A code of conduct was developed by the Australian Publishers Association, in association with authors. It sets out the minimum professional and ethical levels of conduct expected of APA members in their relationships with authors.
It’s dubbed the Jolly Postman agreement after the iconic 1986 book The Jolly Postman or Other People’s Letters by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Parents will appreciate the difficulty of tracking down the tiny inserts at home and the problem is multiplied in a library setting.
This joint statement from the APA, ALIA and the ASA will remove doubt about whether libraries can continue lending the book after copying its removable parts, to avoid children being disappointed by missing pieces.
“The Australian Publishers Association (APA), the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) share a common goal for all children to be able to enjoy books and stories from the earliest years. Enjoyment of activity picture books relies on the inserts being available to every reader. To facilitate this, it is the policy of the APA and ASA that their members allow libraries to copy the inserts and replace them as needed during the borrowing life of the book, without the need for specific permission or additional payment to the copyright owner.’
This agreement follows on from an earlier agreement about the use of images of book covers by libraries to promote programs and collections.
It will include certain copyright agreements where storytimes are held outside the library and in bookshops, and also for the replacement of removable parts for children’s picture books.
The agreement was endorsed by all organisations in September 2019.
The agreement allow libraries to use book covers to promote books and authors without seeking copyright permission each time.
The Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) negotiated a landmark agreement to allow libraries to use book covers to promote books and authors without seeking copyright permission each time.
This made it easier for libraries to create displays, posters, websites and social media to promote events that were in effect, promoting the featured books.
Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of APA, said: “It’s a simple commonsense approach. Publishers and authors have nothing to lose. They may even reach more readers or make more sales as a result. We’re delighted to be working with ALIA, and to show that we can make things easier without damaging the fundamental property rights of authors or the businesses of publishers. This is the first step in what we hope will be a longer project to improve mutual understanding.”
Sue McKerracher, Chief Executive Officer of ALIA, said: “Libraries, especially public and school libraries, need clarity. We can now use book covers to promote reading without wondering whether we need to seek permission from each individual publisher. It has been a long term problem for libraries and we are grateful to the publishers for their willingness to work together with us on resolving this and other issues to make copyright work for us all.”
The agreement was made as part of the industry’s regular meeting and confirmed in August 2016.