The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world's largest federation of national, regional and specialist publishers' associations. Our membership comprises 86 organisations from 71 countries in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas. Through its members, IPA represents thousands of individual publishers around the world who service markets containing more than 5.6 billion people.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, IPA represents the interests of the publishing industry in international fora and wherever publishers' interests are at stake.
IPA was founded in 1896 in Paris by the leading publishers at the time. Its initial aim was to ensure that countries throughout the world showed respect for copyright, and properly implemented the (then) new international copyright treaty, the 'Berne Convention for the protection of literary and artistic works'. And today, the promotion and defence of copyright is still one of IPA's main objectives.
Since its foundation, IPA also promotes and defends freedom to publish, a fundamental aspect of the human right to freedom of expression.
Likewise, IPA stands for the promotion of literacy and reading, and has always been a meeting place for publishers to network, exchange views and conduct business.
IPA is an accredited non-governmental organisation (NGO) enjoying consultative relations with the United Nations.
What does IPA do?
IPA liaises with international organisations and lobbies them when new international treaties or other legal instruments are being shaped. To that effect, IPA has official consultative status with United Nations organisations including the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU). IPA also sets up regular meetings with World Trade Organisation (WTO) staff and delegates, and other international organisations.
IPA assists its national member organisations when national laws affecting publishers, in particular copyright laws, are introduced, reviewed or amended. IPA provides its members with legal advice and lobbies national governments in cooperation with concerned member organisations.
IPA monitors cases of violations of freedom of expression and freedom to publish worldwide. IPA supports publishers and authors in the case of their prosecution and persecution, and brings their case to the attention of international organisations, national governments and the media. IPA initiates protest campaigns when appropriate.
IPA has developed an extensive network of internationally active non-governmental organisations (NGOs) sharing IPA's objectives, in particular in the area of copyright and freedom of expression. These include international newspaper, periodical, and music publishers, writers, librarians, collecting societies and human rights organisations.
Every year IPA awards a Freedom to Publish Prize, the IPA Prix Voltaire, for exemplary courage in upholding freedom of expression and freedom to publish.
IPA regularly organises international Publishers Congresses and organises international events focusing on publisher issues, e.g. 2006 Göteborg Book Fair with its focal theme “Freedom of Expression”, Istanbul bi-annual Freedom of Expression Gathering, 2007 Arab International Copyright Conference, 2008 Black Sea Book Fair, 2008 International Symposium on Neo-Censorship, etc.
IPA takes part in fact-finding missions, e.g. as member of the Tunisia Monitoring Group (TMG), and in trial observation missions, e.g. at the trials of Ragip Zarakolu.
IPA promotes the development of international standards important to the publishing industry. It represents the publishing community on the board of the International ISBN Agency. It is a founding member of the International DOI Foundation and monitors other standards developments. IPA is a board member of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO).
IPA provides its members with regular information services and advice on publishing-related developments around the world.
IPA promotes and monitors the ratification and enforcement of the UNESCO Florence Agreement on the Importation of Educational, scientific and cultural materials and its additional Protocol.
IPA collaborates with UNESCO to promote World Book and Copyright Day (23 April) and assists in selecting the World Book Capital City each year.