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Press Release :: Books in the 21st century

Books in the 21st century

(13/10/2011) The transition to digital technology stands to revolutionise access to information and transform the publishing industry, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said in a speech at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Noting that books support society, she stressed the opportunities that new trends like the emergence of e-books offer with the potential appearance of many new business models for different types of reader. By embracing the digital transition the creative sector, including publishing, can help achieve "the common goal of promoting and protecting Europe's cultural strengths". Kroes set out various policy issues, such as online libraries, copyright, VAT rates for e-Books, the treatment of orphan works and the possibility of making e-books interoperable between devices, benefiting openness, freedom and choice. But she expressed her view that even in the electronic age, books would remain: "The temptations of the tweet and the immediacy of the Internet will not replace, but complement, the satisfaction of submersion in a good long read."

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Additional Information

Commission Press Room: SPEECH/11/660