Below is the announcement of a milestone in making the 1000 Great New Zealand ebooks project a reality in 2010.
Copyright collective Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL), one of a global network of not-for-profit rights organisations, has announced a venture to lead the digitisation of ebooks in New Zealand, starting with the 1000 Great New Zealand ebooks. This follows on from the work we’ve been doing as an industry to make this project happen.
CLL’s involvement is a real boost, especially given its role as a guardian of copyright and rights holders’ interests. In New Zealand, CLL is jointly owned by authors and publishers through their respective associations.
Disclosure of interest: I’m involved in this venture as project manager. Full press release follows.[Update: This venture did not go ahead and was instead replaced by CLL’s own venture Digital Publishing New Zealand].
Copyright Licensing Ltd has formed a venture to digitise New Zealand books and make them available to the New Zealand reading public on new digital reading devices, including ebook readers and smartphones, Apple’s iPhone and the forthcoming Google Android phones.
Thirty publishers have already submitted more than 300 of New Zealand’s most renowned books to include in the project.
CLL, the non-profit copyright collective representing book publishers and authors, will be seeking rights from publishers and authors to digitise further works which would be made available under licence to libraries, booksellers and the educational sector.
Chris Else, Chairman of CLL, said CLL had been looking for ways to develop an infrastructure that would assist in the development of digital publishing in New Zealand.
‘The digitisation of books is one of the most exciting business opportunities the world has seen and New Zealand must embrace it in order to move forward in the publishing industry. CLL aims to identify business opportunities for publishers and authors in the digital environment.’
CLL has formed the venture in conjunction with Digital Strategies Limited and InfoGrid Pacific Pte Limited following on from the formation of the Digital Publishing Forum last year. Forum Director Martin Taylor will manage the new venture through his company Digital Strategies Limited.
The proposed public launch of the project will be in the second quarter of 2010.
The project is scheduled to run for 12 months before being developed further. Its goal is to see a significant percentage of New Zealanders reading books digitally in the next two years.
‘Although ebook readers are not yet widely available in New Zealand, part of our plan is to use these great New Zealand ebooks to encourage companies like Sony, Asus and others to enter the New Zealand market early and help to grow it,” Mr Taylor said.
InfoGrid Pacific Pte Limited will provide the XML publishing and distribution platform required to digitise and distribute the works.
CLL is a non-profit copyright collective that provides centralised licensing services for the reproduction of extracts from published works and looks after the interests of publishers and authors in New Zealand.