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Image EFRIS ( Extended Frankfurt Rights Information )

This project has contributed substantially to the goals of INFO 2000 by stimulating the publishing market, encouraging the protection of language diversity and reinforcing the principles of an electronic rights market. EFRIS has turned the Frankfurt Book Fair into an all-year round online version of its Rights Catalogue and is being extensively used throughout the industry.

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What is EFRIS?

Cartoon EFRIS was designed to extend the annual FBF into an all-year round online version of its rights catalogue. The project has created a web-based interactive rights information system enabling participants to update their own rights information and to contact other rights holders directly. Frankfurt Virtual covers rights for text, images and illustrations in books and journals as well as maps, videos, games, software and multimedia products and now holds 21,000 titles from 60 countries in some 70 languages.

EFRIS Web Capture "Taken together, the catalogues of the Frankfurt Book Fair provide the most comprehensive and reliable reference source for the international world of publishing," says Rüdiger Wischenbart, Chief Press Officer of FBF. "When EFRIS began, it was clear there would be great demand for an on-line service."

Over the fifty years since it began, the FBF has evolved continuously to meet the growing needs of its clientele. The rights catalogues have been available on CD-ROM since 1994. Today, the users, book and newspaper publishers, literary agents, multimedia producers, art galleries, writers and journalists, prefer to use the online catalogues, which attracted nearly 1.4 million hits in 2000 alone.

The proportion of electronic media exhibited at Frankfurt has grown dramatically since they were first introduced to the FBF in 1993, so much so that the 2001 Book Fair will be preceded by a conference on the changing world of publishing. The Digital Publishing Revolution: Exploring the Big Questions Facing Book and Journal Publishers Today will engage publishers, technology companies and journalists in a debate on the challenges faced by their market over the next five years.

"The EFRIS based online platform of the Frankfurt Book Fair is now well established as an exchange of ideas and concepts for developing the necessary environment for interactive and internet based rights exchange for the publishing industries, whether involving books or any electronic format," claims Dr. Wischenbart. "The project has created sound foundations for the establishment of an integrated online marketplace."

How it Works

The Frankfurt Virtual database is accessible via the FBF website. Using a powerful search engine, visitors can search the vast title and rights catalogue by subjects ranging from anthropology to young persons books, key words, product type, title, author, language, exhibitor, country and types of rights.

EFRIS Search Results Rights data includes an individual contact name, address, email and web site address for each title, allowing rights traders to interact directly with potential trade partners. The site also offers e-stands, enabling exhibitors to present their company information throughout the year along with up to 200 titles and to track user traffic. For some publications, users can shop directly for titles within a secured trading extranet.

Visitors to the site can register on-line many months in advance for stands at the Book Fair itself. Rights owners can use a password protected area to update their title information in a secure environment. An Exhibitors Catalogue contains details of 7,000 companies from 110 countries, while a Whos Who directory lists the names of 18,000 employees with the exhibiting companies, together with their areas of responsibility.

A virtual press centre contains news about FBF, its exhibitors, events and publishing issues in general, as well as an extensive archive of news releases and press photographs.

What has been Achieved?

The success of the 1999 EFRIS pilot encouraged the FBF management to turn the Frankfurt Rights Catalogue into a continuous operation allowing updates and new registration of titles, as well as promotion and marketing efforts throughout the year. The projects results have been integrated completely into the activities of the FBF and its strategy planning and implementation. The content management system and metadata model developed under EFRIS formed the basis for a complete redesign of the Frankfurt Rights Catalogue and a re-launch of the FBF online information and service platform, which went live on the internet just before the 52nd FBF in 2000.

Press Photo The partners efforts to promote the concept of trading rights on the internet were reflected in a large number of international press articles throughout 2000. The EFRIS pilot was also exploited in a partnership with the London Book Fair (LBF) in March of that year, through which LBF exhibitors were offered the chance to register and update titles from their spring collection free of charge. A well-attended panel discussion was organised at LBF on the subject of the role of bookfairs in
internet based trade in rights and licences.

The EFRIS project is also in negotiations with the key players in the metadata field, the DOI Foundation and the INDECS project, regarding a possible future role for the FBF as a platform for the standardisation of identification codes for electronic copyrighted items.

"Altogether, it seems fair to say that EFRIS was an effective instrument in triggering innovation within the Frankfurt Book Fair both as a company and as an industry platform," points out Dr. Wischenbart. "It created a pilot internet service that is widely successful and is building bridges to other players and partners in the publishing and copyrighted industries."


EFRIS was completed through close collaboration of FBF, Pira International (PIRA), the UK-based printing, publishing and new media group, the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) and dateam Intermedia, now, the web design and new media company. There was also extensive user involvement from the outset, via open forum meetings at which the project was evaluated and developed.

Rüdiger Wischenbart, Chief Press Officer
Austellungs und Messe GmbH des Börsenvereins des Deutschen Buchhandels (FBF)
D 60313 Frankfurt/Main
Email (email removed)

Other partners
Pira International (PIRA) Leatherhead, UK
Federation of European Publishers (FEP) Brussels, Belgium
dateam Intermedia GmbH (DATEAM) Frankfurt/Main, Germany ( now taken over by Multimedia Design & Consulting GmbH (mdc) ).
FEP Logo


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 Last updated on 28-03-01

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