Court turns down request for publisher’s attempt to stop this year’s National Book Festival
The court has turned down a request filed by book publishers Dom Communications Ltd to stop the National Book Council from organising this year’s National Book Fair at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.
Book fair organisers, namely Chairman of the National Book Council Mark Camilleri, were notified of the injunction by Dom Communications on Wednesday 9 November, which is the same date when the much anticipated event was launched.
It appears that the publishers were not allowed to exhibit their publications during this year’s fair and back in September, they had even filed a judicial protest in this regard.
The court noted that with the injunction being filed on the same they when the event was launched, Dom Communications tried to “inflict as much damage as possible to the detriment of other publishers.”
The court had originally provisionally upheld the publisher’s request, but has now turned down the complainant’s request as it decided that this request has a multiplier and exponential effect on the other participants in the fair “who depend on this fair for a substantial percentage of their annual income.”
On its part, the National Book Council argued that an arbitrary decision by the council should not in any way be made to affect negatively the large number of other publishers.
“If anything, the publishers could have sued the Council for damages but not try and stop the whole festival,” Mr Camilleri argued.
It appears that the reason why Dom Communications was not allowed to participate in this year’s fair is because the company in question was allegedly selling and distributing books without the necessary copyright.
The book council said it felt the duty to deny the publisher’s request to exhibit so that the reputation and standards of such an important event is not tarnished.
In a sentence handed by Judge Jacqueline Padovani Grima, the court ruled that the provisional approval of the injunction is to be turned down.
The prohibitory injunction was filed against Mark Camilleri as the Chairman of the National Book Council and the Ministry of Education and Employment.
Lawyers Mark Mifsud Cutajar appeared for Dom Publications and Andrew Sciberras appeared for the National Book Council.