TEHRAN – On April 23, Iran’s Children’s Book Council, celebrated as World Book and Copyright Day, called on Iranian children’s book publishers to respect copyrights.
In a statement, the council celebrated the occasion and said, “Although Iran has not joined any international copyright conventions, the country should respect copyrights.”
“In recent years, some Iranian private companies have entered into negotiations with foreign writers or publishers to acquire the copyrights of their books,” the statement added.
The council also stated that all of its satellite institutes strictly observe copyrights.
Iranian publishers, writers, translators and some private cultural organizations have emphasized the need to adhere to international copyright conventions over the past decade.
They said the lack of copyright protection in Iran is a major obstacle to the publication of translated books, wasting many opportunities to participate in major international cultural events.
Arsalan Fasihi, a Persian translator of the works of Turkish writers Orhan Pamuk, Aziz Nesin and Elif Safak, has previously criticized Iranian translators for copying books already translated by their colleagues, and called it plagiarism.
Joining the Berne copyright convention will prevent plagiarism and allow multiple translators to work on the same foreign book, he noted.
Quoting Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos, Iran’s cultural attaché Ali Mujani said in 2018 that Iran’s absence from international copyright conventions had so far prevented organizers of the fair to welcome Iran as a special guest.
UNESCO celebrates April 23 every year as World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, to promote reading, publishing and copyright.
The first World Book Day was celebrated in 1995 and continues to be recognized on this day. On the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day, UNESCO and the advisory committee of the main sectors of the book industry select the World Book Capital for one year.
In 2022, the Mexican city of Guadalajara assumes the role of World Book Capital, with a year-long program that focuses on the role of books and reading in triggering social change, combating violence and construction of a culture of peace.
The original idea of celebrating an International Book Day was conceived in 1922 by the Spanish writer Vicente Clavel Andrés in order to honor the author Miguel de Cervantes.
It was first celebrated on October 7, 1926, Cervantes’ birthday, before being moved to his death on April 23, 1930.
The holiday has continued to enjoy great popularity in Spain, particularly in Catalonia, where it coincides with the Diada de Sant Jordi, the patron saint of Catalonia. La Diada usually involves the exchange of gifts between relatives, and since the 1931 Barcelona Book Fair the usual gifts have been a book and a rose.
In 1995, UNESCO decided that World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on April 23, since this date also corresponds to the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. , as well as that of the birth or death of several other eminent authors.
Photo: A file photo shows a woman visiting the 32nd Tehran International Book Fair on April 29, 2019. (Fars/Mehdi Marizad)