Soon a new report on the sharing of value in the world of books?

Soon a new report on the sharing of value in the world of books?
Soon a new report on the sharing of value in the world of books?

The Minister of Culture, Rachida Dati, extends a first hand to the authors. To counterbalance the report of the National Publishing Union (SNE), published on March 2 and deemed “distorted” by the organizations representing authors, the tenant of rue de Valois ordered, according to our information, a new study at a private practice. This time it should include in its results the margins made by the broadcasters and distributors of the major publishing groups.

A new study with diffusion and distribution

First broadcast by the media The letter a, the information was confirmed at Weekly Books by Celine Benabesdirector of the Charter of Youth Authors and Illustrators. “The CPE (Permanent Council of Writers), the League of Professional Authors and the Charter were invited, about three weeks ago, by the DGMIC (Directorate-General for Media and Cultural Industries) at a first meeting of proposals for the specifications of the next study. We know that the minister wants to quickly propose a law in favor of the authors.”

But without the Hachette group?

According to the union representative, a second meeting, planned before the summer, should officially present the specifications of the future report, “with the actors who were missing from the study of the SNE, which distorted its conclusions”, she specifies. But Céline Benabes remains cautious, citing the difficulty for the ministry in obtaining figures from distributors and broadcasters. “Due to business secrecy, broadcasters and distributors have no obligation to communicate their activity reports”, she explains. An obstacle that could prevent de facto the investigation of the file.

According to The letter aRachida Dati told the General Directorate of Media and Cultural Industries (DGMIC), headed by Florence Philbert, the preparation of this study. The media also mentions the possibility of removing the Hachette Livre group from the study, due to the fact that “ its broadcasting and distribution activities are merged with those of publishing within the same legal entity, which would complicate the collection of financial data “. For the study carried out by the KPMG firm on behalf of the SNE, eight houses of the world’s third largest general publishing group shared their data.

The SNE welcomes this desire to document the sharing of value while refuting the idea of ​​bias in its own study. The latter is based “ on publishers’ social accounts “, remember Renaud Lefebvre, the general director of the organization. The latter waits “ the figures requested by the Ministry » but considers it already difficult to combine the financial results of publishing and diffusion-distribution, “ whose economic model is much more complex, based on flows and commissions “.

Precariousness and “protective status”

The news of this commission comes in a context of denunciations of the precariousness of the author-artist status. At the end of March, the organizations coordinated several rallies across the country to demand the creation, on a European scale, of a “protective status”. They also highlighted the SNE report, which reveals in particular that 25% of the net turnover of a publishing house goes to the authors compared to 18% for the publisher, once its direct costs have been assumed.

Figures contested by the organizations, which denounced a report making it appear “that all authors benefit from satisfactory remuneration”. A “great awkwardness given their precariousness”, to use the words signed by the League of Professional Authors in a press release.

During a previous cycle of discussions between authors and publishers, rue de Valois had already considered a study on the sharing of value, without this being successful due to a lack of data sufficiently representative of the situation.

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