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London Book Fair 2022

Despite numerous challenges, the welcome return of the London Book Fair at the Olympia London proved to be a big success. Attendees, who may now be more used to holding virtual meetings, were able to meet each other in person after two years of Covid disruption. In addition to formal meetings, the Fair was also host to countless unplanned catch ups and impromptu reunions as attendees bumped into old friends not seen since the start of the pandemic.

For LBF veterans and those making their Olympia debuts alike, the Fair was an excellent occasion to learn more about the variety of publishers that make up the industry and attend events where major figures in the publishing world discussed issues facing the industry. Diversity and sustainability in publishing were the topics that dominated this year’s seminar programme as well as the tragic war in Ukraine.

As in previous years, PLS had a strong presence at the Fair, with a packed schedule of meetings with publishers signed up to PLS’ services as well as appearances of PLS staff at various events.

Tuesday saw PLS’ Head of Rights and Permissions, Amy Ellis, chair a panel of publishing luminaries who provided an informative session on rights management and how authors can best protect their copyright and ensure they do not fall foul of copyright law. A packed Author HQ was provided with a rights management masterclass from Jenna Brown, Contracts and Royalties Manager at the Bright Agency, Amy Joyner, Rights and Licensing Director at Kogan Page and Elle Brenton-Rounding, Senior Sales and Business Development Manager at Bonnier Books UK.

The Olympia Theatre was the location of Wednesday’s joint Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers/PLS seminar on Text and Data Mining and Copyright. PLS Chief Executive, Sarah Faulder, questioned both the Senior Director of Global Sales Partnerships at John Wiley & Sons, Duncan Campbell and PLS Policy and Communications Manager, Will Crook, on the current issues surrounding TDM and copyright, how publishers can best protect their content used in TDM and how future legislation may be a cause of concern for publishers.

Any return of the London Book Fair would have been incomplete without the annual Charles Clark Memorial Lecture. This year’s lecture was given by Professor Mark D. Cole, Professor of Media and Telecommunication Law at the University of Luxembourg, who provided an interesting and accessible overview of the EU’s current and possible future approach to regulating the online platform economy.

The end of the Charles Clark Memorial Lecture also marked the end of this year’s Book Fair and, amongst the chatter in the drinks reception held afterwards, plans were already being made amongst attendees and colleagues to meet at next year’s Fair, which we are sure will build upon this year’s successful return.