'Congratulations - you've just killed a book' is the slogan posted in Italy's universities in a bid to curb wholesale photocopying of books by students and academics, writes Paul Bompard. The campaign is run by the Italian Publishers Association (AIE), which believes that laws permitting the copying of 15 per cent of each text are being flouted. Each year, the AIE estimates, tens of thousands of volumes are copied at a cost to publishers of €300,000 (£211,000). Lorenzo Enriques, responsible for university publishing at the AIE, said this meant many books with an anticipated small print run were not published.
Ferruccio de Bortoli, managing director of RCS Books, said: 'Lots of writers and small publishers are forced out of the market. It is like a brain drain'