing Next should be an annual event. One during which people meet and only reminisce about the year gone by. We hope that the knowledge sharing, networking and plain amazement at what publishing has achieved and can achieve, be an ongoing discussion. To that end, we have initiated a discussion forum.

Publishing NextWe sincerely hope that this is not yet another discussion group but one that will be a platform not only for free discussion but also a conduit for networking, perhaps for collaboration between publishers or simply an excuse for free exchange of information. Everyone is free to join here, a passion for publishing (in its broadest sense) and a love for books being the only criteria. If there was one marked feature of Publishing Next, it was how a diverse group of people, some very remotely associated with the traditional concept of publishing, prompted some very serious discussion. Feel free to invite others too, those you feel will contribute to the growth of this platform.

So, welcome to the group! You can register yourselves here: http://groups.google.com/group/publishingnext

After you have registered, you can post your comments to the group using the email address publishingnext@ googlegroups.com

The last session of the conference deliberated upon a topic that read: Managing the Translation Market. With a panel of six members and panel chair Arshia Sattar, this session tackled different aspects of translation within the publishing industry. The moderator emphasized on the value of translation, saying it “provides a whole new text for an audience to enjoy,even though a few things are lost in the process.”
Arunava Sinha touched uponthe market reasons for translation in India. A representative of the NationalTranslation Mission, Winston Cruz explained the vision and strategy of the organisation in his presentation and introduced the audience to several Government initiatives in this regard. Rubin D’cruz, Director of KSICL, took this opportunity to point out that languages in translation should not be referred to as central or regional as all are important and main languages and all deserve equal respect and attention. He also stressed on how important theNational Book Trust and Sahitya Academy were instrumental in national enterprise building.
K. Satyanarayan, co-founder of Chennai-based New Horizon Media and a Tamil publisher in his own right, discussed options for funding translations as well as the challenges involved in it. Other members of the panel included Neeta Gupta of Yatra Books who initiated the subject of tri-lingual dictionaries required in the industry, andJudith Oriol, the Book Attachee at the French embassy in India. “French publishers cannot ignore the Indian market anymore”, Ms. Oriol said.
The panel was almost unanimous in its assertion that there is a need for training and infrastructure to support translation in India today.

The session on  ‘Copyright Issue in Publishing’, a very informative and interesting session, dealt with, as the name suggests, the much-deliberated copyright amendments and other copyright issues that most publishing houses face. The panel included G.R Raghavender, Registrar of Copyrights and Director at the Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India; Pranesh Prakash, Programme Manager for a Bangalore based non-profit Research and Policy Advocacy organisation; Kannan Sundaram, of Kalachuvadu Pathippagam and author of several articles on politics and media including ‘The Great Copyright Hoax – Untold Story of 20th century Tamil Publishing’; Mandira Sen, a partner at Bhatkal and Sen which publishes two imprints, Stree and Samya and was chaired by Vinutha Mallya, a senior editor at Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad.

L-R: Vinutha Mallya, Mandira Sen, Kannan Sundaram, Pranesh Prakash, G. R. Raghavender

G. R. Raghavender in his presentation gave a detailed report of the copyright Law, itemizing every aspect of the law and explaining the circumstances that led to those aspects being introduced. Mr. Raghavender elaborated on the amendments, provisions and exceptions of the law and the changes it has faced in due course of time.

Pranesh Prakash began his discussion with a provocative comment stating that ‘each one of us is a criminal and should be jailed. Every single day, we violate the copyright law, whether we know it or not.’. This he said to illustrate how so many provisions of the Copyright Law were meaningless in today’s environment and therefore needed a revision. He said that the one problem with the Copyright Law was its attempt to bring together a large variety of very different kinds of activities under one umbrella while people actually engage in these creative activities for very different reasons. Mr. Prakash further continued to elaborate on this topic enlightening the audience with the various issues that publishers and other artists face due to the Copyright Law.

Kannan Sundaram gave a satirical viewpoint of Tamil publishing industry. He stated that ‘my experience as a common Tamil publisher and the problems that I faced are so divergent from the independent English publisher.’  Using many instances, Kannan illustrated how the concept of Copyright was either misunderstood or abused in the non-English markets.

Mandira Sen, in her discussion mentioned some of the amendments of the law with regard to the business models of publishers and how they affect them. She stated that there were three pillars of publishing, the first pillar being the copyright protection law which protects the rights of the author from issues like piracy and others, the second, territoriality which protects the sale of the work over a certain geographical area and the third, royalty which the author receives for his work. In her presentation she briefly explained section 2(m) of the copyright law, 2010 and the impact it has on the publishing business model.

Vinutha Mallya concluded by stating that ‘in India there are no industry statistics for publishing which is, in fact, is urgently required. Longitudinal studies tell us the patterns in India; territoriality has been a cultural notion as much as it has been a geographical notion and that the dependence on foreign books for the education of students among Indian publishers will decrease with the advent of the changes’.