At Frankfurt, IPA’s General Assembly Welcomes Côte d’Ivoire to Membership

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Seated at Frankfurter Buchmesse, the International Publishers Association’s general assembly has approved several developments in its member-organizations list.

Anges Félix N’Dkapri, president of Assedi, the publishers association of Côte d’Ivoire, speaks on Thursday’s (October 16) general assembly session of the International Publishers Association. Assedi was approved for full membership in the IPA. Image: IPA, Nabs Ahmedi

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

Russia, Ghana, Libya Gain Provisional Status
Capping off a week of major meetings and events during Frankfurter Buchmesse, the International Publishers Association today (October 18) will hold an Open IPA Educational Publishers Forum Meeting from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and anyone interested is invited to attend the session in room Spektrum 1 of the Congress Center C2.

There have been several member-state updates to the world body’s roster reported to us overnight, formalized by votes in the IPA’s general assembly on Thursday, seated at Messe Frankfurt during the fair. Prior to the week’s general assembly, the membership comprised 81 organizations from 69 countries in Africa, Asia, Australaisia, Europe, and the Americas.

The publishers’ association in Côte d’Ivoire—an organization called Assedi—has been voted into full IPA membership, a recognition accepted by Assedi’s president, Anges Félix N’Dkapri.

In addition, the publishers’ associations of three markets have been made provisional members (the standard step preparatory to full membership), and those are the associations of Russia, Ghana, and Libya

We’ll shortly have election results, as well—to the executive, membership, and Freedom To Publish committees—as officially tallied information is supplied to us.

Events in Frankfurt, Fair-Wide Participation

At the International Publishers Association’s general assembly at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019, president Hugo Setzer presiding. At right is vice-president Bodour Al Qasimi, and at center is José Borghino, secretary general. image: IPA, Nabs Ahmedi

Several of the Frankfurt events produced by the organization have been open to trade visitors.

One highlight was a presentation of the plans for the IPA’s 33rd International Publishers Congress in Lillehammer on Wednesday, and another was a look at the lives of the laureates of the IPA’s Prix Voltaire, the now-annual award for valor in defending the freedom to publish, frequently under oppressive regimes.

Kahled Lotfy

The latter program about the Prix Voltaire, featured Mahmoud Lotfy, the brother of Khaled Lotfy, who, as Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, is imprisoned in Egypt.

Khaled Lotfy reportedly was sentenced in February to five years on charges of divulging military secrets. Allegations in the case involve an Arabic translation of The Angel: The Egyptian Spy Who Saved Israel by Uri Bar-Joseph, a book published in the United States by HarperCollins in a translation by David Hazony. The Netflix film, The Angel (2018) in director Ariel Vromen’s production written by David Arata, is based on the Bar-Joseph book in question.

Kristenn Einarsson

In both events, Kristenn Einarsson presided as managing director of the Norwegian Publishers Association—which will host the Lillehammer IPA congress—and chair of the IPA’s Freedom To Publish committee, which confers the Prix Voltaire. And those events were held in the Guest of Honor Norway pavilion.

And the International Publishers Association opened its own internal meetings on Tuesday (October 15) with meetings of its copyright, membership, executive, and Freedom To Publish committees. An IPA general assembly session was also convened by IPA president Hugo Setzer and vice-president Bodour Al Qasimi on Thursday in the Festhalle’s Rotunde space.

The same venue hosted a “Global Copyright Policy and Enforcement Forum” on Thursday afternoon, co-produced by the Association of American Publishers and the UK’s Publishers’ Association.

The subject of that event, open to all Frankfurt trade visitors, was “Debating Online Accountability” and the program featured Lui Simpson, Ted Shapiro, and Ursula Feindor-Schmidt discussing law and policy developments for the publishing industry.

Among the topics discussed: administrative and judiciary online enforcement procedures available across the world; challenges and opportunities arising from article 17 of the EU Digital Single Market directive; the US Federal Trade Commission’s consultation on “Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century”; and the recent advocate-general opinion in the Tom Kabinet case on secondary markets of “used” ebooks.

At Thursday’s General Assembly of the International Publishers Association, the membership heard from Mahmoud Lotfy, the brother of Khaled Lotfy, who is imprisoned in Egypt, the winner of the IPA’s 2019 Prix Voltaire. Image: IPA, Nabs Ahmedi

More from Publishing Perspectives on the International Publishers Association is hereMore coverage of copyright issues is here. And more on the freedom to publish is here, while more on the Norwegian market and its guest of honor program at Frankfurt is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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