Spain Lowers Tax on E-books, Opens Digital Library

In Global Trade Talk by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams A very important — and positive — development for the incipient Spanish e-book market took place this week.  On Tuesday the Spanish Minister of Culture, Ángeles González-Sinde, announced that the government would set the value added tax for e-books at 4%, the same as for paper books.  E-books had previously been in the same category as software, …

Global Trade Talk, Spain: Proposed Piracy Law Draws Proests; Tusquets’ Prize for Emerging Writers; Marcial Pons and Gadir Honored by Government

In Global Trade Talk by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams The Spanish Ministry of Culture approved a new law that would allow the ministry to order the closure without judicial review of websites suspected of piracy. The move follows three years of fruitless negotiations between content creators and internet service providers, and is designed to target not individual internet users but the peer to peer (P2P) sites that …

Spain’s E-book Business Stuck in Beta

In Feature Articles by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams MADRID: Last week, the inaugural Feria del Libro Digital—Spain’s first e-book fair—took a few toddling steps into the future.  Described by its organizers as “Version 0.0,” the fair’s two days of panels, exhibits and workshops elicited decidedly mixed reviews. While many were pleased that it provided a showcase for the digital companies that had been shut out …

Bonus Material: Is Spain’s Piracy Complex Legit?

In Discussion by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams It’s accepted as common knowledge in Spain that the country has possibly the worst case of digital piracy in Europe and Spaniards may even be among the worst offenders in the world.  Andreu Teixidor, former president of Destino, a division of Planeta, and a panelist on Digital Publishing at the recent Feria del Libro Digital (discussed in …

Grijalbo’s Liarás Seeks a ‘Coup de Coeur’

In Feature Articles by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams BARCELONA: Random House Mondadori’s Grijalbo imprint has been on a roll. Under the leadership of Barcelona-based editor-in-chief Ana Liarás, it has been producing homemade bestsellers such as Ildefonso Falcones’s historical epic The Cathedral of the Sea, which sold over 1 million copies in Spain and went on to become a bestseller in Italy and Germany. This year …

Bonus Material: Dates Set for Spain’s First E-book Fair

In Discussion by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams After e-books were explicitly excluded from the Madrid Book Fair this past June, two of Spain’s technological innovators responded by joining forces to organize the country’s first e-book fair. Bubok, an e-book and POD publisher and retailer, and e-Cultura, a consulting company and think tank that combines culture with cutting-edge technology, have announced the creation of the …

Global Trade Talk: PRISA Sells 25% of Santillana; Spanish Group Suspends Google Deal

In Global Trade Talk by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams The PRISA Group, owner of Spain’s third largest publishing group Santillana, has been struggling with debt problems since the financial crisis took hold a year ago and on Monday agreed to sell a 25% stake in Santillana to pay off part of its burden.  The agreement values Santillana at $1.45 billion, with DLJ South American Partners, a …

Bonus Material: How the Spanish View the Google Book Settlement

In Discussion by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams A recent article in El Pais outlines the Spanish position on the Google Book Settlement, and offers an unusually balanced look at the progress represented by Google Book Settlement vs. the objections of Europeans caught up in a US legal fight. Two particularly good quotes: 1. “The settlement has raised blisters in Europe, with accusations bordering on intellectual …