Global Sourcing and Piracy
"It is important that governments work consistently to enforce those laws and train officers to stay one step ahead of the pirates," Judd says. "Technologies are evolving, modes of operation continually change, and it is important that solutions to this problem morph to fit the latest piracy strategies and techniques."
China agreed to enforce piracy laws during an annual trade meeting with U.S. officials in Beijing earlier this summer. U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez say the commitments by China reflect progress, but more needs to be done to address U.S. concerns. Piracy of U.S. goods ranges from music and films to pharmaceuticals, which is estimated to cost American companies billions of dollars each year. About 90 percent of software, music and movies sold in China are illegal copies, according to some U.S. industry estimates.
Judd says the AAP is "highly encouraged" by China's stated commitment to significantly reduce piracy levels. "We look forward to seeing if these commitments can be turned into effective action," Judd says. "Our industry has not yet seen a reduction in piracy, and we hope that the Chinese government can look especially hard at textbook piracy on university campuses, and online infringement and trading of book files."
Fear Not Stopping Publishers
Stan Redfern, vice president of production at Harry N. Abrams Inc.—a New York-based publisher of high-quality art and illustrated books—recently returned from a three-week trip to Asia. He says that Harry N. Abrams, a subsidiary of French publisher La Martiniere Groupe, is already doing some of its book manufacturing offshore. He says he's waiting to see if China's vow to increase regulation has any actual impact on piracy.
But this wait-and-see philosophy is not stopping publishers from outsourcing book manufacturing to Asia. The Book Industry Study Group (BISG), a member-driven trade association, reports China, the largest Asian exporter of books, eclipsed Canada to become the largest offshore manufacturer for the U.S. book market in 2004. BISG predicts that additional U.S. printers will invest in offshore print assets to offer a one-stop-shop, single-point-of-contact approach, to take advantage of potential savings.