Cross-border wars escalate

The commotion caused by cross-border publishing is getting louder, not quieter, despite recent new rules from the the federal government.Brandon Jones, president of the Canadian Business Press, says the publishers' association has already filed a complaint with Investment Canada about Paramount...

The commotion caused by cross-border publishing is getting louder, not quieter, despite recent new rules from the the federal government.

Brandon Jones, president of the Canadian Business Press, says the publishers’ association has already filed a complaint with Investment Canada about Paramount Publishing’s intention to publish an Eastern Canadian version of its directory, ‘Electronics Source Book,’ for electronics companies, suppliers and buyers.

Complaint

And Jones says when more information is available about New York-based Fairchild Publishing’s Sportstyle Canada trade title, the association will also file a complaint.

(Sportstyle Canada’s first issue was published Aug. 23, and had 28 pages, says a spokeswoman from New York. In response to a reporter’s question, the spokeswoman was heard to call Sportstyle Canada ‘Sportstyle North.’

In the meantime, Canadian Business Press has established a task force on cross-border publishing, and has put together a ‘Publisher’s Survival Kit’ which is being sent to members and non-members alike.

The kit contains letters urging those who receive it to write to federal politicians such as deputy prime minister Jean Charest and National Revenue Minister Garth Turner and their opposition critics; to their own mps; and to other public officials they feel should know about the issue.

The kit also has in it a survey to help Canadian Business Press gauge how many Canadian printers are pursuing u.s. publishers to produce Canadian editions of their business and professional titles.

A letter in the kit states,’The threat to our industry from foreign publishers who publish low-cost `Canadian’ editions is growing more serious. Every month, we get news of another company that is planning a regional edition aimed at this country.

‘Publications produced in this manner are ridiculously cheap to produce. If one pops up in your industry, you will soon become painfully aware of the advertising deals and freebies your advertisers will be offered to entice them out of your book.’

Ilana Goldberg, managing editor of ‘Electronics Source Book’ in Irvine, Calif., says there are already 10 regional editions of Paramount Publishing’s directory, adding the directory has been published for 10 years.

Ben Barak, owner of Paramount Publishing, was on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

Goldberg says the Eastern Canadian edition of ‘Electronics Source Book’ is due in January.

She referred further questions to Paramount Publishing’s Canadian sales office in Mississauga, Ont.

A salesman there declined comment on how well advertising sales were going for the Canadian edition of ‘Electronics Source Book.’

He suggested questions about the directory were better answered by Barak.

Clarifying guidelines

In July, under pressure from the domestic magazine industry and in the wake of the interim recommendations of the Task Force on the Canadian Magazine Industry, Charest said he was clarifying for the magazine and periodical sector the Related-Business Guidelines of the Investment Canada Act.

At the same time, the minister of Canadian Heritage, Monique Landry, said Ottawa will continue to follow policies which encourage the flow of advertising revenue to Canadian magazines and which discourage the establishment of split-run or ‘Canadian’ regional editions with advertising aimed at the Canadian market.