1. Dealing with digital – compliance and regulation
While there has been a lot of talk surrounding the disruptive potential of e-Readers since they entered the market, digital reading platforms have lately been drawing fresh scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. This was a hot topic for publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair, who now face challenges in digital that they do not in print.
In May 2018, the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) marked the most important change in data privacy laws in over 20 years. The directive requires businesses to get affirmative consent from customers prior to collecting any of their data, so many publishers are still making comprehensive updates to their terms of service to comply with the law and avoid penalties.
The publishing industry faces additional compliance and implementation issues in the form of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, approved by the EU in September 2018. With the goal of updating copyright law for the digital age, the regulation is already raising questions over current practices and the future relationship between publishers and content creators.
Digital continues to be an exciting channel for content, but there are a number of hurdles that publishers, both big and small, are struggling to deal with. The industry’s challenges with GDPR and EU copyright reforms offer proof that, while print is publishers’ comfort zone, they have yet to fully master the digital landscape.