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Ministry forges copyright network for literature
Ministry forges copyright network for literature

To strengthen Taiwan’s literary exports and to connect the local publishing industry with the international community, the Ministry of Culture has combined the 2014 Taipei Rights Workshop with the visit of an international copyright delegation, and plans to establish an “International Copyright Information Platform for Taiwanese Books” to create a comprehensive overseas copyright trade network.

The Taipei Rights Workshop launched last year was highly praised by both workshop participants and international publishing professionals. To expand the effects of the workshop, the Ministry has successfully integrated it with a visiting delegation of international copyright professionals that include major publishing and copyright experts from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

One of the invited guests is Peter W. Bernstein, an American broker who served as the literary agent for books written by mainland Chinese historian Ji Xianlin (季羨林, 1911-2009) and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波). Berstein is joined by Nele Hendrickx, the publisher of De Geus, a Dutch company that has published a great number of Chinese-language literary works, including those by Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan (莫言) and writers Su Tong (蘇童), Yu Hua (余華), and Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai (白先勇).

Members of the visiting delegation will serve as lecturers at the Taipei Rights Workshop from Nov. 13 to 15 and carry out in-depth exchanges with their Taiwanese counterparts. The Ministry hopes to promote the matchmaking of domestic and foreign copyrights by introducing international copyright professionals to Taiwan’s unique cultural values.      

The curriculum includes 2-day lecture courses and a half-day mock negotiation workshop. The lecture courses focus on an in-depth overview of European and American book markets, in which General Manager Jo Lusby of Penguin China will discuss a new market frontier for English translation of Chinese-language books while British movie producer Robin Gutch will share his experience in producing film and television works adapted from Chinese-language literature.

The half-day workshop, meanwhile, will revamp the venue to simulate an international book fair and copyright center for participants to practice copyright negotiations and transactions face-to-face with the guest lecturers.  

The Ministry is also looking to establish an English version of the “International Copyright Information Platform for Taiwanese Books,” a website designed for international copyright professionals to use.

The website will produce a sample translation text for each Taiwan-published book selected for its international marketing potential and include introductory information on the writer, translator, copyright contact, and copyright monographs. Such information and more on quality literary works in Taiwan will soon be made available to the international publishing community when the website is inaugurated in the spring of 2015. 

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