Publishing has changed drastically
It is not just e-books and, for example, the “Hegemann / Airen” case that show that publishing has changed dramatically in the age of the Internet. It affects authors, scientists, readers, libraries and publishers and has far-reaching effects on the importance of knowledge, art and culture in society and life. The rapid development of digital content and its distribution via the Internet and smartphones does not stop at the written word.
Under the term “Open Access”, scientists from all disciplines publish their research results without writing a book. However, the reports also show that the current copyright law is constantly reaching its limits in the face of digitization and cannot be updated as quickly as technical developments require.
The value chain is broken
Some time ago I was on an exciting panel discussion. Topic: Social changes through the Internet as well Sense and purpose of copyright. Dr. Katja Mruck from the Center for Digital Systems of Freie Universität Berlin analyzed that the value creation process between authors as creators, publishers as distributors, libraries and bookstores and readers no longer works. In this context, she spoke of the book as a stagecoach of the future: Mruck suspected that people still buy books today, such as fiction, but that this last bastion of the printed word would fall if better technical equipment were available. She cited as evidence how our reading habits have changed dramatically in recent years.
Mruck continued to report on the many new opportunities offered to open access scientists by being able to publish on the internet free of charge and publicly. At the same time, the scientists are not actually doing so much differently than they used to: writing, assessing, editing. But while in the past the finished high-cost script was given to a publisher who issued the publication on a small scale, the same work can be received worldwide for far less money today.
Publishers on the defensive
The representatives of the publishers, Dr. Florian R. Simon, Managing Director (Shareholder) Duncker and Humblot Verlag and Eric Merkel-Sobotta, Executive Vice President Corporate Communication Springer Science and Business Media, however, came under pressure to justify themselves: they had to ask themselves about their eligibility. Publishers, according to a voice in the audience, need to rethink their service, away from paid content models to paid service.
The Paid Service Model, briefly touched, was then unfortunately the only suggestion of the evening, as now with the free knowledge to earn money. In this regard, on the podium for my taste a little too blame between the publisher's representatives on the one hand and Prof. Dr. Claudia Lux, Director General of the Foundation Central and Regional Library.
Creativity and marketing
After all, with the “Made to Create” competition series, Berlin wants the book and press market, film and radio industry, art market, telecommunications, software, game development, music industry, advertising market or design industry. This includes, for example, innovative marketing ideas.
The fact that all these new developments are actually not that new, showed the audience contribution of Regine Heidorn: They like to spend money on well-made books, she said, but also wanted to acquire digitally at the same time. And even more, then email these texts to friends who might be interested, or publicly comment on their blog. Because she has always done that, says Heidorn, even in the 80ern, when they copied book texts in the copy shop to give them to friends - only that these friends are just now scattered around the world.
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