With a spirit of optimism, the Association of American Publishers (AAP) penned a 5-page letter last month appealing to the president elect’s personal interests—and his ego—in order to garner his support for their priorities, namely protecting IP rights, defending the freedom to read and publish, and promoting research, education, and literacy.
Here are 5 reasons why industry leaders believe they can find common ground with Donald Trump.
- Trump is an Author. According to Goodreads, Donald Trump has written or contributed to more than 80 books, many published by members of the AAP. In their letter, the AAP points out the shared benefit, noting, “Some authors choose to self-publish, but the more traditional approach of an author teaming up with an established publisher is still a tried and true means for people with something to say to reach those willing to heed them… You and your daughter Ivanka are part of the proof, having authored some 18 popular books in the past thirty years, most of them published by imprints of AAP members such as Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, John Wiley & Sons, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group (Perseus Books), and all of them still available for purchase, whether in hardback, paperback, eBook or audio formats.”
- Trump is a Brand. The Trump name adorns more than a dozen buildings, golf courses all over the world, and even a winery. It is attached to everything from fashion apparel to education to steaks. The AAP’s letter submitted, “Surely you understand the role that meaningful intellectual property rights play in American entrepreneurial success, both at home and in global markets, as the ability to burnish the Trump brand through trademark registration and enforcement has helped your diverse enterprises to grow and thrive world-wide.”
- Creation of Jobs Will Be Pivotal to Trump’s Public Approval Ratings. On the campaign trail, Trump promised to grow the U.S. economy by 25 million jobs over the next decade. The AAP offered, “Like other small and medium entities that are responsible for meaningful job creation but often lack the resources needed to protect or pursue their rights through Congress and the federal courts, U.S. publishers need a common-sense assurance that their ability to obtain a fair return on capital investments in competitive markets will not be thwarted by flawed federal laws and court decisions…”
- Piracy Dips Into Trump’s Pockets. Trump’s publications represent concrete money in the form of royalties, which are lost when internet theft is committed. The AAP letter asserts, “the relevant Digital Millennium Copyright Act provisions do not achieve that intended balance and cooperation [between copyright owners and Internet service providers] due to numerous instances of judicial misapplication and the unanticipated appearance of service provider business models that foster, exploit and profit from online infringement by their users while offering only token compliance with the law.”
- There is a Chance to “Trump” China. Trump’s assertions about China manipulating currency and foreign policy have caused a bit of contention, which the AAP letter seemingly seeks to appeal to with the statement, “In addition, for several years now, AAP has engaged on multiple fronts to stop the unauthorized dissemination of electronic copies of academic journal articles by Chinese commercial entities that, having sourced the articles from certain libraries with licensed journal subscriptions, set up their own “subscription services” in direct competition with American publishers.”
On the eve of the inauguration, it’s impossible to say what the future will hold, but certainly the AAP’s commitment to win the President’s ear came early, and will hopefully create industry goodwill.