New Berlin Declaration

This Berlin Declaration on the Future of the Digital Press was launched by the Periodical Press on 16 March 2011 in Berlin. Contrary to its namesake (the Berlin Declaration on Open Access) it does not call for OA, but for a less restrictive publishing environment where publishers are free to manage their own business models.
The declaration has five conditions:
  • Maintenance of existing press freedom: a call to minimise restrictions on advertising as well as freedom of expression.
  • Freedom to experiment and manage innovative business models: a call for parity in negotiations with digital players (not mentioned but clearly aimed at Amazon, Apple and Google).
  • A strong copyright protection: including tighter control over allowable reuse of content.
  • Reduced VAT rates for digital as well as print publications: asking for zero rates on both digital and print.
  • Fair competition and transparency in the digital world: asking for legislation to prevent locked-in technologies that restrict mobile platforms for digital works.
The declaration makes no mention of open access and is aimed at the trade, rather than the research publishing area. The initiating partners are the European Federation of Magazine Publishers and the Association of German Magazine Publishers.
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